Short Meditations on Peace 4. Peace can be lost, regain it
Phil 4:6,7 present your requests to God. And the peace of God,… will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In the previous meditation we said that peace is there as the environment in which we live or, to use another picture, it is like the scenery in the background on the stage of our lives but, we added, it can be disturbed.
Why? How? The answer to those two questions is because we live in a fallen world, a world that goes wrong, and has gone wrong ever since the Fall (Gen 3). From then on, the presence of Sin in the world meant that our wrong actions harmed the world or disturbed the world and so today everyday life can be worrying and worry destroys peace.
Today life for us is extraordinarily easy in comparison to living in the first century. Today we drive to the local supermarket and get our food. If we are in difficulties, we probably get state benefits. Health care is on hand but nevertheless things still go wrong in life – and we worry about what might happen. Illnesses come, accidents happen, the economy takes a turn for the worst, global warming means we have extremes of weather; we live in a fallen world where things go wrong.
Now as children of God we need to know that our Father in heaven is there for us to guard us and guide us, protect and direct us and keep us from harm. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Deliver us from the evil one”. We are to remember that our Lord is there working on our behalf for good at all times (Rom 8:28). We’ll say more about that in a later mediation.
But then there are, shall we call them, more normal uncertainties – taking an exam, for instance. There is going to a doctor about a pain we’ve prayed against but which wouldn’t go. What is it, what might have to happen? The need for peace. Then there is the next door neighbour who plays loud music late at night and who you don’t think will be open to a reasonable plea for change. The need for peace. Then there are the delays on the way to an important appointment and it looks certain you will be late. The need for peace. Often they will be things out of our control, things not going as they should, things causing problems or difficulties – worry. The need for peace.
How does peace come? We pray. As we pray nothing changes as far as the circumstances are concerned but within us comes this peace, an almost unaccountable peace, and yet it is the sure knowledge that the Lord has heard and He is in control and it will be all right. Peace often doesn’t depend on the outward circumstances, the outward appearance when it comes to spiritual issues, it comes from the Lord who is in control and who is never stressed but who always has peace.