What does peace mean to you?
Do you believe it equals the contrary of war?
Or the absence of it?
Did you ever think about it?
I mean, if it was just that, this wouldn’t truly be so hard to achieve, now, would it?
Yet there are many countries who are not at war and still not at peace, aren’t there?
And although you may not be at war with someone – or even with yourself – that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are at peace….does it?
Me, I believe that there is a difference in the worldly meaning of peace – which is great and talked about so much and even used by many movements – and THE PEACE OF CHRIST.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the peace the world speaks about is also a good thing.
I would consider myself a pacifist. Someone who doesn’t believe that anyone should ever kill anyone else – no matter for what reason!
I do not believe that ending the life of another human being can ever be justified – NO exceptions in my world!
And I know that GOD made exceptions, for instance when HE told HIS kings to make war against other tribes and when HE even put conditions in HIS law under which people should be stoned – so I get that some people, even believers, may support wars or death sentences, but me, I don’t. And in MY spirit, killing is wrong and I am neither a warrior nor a queen nor a judge, so I am glad I don’t have to be in their shoes when it comes to these decisions, because for me personally, the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is unconditional and literal.
However, that doesn’t mean I never had the thought of wanting someone dead – including myself!
And the thought of ending my own life has been with me for many, many years…
I even tried to commit suicide…
So whatever your position on war or death sentence may be, perhaps we can agree that when war takes place or when someone has to die, it necessarily means that peace is absent!
But PEACE is not just the absence of war or murder or fighting.
There is so much more to it!
Have you ever felt at peace, my friend?
I am assuming that you can only answer “yes” to this question if you are a believer!
Why am I assuming this?
Not only because of my own experience.
Me, I had been searching all my life… for wisdom, for love, for acceptance, for status, for recognition, approval…. I have obtained so many qualifications, I had the greatest feedback from my clients, I even appeared on TV a few times back in the days…. but did I feel at peace?
I was driven.
Compelled to keep searching – I didn’t even know what exactly I was searching for!
I had this emptiness inside – this hole that wasn’t only a hole, it was also aching!!!
And when I became born again, that’s when I had the answer.
That’s when I experienced THE PEACE OF CHRIST.
THE PEACE THAT SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING.
THE PEACE only JESUS can give.
This has until this day been my indicator if someone is truly born again, accepted by GOD and if GOD has given them a new life!
Because when you reason with an unbeliever, they will tell you all sorts of things and will even do their best to prove to you how “balanced” / “grounded” / “enlightened” or “awake” they are – and you can tell from their argument that they indeed are trying to prove something to themselves – this is not what we do when we are at peace!
When we are at peace, there is nothing to prove to anyone.
And these people, when they have these conversations, when someone disagrees with them, they become agitated, annoyed, even aggressive!
If you are so enlightened or whatever you claim to be – how come I can come and disturb it just by doubting it?
What kind of state is this if a stranger can question it and then you yourself question it, too???
Friends, these people don’t even KNOW what they are looking for!
I was just like them.
Nowadays, all I can feel is gratitude when they are trying to find stability in anything else than GOD – gratitude that I HAVE it, gratitude that I do not have to rely on anything or anyone.
And gratitude that GOD has put me in a position where I get to influence people every day and get to help them find the only thing and the only person that truly matters:
GOD and THE PEACE OF CHRIST.
I spoke about it before, there is a client I am working with at the moment, in “my jail”, and a few weeks ago, he asked me to help him pray for GOD to come into his life and he then had a few weeks of setbacks and bad news – just like we all do when we decide to give our lives to GOD and the devil refuses to let us go!!! – but I kept praying for him…. on the last occasion when he had asked me about GOD I told him to speak to HIM and to ask HIM for a sign and to reveal HIMSELF to him… but there was so much going on in his case and he also had a conflict with one of my colleagues and his hearing is coming up, so we were extremely busy dealing with “worldly stuff”….. but I asked GOD to touch him and to work on his case and on his heart and on his life – his life here and on his eternal life as well.
Last week, he said he needs to speak to me urgently!
So we went into this room where we could talk and he told me that he had encountered GOD.
He described it, he was in his cell the night before, the TV was on – we had spoken about how GOD can give signs and how he can speak to us through people, when we read the bible, in dreams or even through the TV – and the news he was watching were about a woman who had had some kind of law case going on, I can’t even fully remember what he said about her, but I remember the sentence that he said “struck” him – they said (about the woman) “and they fully accepted her” – and he knew that this was for him and about him.
Isn’t that amazing, friends?
So he knew that GOD was speaking to him in his cell in prison through the TV!
I loved it!!!
And then, he said, he just sat there in his cell and he felt happy.
For him, being accepted (instead of rejected) is a BIG thing!
By the way, I believe it is for everyone, but those of us not being in prison may not be so aware of it…
And he said, he had “this peace in his heart”, “this peace he had never felt before” and he knew that nothing could ever happen from now on hat could take this peace away from him.
And he knew that whatever would happen from now on, he wouldn’t be fazed, he wouldn’t use drugs no more, he would make it outside and whatever they would want from him regarding his licence conditions, he would do it, he wouldn’t go back to using drugs or committing crime (mind you, this man is 50 and has 88 previous convictions and has been in prison SO many times!!!).
And he said he had sat in his cell and he felt this great love in his heart, a love he had never felt before, he said he couldn’t stop crying the night before, but they were “good tears” and he was in tears when he was telling me all this, and he thanked me from his heart for all I had done for him, and he wouldn’t even let me speak and explain to him that it wasn’t me, but GOD who had done it (I did have a chance to explain later) – this was such a beautiful account and a sacred moment when he shared his joy of having been born again with me – friends, I almost cried myself!
And the room we were in, this dirty, worn down little room inside a prison, felt like it was a holy space, filled with light and peace and quiet….. angelic presence……
I can’t even fully describe it, friends!
GOD’s word is so true, friends:
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.
THIS is what PEACE is.
Not being worried anymore.
Not looking for or relying on any outward circumstances or factors in order to be calm.
Having this feeling of being loved and accepted by GOD, no matter what others say or do.
As always, I learned from him, learned from this.
I do firmly believe that those of us who are privileged to be in a role to support others, we get to learn from them every single day and every single time.
Me, I cannot even tell you how much I learned from “my guys”, the prisoners.
They are probably the clients I have learned from the most!
Perhaps that’s why I love working with them so much?!?!
They are too desperate to play around.
They are too real to pretend.
If you are not helping them, they will tell you!
But if you are – the reward is PRICELESS!!!
I will never forget the tears of this man – a “criminal” as you couldn’t have seen a better one in any movie – telling me how GOD visited him – as I said, PRICELESS.
Friends, I remembered my own peace.
Remembered the time when I was so lost…. so empty…… so desperate and driven…….
I remembered all GOD has done for me.
And my own peace came back to me.
The PEACE that surpasses all understanding.
The peace that is not relying or depending on ANY outer circumstances, nor persons, nor outcomes, changes, solutions – the PEACE of CHRIST.
May HIS Peace be with you!