He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Isaiah 2:4 (NIV)
This morning while reading my Bible, I was struck (for probably the millionth time) by the hope that God’s Word contains. In the case of world peace I’m sure we’ll agree that humanity has failed—miserably.
But what we seek to attain by human measures God promises will happen, not by our political scheming or military prowess, but by His own power.
Jesus will bring world peace at His return and those who are secure in Him will never suffer again.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Rest has been a key part of God’s plan. In Genesis, God rested. In Exodus, He told the Jewish people to observe the 7th day as Sabbath (rest). But His plan went still further as He unveiled a spiritual “rest” through the Holy Spirit that was incarnated in Jesus Christ.
Spirit-filled Christians don’t need to fear the terror, political confusion and religious noise that seems to get louder each day. We don’t need to fear the power of sin or worry about whether we’ll go to heaven or not when this life is over.
Our lives are in the hands of a perfect, omnipotent God and, no matter what each day brings, we are at rest, knowing that He is STILL in control.
There is a marked difference between the newsflash proclaimed by the choir of angels that glorious night in Bethlehem and CNN’s latest headlines.
Upon His birth, the angels cried out “peace and goodwill to men” and the Scripture itself boldly proclaims,
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 KJV
But instead of global peace, the past 2,000 years have been marked by countless eras of conquest, two world wars, and, more recently, an era of global terrorism. We are left with the question:
What Went wrong?
The answer? Nothing and everything.
First, the fault doesn’t lay with God. Remember that when Christ (the Prince of Peace) came to the world, He was rejected. Then, He was turned down by His own people; now He is mocked and reviled by the world. Be it in a nation, a marriage or an individual’s heart, there can be no peace if God is left out of the equation.
We’ve excluded Christ from our schools, our political platforms and—in too many cases—from our churches. As a result, every aspect of our global society is honey-combed with fear and failure.
In a sense, society is like a man who took out the engine of his Mercedes Benz and then wondered why the car wasn’t going anywhere. It’s a beautiful car but without that critical missing part (Christ) there’s no progress toward the elusive dream of world peace.
Second, although Christ is the Prince of Peace, His physical Kingdom couldn’t be built when He was born because there was more Bible prophecy that had to be fulfilled. The past 2,000 years have been building toward the great climax that lays just before the world’s civilizations.
Literally hundreds of prophetic words have been lifted from the pages of the Bible and written on the pages of world newspapers. Still a few more linger before the Prince of Peace takes up His throne.
Then—and only then—will the dream of world peace become reality.
If Christ isn’t the ruler of your life, make today the day that the Prince of Peace starts His reign in your heart. Let His Word be born in the manger of your heart.
I know by personal experience that you’ll never regret it.
Have thoughts or a comment? I’d love to hear from you.
A young mother dies of cancer while an alcoholic murderer lives to be 90. A couple struggles to raise a child with mental challenges, despite a lifetime of spiritual devotion. At first glance, life seems to be full of paradoxical contradictions that appear to deny the existence of a loving God.
But there is an answer to this question.
The Bible tells us that our idea and God’s idea of a “good” person are not synonymous. Jesus said outright that the only truly good Person is God (Mark 10:18). We’re all flawed, born into a condition whose weaknesses are evident each day of our life.
But God doesn’t want us to stay that way.
Because He loves us, He wants to make us like Himself, to eradicate the glaring imperfections in our lives by the secret workings of His divine purpose.
To accomplish this end-goal, God often allows tough circumstances to mark our life’s journey. Illness, tragic loss, sometimes even personal failure—things we are quick to label as “bad.” But if we can look beyond the pain, we will quickly see one life-altering truth:
the situation is not as important as our reaction to it.
In my newly-released novel, In the Shadow of Your Wings, Eleanor Thompson—a mother whose child is tragically killed in a German air strike during World War 1—teaches us the power of an attitude that remains God-centered despite life’s challenges.
If we cling to our faith in God, despite the pain, guilt or fear that confronts us, we will become stronger. We will break through, shatter chains and emerge from the gloom a little closer to Him than ever before.
Just as the potter puts a work of art into the kiln so its true beauty can be seen, so God allows situations that, while painful, reveal our true potential. But that all depends on if we choose to continue to believe instead of rebel.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
So that flawed people can finally become truly good.