“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.” – 1 Peter 3:11
The third fruit of the spirit is peace. What is peace? Is it simply the absence of war, or is it something more?
Ecclesiastes 3:8 states there is, “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
This leads me to believe that war is not inherently wrong. The motivations behind war are more likely the culprit.
So what peace should we strive for? I believe Jesus summed it up when he said “love your neighbor as yourself.” To forgive people for the wrongs they do you and those you love bring peace to your life.
Soldiers have a job to do, and most do it with no emotion or deep anger against the enemy. Once an even happens that does cause emotion to become involved, irrational decisions are made. Civilians are harmed, lives are risked, and people die needlessly. There is not a personal peace within the vengeful mindset.
Personal peace is so much more calming than a cease fire. When Jesus was in the midst of bearing the weight of sin while dying an excruciating death on the cross, he experienced this peace, accepting His position, and committing His spirit to His Father.
This is the peace we should find. In the chaos of this world, we are to be pillars of strength having the kind of peace only God can provide.
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12:14