There are many things that are wrong with the world. We certainly don’t need to be reminded of that, do we? Spend just 15-minutes on any news channel and you’ll find all kinds of things that are wrong in the world, enough so that it can be very unsettling. This “unsettledness” is due to an “absence of peace” that is seen or felt at every level of our existence. Whether we observe it at the global level, or experience it very personally, the absence of peace can be felt in the deepest parts of our soul.

At some point in our life, every person has or will wonder, “Will I ever find true peace, and can it be truly lasting?” The answer evades many people, no matter how hard they search or work to create peace. For most people, finding “true peace that is truly lasting” is like trying to grab a handful of beach sand. You can grab hold and keep some of the sand in your hand for a little while, but as you squeeze harder, eventually it passes through your fingers and is gone. One can hardly find or keep peace within themselves, and as soon as we add others into the mix, the problem of keeping peace becomes exponentially more elusive.

However, take courage. There is an encouraging answer to the question, and it is, “Yes, true peace can be found, and it is truly lasting”.

And yet, we must look outside of ourselves to find it. According to the Bible, to find “peace that lasts” we must look to our Creator who is the source of all peace. And when we look to God, we find that he offers peace in two ways: peace with God and peace from God. They are God’s gifts that allow us to find true peace and keep it forever, regardless of any circumstance. As you might expect, these two aspects are inherently linked.

Let’s look at the first quality of peace from God. When we get right down to it, we must recognize that the absence of peace in the world (or in our individual life) is due to the natural human condition of not being at peace with God. Because every human is so affected by sin, our natural posture from birth is to be at war with God. The Bible is very clear that we are at war with God.

“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

James 4:4 – 4 

“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”

Romans 8:7 – 7

James 4:4 gives the reason why there is no peace at the global level. The world is at war with its Creator, God. It has been that way every day since the fall in the Garden of Eden. But go deeper, James’ description of the “world” is not just some ambiguous reference. The “world” is made up of humans who are made of “flesh”. Romans 8:7 says that “the mind that is set on the flesh (self)” is hostile to God. Put the two together; the “world” is comprised of mindful, self-centered humans who choose not to submit themselves to God (their Creator) and, therefore, have made themselves His enemies. All attempts at peace-making fall short because of an inherent sinful nature that ultimately disregards God and desires only to please itself. There will be no peace (at any level) among humans who willfully choose to disregard God and remain his enemy.

And yet, despite humanity’s rejection of Him, God continues to offer the opportunity to have peace with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for sins committed by God’s enemies. By confessing our sins, turning away from them, and trusting in Christ alone, we receive the gift of salvation. At that moment, we have peace with God.

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Romans 5:1 – 1

Through Jesus Christ, God no longer views us as his enemy. We are no longer in a forever war with our Creator. We no longer disregard God, instead we regard him as our Heavenly Father. We become “Christians” who have found true peace. It is the most profoundly satisfying feeling one can ever experience.

But that’s only the first part of our answer. Not only have we found true peace, we also quickly recognize that our newfound peace is truly lasting. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah tells us of an eternal benefit for the mind that no longer disregards God:

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

Isaiah 26:3

The Apostle Paul tells us to…

” …not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

Put those two verses together, and we find that by keeping our minds focused on God (more than on ourselves or the world around us) and actively trusting Him, we will experience a “perfect peace” that “surpasses all understanding” which will “guard our hearts and minds”. These promises apply to every circumstance – global and personal.

Here’s an illustration that describes finding this kind of peace. Imagine being home alone as a teenager, by yourself or worse, with younger siblings, when a severe storm hits. The wind is whipping all around. The lightning never stops flashing, immediately followed by loud crashes of thunder that shake the house. The power in the neighborhood goes out, and you hear a loud crash in the backyard from a tree smashing against something. Is it the house? You are scared out of your mind!

And then you hear the front door open and slam again from the wind. You frantically go to investigate. But then you see him standing just inside the door; it’s your father. You run and throw yourself at him. He wraps his strong arms around you and gently says, “It’s going to be okay. I’m home now. You don’t need to be afraid.” Suddenly, even though the storm is still raging, you feel safe; still shaking, but surprisingly at peace. “Dad is home. He knows what to do. I’m safe. Everything is going to be okay”.

If this is the peace we experience with our earthly father, how much more will we experience peace with our Heavenly Father who knows all things, controls all things, and keeps us in “perfect peace” that “surpasses all understanding”? Sometimes, we “look for miracles” hoping that God will deliver us from a particular circumstance. And yet, we often miss that God is being just as miraculous, when he carries us through a situation, and we are “kept in perfect peace” as we overcome.

Yes, there are so many things wrong with the world. I have no need to be reminded of them. What I constantly need to remind myself of is that I am truly at peace with God because of the faith that he has given me in Jesus Christ. He has given me a peace that is truly satisfying and comforting. But it is also a peace that will never dissipate or go away if I keep my mind focused on Him. Would you consider seeking God and praying for his peace today?