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The Quest for Peace

I heard a story recently about a nagging wife
who kept writing complaining letters to her
serviceman husband who was on combat duty in
another country. Finally, after receiving yet
another hateful letter, the husband wrote back,
“Will you please stop writing me vicious letters so
I can fight this war in peace?”

We all want peace, don’t we? Personally and
nationally we crave it. Yet, so few of us find it.
I’ve read that over half the beds in our hospitals
today are filled with people who have mental
problems. These individuals have desperately sought
for peace but haven’t found it. At last, they have
reached the place where they can no longer cope
with life, and they have become ill.

A noted doctor once said that if all the
tranquilizers were taken away from the American people,
we would have a national nervous breakdown so
big there wouldn’t be enough well people to take
care of the sick ones. People who take
tranquilizers are trying to push the turbulence in
their lives out of their minds. They have to resort
to a little pill to put them in “peaceful” oblivion.

My heart goes out to those who do not know the
meaning of peace. Each day is a repetition of the
previous one, filled with hostility, despair, and
loneliness. They are miserable, frustrated, and
unhappy with themselves and everyone around
them.

A picture of peace

Remember the story of the rich man who
commissioned an artist to paint him a picture
illustrating true peace. The artist painted a
beautiful picture of a lake surrounded by trees. In the
distance were majestic, snow-covered mountains.

When the rich man saw it, he shook his head.
“It’s very beautiful,” he told the artist, “but it’s not
a picture of true peace. Please try again.”

This time the artist thought a long time before
he began to paint. On the canvas, he painted a
huge, thundering waterfall. He showed the water
churning over the falls and crashing onto rocks far
below. Then, at one side of the waterfall, he
painted a birch tree whose slender branches
reached out over the roaring water. On one of the
branches, he painted a little bird sitting quietly
and contentedly on her nest, oblivious to the
danger around her.

That is true peace — not an escape from the
pressures and trials of life but the quiet repose of a
heart at rest with God. Jesus said, These things I
have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have
peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but
be of good cheer; I have overcome the world

(John 16:33).

Jesus’ life was anything but peaceful. Yet, His
last legacy to His disciples and to all those who
would follow Him was the promise of peace. Peace
I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as
the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your
heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John
14:27).

I love the old hymn that goes:


Trust and rest when all around thee
Puts thy faith to sorest test;

Let no fear or foe confound thee,

Wait for God and trust and rest.

Trust and rest with heart abiding,

Like a birdling in its nest,

Underneath His feathers hiding,

Fold thy wings and trust and rest.

I don’t know the things in your life that cause
you unrest and destroy your peace. But I want to
remind you that there is a way to handle them.
God has given us guidelines that can take us
through these troublesome times.

Guidelines for troubled times

In His sermon on the mount, Jesus said,
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be
called the children of God
(Matthew 5:9). What
does that mean to you in your everyday life? It
means that if you will turn your thoughts to God,
He will take control. Then, regardless of the
conditions around you, you have His abiding peace, joy,
patience — whatever you need at the moment — to
draw on.

The Apostle Paul tells us that He [Jesus] is our
[way of] peace (Ephesians 2:14). It’s only when we
follow after Him that the walls of hostility which
surround us come tumbling down. He is our way
of living at peace with others. Paul also speaks of
those who do not seek after God, and he observes
that they do not know the way of peace (see
Romans 3:17).

A verse that has helped so many who were going
through turbulent times is Isaiah 26:3, Thou wilt
keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed
on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
When you
keep your mind on the Lord and trust
unwaveringly in Him, you can truly live in peace though
the world around you be filled with turmoil and
strife.

My prayer for you today is that… the peace of
God, which passeth all understanding, shall
keep your hearts and minds through Christ
Jesus
(Philippians 4:7).

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