I am reminded almost every day that we are living in a “broken world.” It does not matter if it is a loved one that has a life threatening medical condition or the couple that is on the verge of calling it quits or the person being attacked for their opinion. It seems like everywhere we turn we are reminded that things are not the way that we would like them. They are not the way that they should be. Yet, I am reminded that we can have peace in the midst of brokenness. It is a peace that is only found in God.
It seems obvious to me, that we have been wired to crave peace. It is amazing the lengths we will go to obtain peace by avoiding conflict. And on the other hand it is just amazing how much money we will spend to attempt to buy peace. Unfortunately, ignoring conflict or trying to vacation our way to peace is only temporal. The Bible reminds us that we will only find lasting peace in our relationship with God.
The word for Peace is used throughout the Bible. It is part of God’s promise to His people. It is an aspect of God’s blessing. One of my favorite definitions of peace “is the absence of conflict.” We can connect a lack of peace with relational conflict, but also with worry, anger, fear and a lack of contentment. There can only be peace when we are content with life. The Bible reminds us that real peace is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
The past Sunday we focused on what is means to be justified, right with God. It speaks of God doing something for us that we could not do for ourselves. He removed the barrier between us and Himself. The result is that we are declared righteous before God and our sin, past, present and future has been forgiven. And all of this was God’s gift to those who are willing to accept it, a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus’ voluntary sacrifice on the Cross was to pay the penalty for your disobedience. He took your sin upon Himself so that He could give you His perfection. Now, when God looks at you he sees a perfect person, not because they never sinned or are now perfect, but because the penalty has been paid in full.
The restoration of our relationship with God not only resolves that conflict but also is foundational in how we relate to other individuals and situations in our life. It is this peace that floods our life with contentment. It allows us to lean on God even when facing those tough times. It is this relationship, through His Word, that guides us through the gauntlet of life! It is this relationship that is the source of hope for the future and for today as well. It is this relationship that unlocks the power of prayer and allows us to love. It is this relationship that provides the strength needed to live in a broken world.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson