Monday, December 10, 2018

What is Peace?

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6
We are a people searching for peace while at the same time, we are committing violent acts against our own, inside the borders of our very county, at an alarming rate.  Peace seems to be forever out of reach.  What is the peace we are so desperately seeking? 
What is Peace? 
When Isaiah wrote this verse, the primary reference for Prince of Peace was to one who would bring social justice and security. The concern of the Jews was for the “Peace of Jerusalem” and the proper care of the poor.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.  O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces.  Psalm 122:6-7
The peace sought in these verses is much more than the mere absence of conflict. It suggests completeness, health, justice, prosperity, and protection.  The thought was that if the nation could be at peace then the people would be at peace. We know today that national peace does not guarantee personal peace. 
An individual can be living without physical threat and still be plagued with personal anxiety from many areas of life. Circumstantial peace is merely a situational calmness in life which may not relate to the attitudes of individuals involved.  
Real Peace is Not:
• The absence of conflict
• The absence of worry
• The absence of trouble
A worldly peace is that kind of peace where the troubles and pressures of life are temporarily blotted out, as the clouds, for a while, blot out the sun. This peace is only brief and incomplete. This is just a false peace.  We can’t find peace in our circumstances or our bank account, or even the satisfaction of a deep relationship with another human being.  Once the outward circumstances change – and they will - the tensions, anxieties, pressures, and guilt return as rapidly as they left. A picture of such are the temporary peace decrees between warring nations or individuals.  There may not be war but there certainly is not peace. It is used as a general greeting and as a farewell to indicate good wishes for the people addressed and friendly intentions on the part of the speaker. 
The primary Hebrew word for peace is shalom meaning completeness, harmony, wholeness, prosperity, welfare, and tranquility.  The idea of peace as individual spiritual peace with God or internal peace of mind is not an Old Testament notion. It focuses more on material well-being, righteousness, and as having its source in God.
At Christmastime we talk a lot about peace and The Prince of Peace, but are these just words we sing in a Christmas carol?  Or something we talk about at church when we light a candle?  Even this time of year, you will not find peace in a song, not in a candle, lights, traditions, or even in a church.  The true source of peace only comes from one place.  This week we will be looking at Old and New Testament descriptions of peace, what real peace is, and how we can get true peace from the Prince of Peace.   

Scripture to Claim: 
Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

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