Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Peace: More than Non-Violence

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Peace. I think it is safe to say that everyone wants it. It is a noble aspiration. In a time of war, or when a conflict seems to have settled down; when you’re battling your own demons, or feeling rather good about your relationships; when you’re on God’s side, and when you aren’t so sure —there is no time when it is not a good time to pursue peace. 

Unfortunately, many settle for a false peace. All they are looking for is the cessation from hostility. When you go to bed at night, you may be thankful that you weren’t beaten and robbed that day, but that is not the same thing as experiencing peace, especially if fear of the next day is still there. If a husband and wife get weary of yelling at each other and agree to a mutual, icy indifference, no peace there either. 

Peace is more than non-violence. In Hebrew, the word for peace is shalom. It has a depth of meaning, but at its core, it’s a well-wishing that says, may you be whole and complete. On one of my trips to the Holy Land, I was talking with our guide about the word shalom. He said that ancient Rabbis used the word to encourage a person to find out where they fit in the universe and be tranquil in it. Let me say it this way, when you know your place in God’s world - that you are more than a beast, but less than God - that sense of order brings peace. 

So I wish you peace this Christmas. Yes, it includes the hope of fewer people killed by terrorists, bullets, hunger, and AIDS. But I wish you much more than that. This Christmas, may you know real shalom, confidence that when God’s favor, His grace, rests on you, you have a peace that is beyond comprehension, an orderliness that comes only from Christ. By the way, that orderliness began on the first Christmas. Christ came to make things right. It began with His birth, and was completed in His sacrificial death and triumphal resurrection.

When you know Christ, you know peace!

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14

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