But the fruit of the Spirit is…peace…. Galatians 5:22
“All we are saaaaayyyying…is give peace a chance.” You know that song; now it’ll be in your head all day. John Lennon’s message was annoyingly naïve and political, but also spot-on, Godly, and timeless. But did you realize that when Lennon trilled out his anti-war ditty, he was actually saying something else. Huh?
Peace isn’t simply the absence of conflict. That’s only a half-understanding, which isn’t surprising for our so-called modern age. It’s what good old John Lennon didn’t seem to understand. In a fallen world ruled by the prince of the air (Satan), evil finds a way even when there isn’t open conflict. In fact, perhaps evil does more long-lasting damage in the absence of open conflict than it does when guns are blazing.
And peace isn’t just a treaty, even a good treaty between blood enemies. Treaties are simply paper. If the intent behind them isn’t good, then the paper treaty won’t guarantee peace no matter how long it stands.
Peace is a quality of God, a part of who He is. The first thing Jesus said to His disciples when He appeared to them after resurrecting was “peace be with you.” He could have said anything but He chose to convey His peace. That peace “is filled with faith and rest and certainty and power” (see the great article at https://activechristianity.org/jesus-peace-what-is-the-peace-that-jesus-talks-about-in-john-1427).
God’s peace is rest for our weary bodies and medicine for our hurting souls. It is guaranteed and certain by the resurrection of Jesus, who rose in it from the death that awaits every human. It is conveyed through faith in Him, believing that what He says is just and true. And it is strong power, demonstrated by the gentle inevitability of Jesus’ promise to die and rise in three days despite the supposed finality of punishment and death.
Jesus lived, died, and lives again because He promised He would. He promised that in Him was truth and life and the only way to an eternity of peace. He told His friends ahead of time that it would happen, and then it happened just as He said. In doing this, He showed that death has no power over Him, that He is God. That He is pure love and all joy. That His promises are all reliable, and that because His promises are reliable, we, too, can count on living with Him now and in eternity. There will be peace there that will surpass all our understanding, and His peace in our lives here until then
Here and now, when we give peace a chance, we’re really saying, “let’s give Jesus a chance.” Let’s see what He will do now. Maybe John Lennon wasn’t naïve after all.
For further reading: John 14:6, Philippians 4:7, Galatians 5:22-23
Lord, work in me today to give Your peace a chance.
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