defining peace in an agitated world
Peace is a tricky word. A rough emotion. One of those that you can’t quite define outside of the dictation, though there is so much more to it.
I believe everyone experiences it in different ways, although all through the same source: Jesus.
We’ve chased the concept of peace from the moment we breathed and the second we functioned off mental stimuli. Even as infants, we had emotions. We sought rest. We sought fulfillment. Granted they looked differently than they might as an adult, but I think we can learn something from this. Infants focus on the basic needs. The nutrition and way their body is running. While adults weave success, titles, enjoyment, discouragement, materials in and out of those “needs.” We want more, desire more, and feel as though we need more. We have made it nearly impossible to function solely off the necessities to live.
But I would argue even then, we are missing the point.
Scripture tells us that truly, to our core, all we need is Jesus. That this life and the things we yearn for and deem urgent are in fact still lower than what Jesus offers. So, essentially, we have sought and dictated our daily life majority of the time off meaningless endeavors. The peace and fulfillment that the tangible aspects of this life provide are shadows of what is to come and what has already been. They are mere conditions of the world; gifts and aspects of human life, but the Lord’s promises of eternal salvation and life in Heaven are greater and divine- beyond comprehension.
In Jerimiah chapter 12:12 it says “…no flesh has peace.” I hear this and am overwhelmed with the truth that my physical body within this physical world for the physical life, will one day vanish. Therein lies the cruciality of living our life solely for the kingdom of God, so that when the vanishing comes, we join the flourishing kingdom. So, the “needs” we seek daily and constantly, are typically for this flesh of ours that bounds no saving, no power, no forgiveness. The flesh craves sin. It desires more of materialistic ovation and selfish motive. Our flesh will not and does not offer us peace. It is impossible for it to fulfill us. To give us purpose. To give us hope. To save us.
But Jesus can. He does. And He did.
I am not saying that we should not partake in the gifts of this tangible world, such as clothing, a home, a job, a cold latte, or a brand new car; but what I am saying, is that our peace comes from the recognition that these things are vessels to honor God, not vessels of the peace itself. Honoring God is what produces that stillness, devoting our lives to Him and putting Him as the one true “need” in our life. That is the mindset and mission that will fulfill you, because it leads to an eternity, a hope that we are not simply creatures here to live and die. But rather join our Father in a greater world where our flesh will no longer be a factor. We will no longer have to fight, we will have entered an inescapable life of peace alongside the One whom gives it.