TWO KINDS OF PEACE
When speaking to His disciples, Jesus once said:
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives . . . (John 14:27).
He says there are two kinds of peace:
- The kind Jesus gives.
- The kind this world gives.
We will examine both.
THIS WORLD’S PEACE
Jesus said that in this world we can find peace, but He made it clear that it’s not His peace. In this world we can find release from tension in mind and body.
Golf courses, tennis courts, paddle, racquet, and handball courts, swimming pools, running tracks, bicycle and hiking paths, various kinds of health clubs, water skiing, snow skiing, and bowling alleys are available everywhere.
Anyone who lives heartily, joyously, and happily, who is calm, still, and quiet should have some kind of exercise program to keep the body in shape.
This is clearly not the same as a person who has an exercise program in order to work off tensions, restlessness, and anxiety—or one who exercises to find relief from mental, emotional, and bodily stresses and strains.
There are many study courses offered by high schools, colleges, and professionals that teach us how to relax our muscles from head to toe.
Recently, I watched a television program that featured a Hindu swami giving a relaxation demonstration. He sat for fifteen minutes without moving a muscle while an announcer described the philosophy behind what the swami was doing.
Many years ago, I worked for a maternal health foundation. We had a division that pioneered in the field of teaching pregnant women how to relax during pregnancy and childbirth. The program worked wonders. This is now common practice all over the country.
Multiplied thousands of women are grateful for such help which gives them a more comfortable, less painful pregnancy.
There is an endless supply of books available on every conceivable subject. We can lose ourselves by watching television, listening to the radio or recordings.
There are hundreds of table games available and an endless variety of hobbies, many college and professional athletic teams to watch, and many varieties of entertainment.
There is a kind of elation, joy, fascination, and pleasure that comes from working, promotions, making money, success, praise, use of a skill, meeting people, entertaining, romance, travel, civic or church work, and getting an education.
We can remove ourselves from certain people, change jobs, change fields, move to another location, or run away from an unacceptable task.
There is private therapy and group therapy available that enables us to explore the mind and emotions. We can change our philosophy, our standards, and morals.
Multitudes today seek peace by kicking over the traces, living it up, asserting their independence, doing their own thing, or discovering themselves.
We are a pill-popping society. We can buy uppers and downers…or a chemical to put us to sleep. Thousands use the hard drugs. A major source for calming us down is the use of alcohol. Long ago, Shakespeare said:
Oh God! That men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains.
What a fascinating list of ways to deal with today’s tension. Yes, it’s a great world, with endless ways to find peace.
WE DON’T NEED TO TRY EVERYTHING
King Solomon, who is described in the Bible as the wisest and richest of men, wrote of his efforts to taste of everything life has to offer. He sampled wisdom, mirth and pleasure, wine and folly; he built houses, vineyards, orchards and gardens.
He had servants and maidens, silver and gold. The Book of Ecclesiastes contains twelve chapters describing his quest. He concluded:
Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
Sooner or later, all our efforts to find peace from this world turn to ashes. When we slow down or are trapped by circumstances and people, the tension, restlessness, anxiety and frustration return.
The activities available to us can help relieve the effects of unpleasant feelings and negative emotions, but can’t remove them. Multitudes of retired people will testify to that.
GOD’S KIND OF PEACE
There is a deeper kind of peace than the kind that simply relieves body and mind. It comes when you yield yourself to God and let His peace invade your soul. At various times, Jesus said:
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full (John 15:11).
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
The apostle Paul, too, points us to God’s peace.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously (Colossians 1:11).
King David, also one of the wisest of all men, learned of God’s advice to…
Cease striving and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).