I read recently from an unknown source, “It’s better to keep peace than to have to make peace.” How true it is. And how very . . . unrealistic.
I’d love to live in a world of peace, but peace has boarded a train and left the station. One day we will live in perfect peace, but that day is not now. The angelic announcement proclaiming “Peace on earth, good will toward men” was the inaugural address for the Prince of Peace, but His Kingdom of Peace invades the Kingdom of Violence . . . slowly.
And we know that all too well.
August 17, 2017—A terrorist plowed a van into crowds, killing 13 people and injuring more than a hundred, in Barcelona's Las Ramblas.
August 12, 2017—Riots broke out at a white nationalists rally in Charlottesville, VA leaving one woman dead and many more injured.
June 19, 2017—A van driver mowed down Muslim worshippers on Seven Sisters Road near Finsbury Park mosque leaving one man dead and eight others injured.
June 3, 2017— The London terror attack killed eight people and injured many others on London Bridge and in nearby Borough Market.
May 22, 2017—The Manchester terror attack killed at least 22 people and injured 59 others at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
We live in a world gone mad! War begets war. Violence begets violence. History repeats itself. Greek wars. Persian wars. Syrian wars. Roman wars. Saxon wars. The Crusades. The Hundred Years’ War. The French Revolution. The Napoleonic Wars. The Civil War. World Wars I/II. Korea. Vietnam. Falklands. Gulf War. Bosnia. Kosovo. Afghanistan. Iraq. Somalia.
Global conflict. Local hate. If Jesus offers peace, why does the world choose war instead? Perhaps because the world sees Jesus as a religious figure, and religion doesn’t have a reputable track record in restoring peace. If God is omnipotent, why doesn’t He force His peace into our broken world? One day He will. But in our human struggle, forced peace is not genuine peace. Coercion is not a good tactic to bring about changed hearts.
Yes, heaven will come, but earth—with all its foibles and imperfections—is our current residence. What shall we do? Hold on. Bring peace through Jesus at the smallest level to make the biggest impact. Begin at home. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). And know this, Satan may win some battles, but he has already lost the war.
God’s kingdom has come in Jesus the king,
He died and He rose, redemption to bring;
Yet still we await the glorious day
When Satan and sin no longer hold sway. —D. De Haan