Blame it on the fact that I have close ties with a missions organization that keeps me updated on what is happening all around the world, but I’ve been thinking about the elusive subject of world peace. I know, I sound like I belong in a beauty pageant, but before you start congratulating me on my ambitions to bring harmony to the universe, let me just say that I don’t think it’s possible.
I’m not trying to get all political, but when I hear people talk about the upcoming election as if it will make or break America, I just have to shake my head. Because in my opinion, America is already broken—yet another piece of a fallen world. And when I take a Biblical look at what has to happen before Jesus returns, I don’t see things getting any better. I just don’t. But the real reason I don’t believe we will ever achieve world peace is verses like Luke 12:52:
“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”
The simple fact of the matter is that when Jesus came to earth, the people of Israel were expecting a Messiah who would liberate them from Rome. But did Jesus ever involve Himself in earthly politics? Well, aside from the time He instructed someone to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Matt. 22:21), He didn’t really talk much about the nation that ruled over Israel.
He did make it abundantly clear, however, that His Kingdom is not of this world. Therefore, the peace He offers is not for our world, but for our hearts.
So many people will tell you that God wants peace and prosperity for His people as if that means we will live a life of ease. Tell that to the believers who are in prison. Tell that to the Christians in Egypt who are being forced out of their homes for bearing God’s name. Tell that to Jesus as He suffered and died on a cross for sins that were not His own.
God does want us to be prosperous, but maybe His idea of prosperity is a little different from ours. My family has never had much by the world’s standards, but we have harmony in our home. I’ll take that kind of prosperity over wealth and discord any day.
We live in a fallen world that will always have division. There will be hatred and war and persecution until the day Jesus comes back to set everything right for good. But no matter what takes place on the surface of our world, the peace of God is transforming lives throughout the nations.
Last weekend, I was at a conference where two men who are very dear to my heart were called up on stage. The speaker then explained that one man had come from a long line of Arabs while the other had come from a long line of Jews. “Tell them how much you love the Lord and each other,” he instructed.
Then I witnessed the only hug I’ve ever seen receive a standing ovation.
Because while Muslims and Jews will be at odds until the end of the world, God took these two enemies and made them brothers. He vanquished a hatred that was centuries old and replaced it with a love that knows no bounds. And that’s why I believe that the peace Jesus offers is more than skin deep; it sinks into the deepest part of our souls and heals our most broken pieces so that we can be at peace even as the world is crumbling around us.
And that, I believe, is so much better than the temporary fix we’ve been waiting for all our lives.