The world has certainly gained a lot of other things in the process of the search for peace. But, they are too artificial to meet the need. For instance, they invented weapons to find peace; but, weapons only increased fear and loss of peace. They invented alcohol and all kinds of drugs; but, these have wrecked lives and destroyed homes. They invented psychological and sociological theories that either denied God or denied His authority, they invented ways to justify infidelity in marriage, pre-marital sex, and the porn industry; the result, more broken hearts, broken health, and broken homes. It seems that whatever man tries to do to find peace only worsens the situation.
The rich man lacks peace; the poor man lacks it as well. The religious man lacks peace; the irreligious man lacks it as well. The policeman lacks peace; the criminal lacks it as well. The viewers of a comedy show lack peace; the comedian lacks it as well.
What is the problem?
The laborer is returning back home with the day’s wages. He feels no peace and instead turns to a pub and drinks all his money up. He still doesn’t have peace. Back at home, his wife and children have been waiting for him to bring home some money. The wife has no peace. The wife sends her children to the pub because she knows their father will be there. They go there. They too have no peace.
The rich man has amassed much gain and invests his money in different businesses. He returns home in the night to sleep, but he cannot sleep. His mind thinks of how he can escape paying the taxes, how he has to protect his money from looters, and issues dealing with dishonesty and untrustworthiness in his own business. There he lies on his soft bed with his head sunk into the soft pillow; but he has no peace.
Now, there are many people who have various answers to this issue. Some say that the problem is bad government; others say that the problem is bad culture; a few others say that the problem is economical. But, let me tell you what the Bible says is the real problem.
1. Raging Passions Inside (James 4:1; 1Pet.2:11). James tells us that the root problem is within us. There is lack of peace in the world (2Chr.15:5) because there is lack of peace within us (James 4:1). Man’s sinful tendencies are too strong for him to escape without the help of God – how can he remain separated from the source of all good, God, and still aim to be good? That is the paradox of the human situation. His autonomy from God (the godless determination of good and evil) separates him from the real Good (because only God is perfect and the perfection of what can be called “good”). At the same time, however, man still craves for the good because the Spirit of God strives with the spirit of man (Gen.6:3) to convict him of sin, righteousness, and judgement. However, in his state of alienation, man is victimized, pulverized, and destroyed by the raging passions within him; increasing his peacelessness in this world, and if not redeemed from such wretchedness, to perpetual peacelessness in the lake of fire.
2. Mental Enmity with God (Col.1:21; Gen.6:5-7). The way man thinks and the things that he imagines are in rebellion against the law of heaven, and because of his evil works he is an enemy of God in his mind. Therefore, the Gospel call is a call to change one’s way of thinking sinfully to thinking according to the will of God (repent, Gk. metanoiea).
What is the Answer?
1. Peace With God (Rom.5:1). The answer is to have peace with God. But, man cannot make peace with God; so, God Himself initiated the peace process by sending His only begotten Son to become our peace, to bring us back to God. Jesus, by means of His eternal sacrifice on the cross, embraced sinful humanity (that crucified Him) with His unfailing love. On the Cross, God’s love kissed God’s justice and Christ provided the ground for our forgiveness and return to God. Jesus became our Peace.
2. Peace Of God (Phil.4:7). Once we have peace with God, God pours out His peace into our hearts which guards and governs our heart, frees us from all condemnation, gives us assurance of salvation, and helps us to know God’s will and purposes and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
God is a God of peace and He wishes His children to also be peacemakers. However, peace cannot be forced on man; man has to make the decision to accept the peace with God through Jesus Christ; then, His peace will guard and govern our hearts and help us walk strongly in the faith that God cares for us, controls all things, and works together all things for good to those who love Him.