Since everyone is longing and searching for peace, let’s first define the difference between the peace of the unbeliever and the peace of the believer.
Today's Reading: Genesis 36-38; Matthew 10:21-42
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things where with one may edify another. (Romans 14:19)
Today, believers and unbelievers alike are looking for peace. But how do we follow after the things of peace? Since everyone is longing and searching for peace, let’s first define the difference between the peace of the unbeliever and the peace of the believer.
The unbeliever is looking for peace in the outer circumstances of their lives. “If only the world was a peaceful place to be, if only we had a leader that would establish peace, if only everyone else would be kind to one another….then we would have peace” are the hopes and thoughts of the unbelievers. So, they look for leaders who could bring this kind of peace to their environment. We all agree with this kind of thinking to some extent. Wouldn't we all be happy with world peace and conflict-free circumstances? But Jesus tells us that in this world you will have tribulation and the Bible teaches that the only leader who will bring world peace is the spirit of the Antichrist. World peace cannot last under his reign for Satan is the master of division, destruction, disaster and death.
A believer’s peace is different. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you.” The kind of peace Jesus gives is peace of heart. Christians should have great peace knowing that they are unconditionally loved and that God has a purpose for them. There is great peace seeing prayers answered and understanding the things of God. As a believer begins to meditate upon the things of God, the peace they receive in their hearts starts training their minds to think differently. We start hearing praise songs going through our minds and thanking God for His loving-kindness and goodness towards us. Finally, this peace of Christ is lived out through the believers’ behaviors. Their attitude is not negative and they smile for no reason. They are focused, but not self centered. Their behavior starts reflecting a trust in God that all things will work together for good, because they love God and know God loves them. A believer understands that it is not conflict-free circumstances that bring peace, but Jesus who brings peace in the midst of all kinds of circumstances. So, we follow after the things of peace leading us to follow the Author of perfect peace Himself.