The Giver of Peace
If there is anything earnestly yearned for the whole world
it is peace.
If we should conduct a survey among any group of people in
the world and ask, “What is the one thing you desire more than
anything else” the chances are that the one answer heard more
than any other is peace. How do we know?
Because “peace” has been the most often answer to
similar surveys in the past.
Peace is rarely
spoken of as an accomplished reality, but as a yearning hope.
People yearn for peace in relationships…with their
family,...their friends and their co-workers.
Most people yearn for
peace of mind as they deal with sickness, afflictions,
financial problems, legal problems, aging, and eventually, death.
Many older people deal with
anxiety as to whether they will be able to financially cope
with their pension, social security, and whatever savings they
have seen their retirement investments lose a third or more in
value over the past year.
Americans now fear for
their wellbeing in a time of terror.
Previous to September 11th most Americans were
“self-absorbed and self-indulgent” to quote Mrs. Laura Bush.
After the devastating attack by terrorists on the World
Trade Center, the Pentagon and a foiled attack probably intended
for the White House many Americans have been fearing for their
very lives. While
most of us were considering life with the question, “How can I
get the most of what I want out of life?”, there were evil men
plotting our destruction: Who
among 272 million Americans were aware that Mohammed had written,
“The true Umma – the community of Islam – fight in
the way of Allah; all
infidels in the way of idols.
So true Moslem, fight the friend of Satan. Then in the day
of peace there will come a sudden overturning and the oppressors
will come to naught.” Koran 4:78; 26:228
Some Moslems have been aware and some have put a radical
interpretation on these words
Notable were Caliph Umar in the 7th century;
Salidin in the 12th century;
Sultan Selim and his son, Suleiman, in the 16th
century. By their
sword they conquered the northern coast of Africa and up into
Spain. They conquered
Persia, Iraq, Syria, central Asia, and to the gates of Vienna in
our lifetime other extremist Islamic leaders have revived the radical
interpretation of Mohammed’s call for holy war.
Muammar Gaddhafi of Libya;
the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran and others.
We have space for only one quote by Khomeini.
Shortly after he installed his revolutionary government in
Persia he said, “We shall export our revolution to the whole
world. Until the cry
‘Allah Akbar’ (God is great) resounds over the whole world,
there will be struggle. There
will be Ji’had.’”- Quoted in “The Dhimmi Newsletter”
October 1990 The
training of every child in Iran to be a terrorist began.
Countless terrorist groups were spawned.
The leader of one of
those terrorist groups was Osama bin Laden.
Terrorism has punctuated the years that followed:
1993 An attack
on U.S. soldiers in Somalia killing 18 and the bombing of the
World Trade Center with a van filled with explosives.
1998 An attack
on the U.S. embassies took place in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es
Salaam, Tanzania on the
same day on August 7th
when 224 were killed and nearly 5000 injured.
On December 11th an Algerian was stopped at the
U.S./Canada border carrying over 100 pounds of bomb material to be
set off at the Los Angeles, CA airport on New Year’s day.
January 3rd a small boat loaded with explosives
attempted to attack a U.S. destroyer.
Fortunately the boat sank.
On October 12th the USS Cole was struck by a
small boat loaded with explosives.
Seventeen crew members were killed; 40 injured and the USS
Cole nearly sank.
until this time most Americans continued to be “self-absorbed
and self-indulgent.”, Not considering these attacks to pose any
personal threat to them.
one hour two passenger planes flew into the upper floors of the
World Trade Center and another plane flew into the Pentagon.
A fourth plane was aborted from its target by brave
passengers and crashed in western Pennsylvania.
The toll was over 5000 killed; over $100 billion of
immediate damage and untold damage on the economy of the U.S. and
the world. In the
hours and days that followed the destructive power of terrorists
gained the riveted attention of Americans.
bustling society of America ground down to a crawl.
Some felt personal anxieties and some were virtually
paralyzed by fear. The number of sleeping pills and tranquilizers
Never before in the history of the United
States have so many Americans been asking themselves the question,
“What is the solution to fear.”
God Has A
Remedy For Fear
Let us look at two statements Jesus made just before He
faced the greatest trial of His eternity:
“Peace I leave with
you; My peace I give
to you;; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:27 “These things I have
spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good
I have overcome the world.”
1. Accept The Fact That None of Us Are Exempt From Trouble
“In the world you will have tribulation.”
any group of men were ever entitled to be exempt from troubles it
was the apostles. They
ranked at the top in their dedication, obedience, and fervency to
Christ. Yet, they
experienced countless troubles in their ministry and were
eventually put to death by those who hated them, - except John.
He survived boiling oil and was banished to the isle of
are three reasons we will all have troubles:
1) Other people have fallen natures that motivate them to cause
trouble for us.
We have a fallen nature that motivates us to make lousy
decisions that brings trouble on us, and,
The Devil is committed to cause us all the trouble he can.
Someone said, “There’s a word that describes someone
who is having a series of troubles. It’s spelled L-I-F-E!”
How does accepting the fact that we will experience
troubles help us? Here’s
the testimony of the apostle Paul: “ . . .I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.” How
did he learn this? He
answers that as a result of experiencing humble status and honored
status; being well fed and going hungry; having abundance and
suffering need that he learned, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”
(See Philippians 4:12, 13)
We, too, can learn that Jesus will strengthen us to deal
with any troubles we are called to face.
2. Affirm Our Faith That
God Wants Us To Have Peace
“My peace I give to
you. . .”, . .in Me
you may have peace.”
On numerous occasions Jesus taught that faith in the loving
care of our heavenly Father was the remedy for anxiety and fear:
. . .do not worry about your life, what you will eat. . .or
drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. . Look at
the birds of the air, they do not sow, nor reap, nor
gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they?”
Matthew 6:25, 26. “Do
not fear, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke
One preacher commented that if we can believe that God
is going to give us the kingdom, then surely we can believe Him to
give us a biscuit.”
That True Peace Is To Be Found In Jesus Christ
“Peace I leave with you;
My peace I give to you. . .”
“. . .in Me you have peace.
In Jesus we find peace that our sins are forgiven.
One of the most beautiful stories in the gospels tells
about a woman who was a well known immoral street walker.
God put within her heart a desire to have her sins forgiven
and to be accepted by God. She
heard that Jesus was eating as a guest at a home in her village,
and came with an expensive vial of perfume.
With her tears she wet Jesus’ feet and wiped them with
the hair of her head. Then
she kissed His feet and anointed them with the perfume.
Jesus said to His host, “.
. .her sins, which are many, have been forgiven. . .”
and then He said to the woman, “Your
sins have been forgiven. . .your faith has saved you;
go in peace.” (Luke 7:36-50).
All sincere believers who have placed their faith in Jesus
Christ as Savior are assured, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
Jesus we find inner peace in the midst of perplexities and fear.
have been few people more perplexed and fearful than the apostles
on the Sunday evening following His death and burial.
Just one week previous they had marched into Jerusalem in
the triumphal entry. They
had felt that Jesus would be crowned King of kings and they would
rule with Him. Instead,
Jesus was rejected, crucified, and buried.
Let us ponder John’s account of what happened:
the same day at evening…being the first day of the week, when
the doors were shut…for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood
in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’
When He had said this, He showed them His hands
and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
Jesus therefore said to them again, ‘Peace be with you;
as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’” John 20:19-21
a moment of time their fears and perplexities were replaced with
inner peace. Outside
those doors the religious leaders still hated Jesus…and His
followers as much as ever. Yet,
in their minds and hearts there was peace.
Although the storms of wrath and persecution would continue
to swirl around them they knew Jesus was the Son of God they
believed Him to be.
Although their minds were still confused and they still didn’t
fully understand what God was doing they knew Jesus would make it
clear to them in due time.
too, can find inner peace in the resurrected, all powerful Jesus
Christ as we pass through our own storm of life.
Jesus we find peace when we have great needs.
apostle Paul gives us this formula:
“Rejoice in the
Lord always…Let your gentleness be known to all…Be anxious
for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
See Philippians 4:4-7
unsettles us, let us remember that Jesus is the Giver of peace and
let us appropriate that peace by our faith in Him
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted