Peace is one of the most sought-after commodities on the face of the earth, yet it is the one thing that always seems to be in such short supply.
Why should this be? Last count I had there were something like 27 armed conflicts going on around the world. Besides the direct victims of warfare, there are also the indirect, innocent victims. Wars cause people to have to flee from their homes, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs. As a result, starvation, disruption of lives, disease epidemics, and violent deaths result. Besides the immediate casualties, enemies on both sides plant land mines whenever they must retreat, to deter the advance of the other side as much as possible. These land mines then lay there, killing and dismembering the unwary for years afterward. In Southeast Asia, this is almost a daily occurrence.
Why is there no peace on earth? And can we have peace amid all this confusion? Is it possible for anyone to really be at peace in this war-torn, bitterly divided world, where everyone seems to be everyone else's enemy?
(James 3:14-16 KJV) "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. {15} This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. {16} For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."
Here we see that the Apostle James (Ya'akov), the brother of Yahshua Himself, was inspired to write down the problem, which is within the human heart itself, man's very nature. He goes on to show that true wisdom comes from above, and is pure and peaceable.
(James 3:17-18 KJV) "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. {18} And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
James, in chapter 4, then gets even more specific in stating the nature of the problem:
(James 4:1-3 KJV) "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? {2} Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. {3} Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
This is the answer. Whether we are talking about a dispute between husband and wife, brother and sister, neighbor and neighbor, or nation and nation, the underlying cause is the same - lust, and the accompanying pride and envy. People want what they have no right to, and if it is not given to them, they want to take it by force. It is the same whether it is an autocratic, dictatorial husband demanding his wife be his personal servant, or an international tyrant enslaving an entire nation or region.
Lest I be accused of sexual bias, let me be quick to point out that there are wives who have no peace in their hearts, either. Often a husband is thwarted in his efforts to be the head of his household by a domineering or uncooperative wife.
Again, carnality is the culprit - as oft as not, on both sides. Since we can have no control over national disputes, we need to take a look at our own lives and circumstances, and see what we can change in order to have peace in our personal lives.
Ask yourself, "Am I different than the people we just read of, described in John 4? If so, how am I different?" If we are truly converted (changed, repentant), then we should have the Spiritual attributes found in Galatians 5:
(Gal 5:22-24 KJV) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, {23} Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. {24} And they that are the Messiah's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
One of the greatest attributes of the Spirit is peace - inner peace. Love is important, too, as they all are, but without peace, true inner peace, real love is impossible. Peace is not just the absence of war or conflict. Peace is on the inside, in the heart. It is that inner serenity that comes from knowing that you are forgiven of your sins, and that Yahweh loves you.
On the other hand, the "works of the flesh," the natural actions of the unconverted, are listed in Galatians 5:
(Gal 5:19-21 KJV) "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, {20} Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, {21} Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh."
Every one of these attributes is against peace. There can be no peace where there are sexual sins, witchcraft, idolatry, hatred, wrath, strife, and all the rest. It is simply impossible. All of the prophets and apostles recognized this fact.
Study the entire chapter of 1 Peter 3, and especially the following verses:
(1 Pet 3:8-12 KJV) "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: {9} Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. {10} For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: {11} Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. {12} For the eyes of Yahweh are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of Yahweh is against them that do evil."
If someone does evil to you, do you do an evil act back at them? Do you rail back ? Yes, it's hard to do, but you should render them a blessing instead.
(Psalm 34:14 KJV) "Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it."
We have to seek peace. Actively pursue it. It takes effort. All too often we are not willing to make the effort to soothe a possibly volatile situation with "soft words" that turn away wrath. We would rather argue, to uphold our "rightness." Some consider it a sign of weakness to show meekness and humility, to seek a peaceful conclusion to a potentially bad situation. Yahweh says that is foolishness.
(Prov 15:1-4 KJV) "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. {2} The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. {3} The eyes of Yahweh are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. {4} A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit."
Yahweh says He would give us the good things, if not for our perverseness. He says of the unrighteous:
(Isa 59:1-4 KJV) "Behold, Yahweh's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: {2} But your iniquities have separated between you and your Elohim, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. {3} For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. {4} None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity."
(Isa 59:8 KJV) "The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace."
He says as long as we do these things, we will have no peace. We have to change. The only way to truly change ourselves is to allow His Spirit in our minds through repentance of our sins, acceptance of the sacrifice of Yahshua our Savior to pay for those sins, and then to be baptized. Baptism is a symbolic death and burial emulating the death and burial of Yahshua; coming up out of the water is symbolic of His resurrection. We are then called a "new man." The old man having been put to death, we can now understand Spiritual things. The Law has been written in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-14 and Hebrews 8:8-10). Read also Romans Chapter 8, which explains that unless we have Yahweh's Spirit dwelling within us, we are "none of His." We cannot please Him. Read all of Romans 12, especially the following verses:
(Rom 12:16-21 KJV) "Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. {17} Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. {18} If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. {19} Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith Yahweh. {20} Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. {21} Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
King David, a man after Yahweh's own heart, said, (Psa 119:165 KJV) "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."
Yahshua Himself said, shortly before He was executed, (John 14:27 KJV) "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."
If we are fearful and afraid, we do not have true peace. If we do not have true peace, we do not have faith. If we do not have faith, we cannot be saved. So, remember that peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit. If we are not at peace we are not pleasing Yahweh, and are risking our salvation. Let's get in harmony with His divine plan for our lives, and live in peace. *** ~FB

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