Peace in a Conflicted World

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Peace on Earth Part 3

 

The news is depressing.  As I write this, there are major protest movements happening in Iran, Iraq, Chile, Hong Kong, and Colombia, to name a few.  Turkey is currently invading Syria, displacing the Kurdish people there.  Crimea is occupied by Russia.  In our own country, the House of Representatives is passing articles of impeachment, further polarizing the political divide.  It’s enough to make someone want to just turn it all off.

Even the holiday season is a time of conflict.  Shoppers struggling to get everything they need snap at each other.  Jet-lagged passengers snipe with flight attendants.  Holiday meals become battlegrounds between family members who haven’t seen each other in months.  Stress and depression run rampant.

Conflict is universal.  The world we live in is shaped and thrives on conflict.  Conflict is what forms the basis for our economy.  It is at the heart of our understanding of the biological sciences.  It guides our political processes.  The humanistic view of the world is one of struggle, of constantly striving against the forces of nature and fate.  

But we know that there is another conflict, behind the scenes.  When Lucifer fell, he brought conflict into the universe, and with the fall of Adam conflict became central to life on Earth.  And we live in that conflict.  We live in the constant struggle with sin, feeling as Paul did in Romans 7:15. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” This conflict, left unresolved, leads to what James calls double mindedness.  We are left in a state where we believe but do not live that belief, where we want to do right but persist in doing wrong.

But, as always, God brings us hope.  Et in Terra Pax. Peace on earth.  We know that there will never be literal peace on this Earth until the second coming of Jesus, when the Earth is remade.  But that does not mean we cannot have peace.  Romans 5 gives us the answer. “Therefore, being justified by faith we have peace with God, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Peace with God.  What does that mean? It means that we are no longer in conflict with God.  This is the primary message of the Gospel.  Christ was born into this sinful world, lived a perfect life, and died so that we might be restored.

So as we move through these difficult times, remember that there is peace waiting for you, a peace that passes understanding. Through Christ, God extends His grace to all of us, and it’s our duty as Christians to extend that grace to the rest of the world.  Let Christ work through you this holiday to bring peace to the people you know.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” Matthew 5:9.

 

Scott McAuliffe has been involved with Enspire since 2011.