Saturday, April 28

"...a Time for War, a Time for Peace."

Wars are as old as time, and peace is an illusion in this life. Whether global, regional, or personal, war is here to stay. In spite of 'civilization,' philosophers and religion, wars and rumors of wars will continue until Christ comes to judge the world.

You may be surprised to learn that since recorded history there have been less than 400 years of peace. And that number is most likely too high. Here's a list of all (or most) known wars and conflicts.

Why, then, does the Lord Jesus Christ tell us, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you." He wasn't telling the 11 apostles they would never see bad times. Most of them would be persecuted severely and martyred. The apostle Paul says, "Therefore, since we have been justified [declared forgiven of our sins by God] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1. And he tells the Ephesian Christians, "Therefore remember that at one time you . . . were . . . separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility." Ephesians 2:11-16.

So there is the peace of reconciliation with an angry God, a God who must punish sin. There is also an inner peace that is given. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22,23. Paul also says, "Do not be anxious about anything, 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, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7.

And on a relational level, we read, "Strive for peace with everyone . . ." Hebrews 12:14a. Even though others may not accept our kindness and patience, we must try to reflect the kindness, patience, and love that God has shown to us.

Wars of state is another issue altogether.

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