J Clark Ministries

The quest for peace is in the news again. When President Trump recently visited the heartlands of the three major world religions he said, “If these three faiths can join, peace in the world is possible, including peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” He also, however, tweeted a quote by Ronald Reagan that “Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”

What really is peace? There must be a character of peace in individual lives for world peace to occur. Jesus is quoted in John 14:27 as saying, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”     

There will always be conflicts, but inner peace in the heart and character of each person is possible. Colossians 3:15 encourages us to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” One of the ways to do that is to focus on “whatever is true…honorable…right…pure…lovely…and of good repute. If there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Here are some practical ways to apply this verse, based on other verses of scripture:

  1. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
  2. “Pursue the things which make for peace, and the building up of one another” (Romans 14:19).
  3. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all {people}” (Romans 12:18).
  4. “…do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26. What this is saying is to not allow anger to carry over from one day to the next, and the next… Deal with it quickly. 
  5. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ Jesus has forgiven you”(Ephesians 4:32).

So, true peace starts with a personal relationship with God, your creator. It then happens in a relationship with others in how we think about them and respond to them.  As more and more people have a peace within their character and with others around them, there will be more peace on a much broader scale. How about you? Do you have an inner peace that transcends what is happening in the world? If so, are you passing that peace to others around you?

 

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