“Peace be unto you.”

Above said by Jesus in John 20:19, 21, 26

Last night at our Wednesday night meeting at church, the readings were on Peace, and it inspired me to do a blog on Peace. We sang the hymn, “Let there be peace on earth,” and following those words, “and let it begin with me.” That is important, we all want world peace, but that is not possible without personal peace.

Peace is that beautiful calm, quietness we feel when all is well. Peace is freedom from disturbance. In Mark 4:39 Jesus said, “Peace, be still.” to the storm that was threatening to sink their ship, “and the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” I was almost fifty before I calmed the storm raging in my life and found peace.

I was grateful when I looked back on my life, and like many of us, I was living a dual life. In my work life, I had a bit of peace, but my personal life, was a total mess. Had both my personal and work life been a mess, I probably would not be here today. I needed that bit of peace to survive. I believe that is why people commit suicide; they are at war with themselves. They have not been able to find even a bit of peace and sadly were without hope.

I had discovered that as God’s image and likeness, I was already spiritually at peace, but I had to figure out how to demonstrate peace here in my human experience. Well, I cannot change the world, but I can “begin with me.” I had to rid my life of all the qualities that would bring me down, like self-recrimination, self-hate, poor self-esteem, self-justification, actually anything that started with “self.” I had to get self out of the way. As long as I was self-centered, I could not be God-Centered.

In Isaiah 9: 6, he refers to Jesus as the “Prince of Peace.” And, in verse 7 he said, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,” WOW, that tells me there will be peace on earth, when we are governed by the laws of God, and live by the Sermon on the Mount.

Zacharias prophesied in Luke 1:79 that Jesus came “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Jesus said in Luke 12: 51, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:” At first that sounded a bit harsh to me but after doing much reading I came to understand what he meant by that. His intent was not to divide us, but he knew many would not accept what he was teaching, and that would cause the division. However, he could not sugar coat God’s will, if we were to ever have peace on earth.

I have experienced that division in my own family. I am the only one in my family that thinks the way I do, and it has caused a division in my family. We are friendly but not close. I love my family, but I cannot forsake what I believe, to make them happy, nor would I expect them to change for me. We are responsible for our own lives. We should be able to enjoy each other’s company, regardless of what we believe. They love to challenge me, but I will not take the bait.

So, how did I make the changes that brought me peace? Well, as you all know by now, I found God. It is that “image and likeness” idea that got me going. I am like God. Really? I sure did not feel like it. I discovered being human is the place where I get the opportunity to demonstrate what I am learning and understanding about God, and my relation to him. The changes in my life are my proofs that I am getting it.

Anyone who has read my earlier blogs knows how I worked through many difficult challenges. Just reading the Bible did not do it. In my studies, I used Commentaries, Dictionaries, concordances, and other research tools. I have dictionaries that give me the definitions in Greek and Hebrew, which is very helpful. I got a book titled, Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, which helps me a lot in understanding what I was reading in the Bible.

A dictionary is my constant companion. I look up words I am sure I understand; only to find there is a deeper meaning I have missed.

I thought I was compassionate. When someone would cry, I cried, if they hurt, I hurt, if they were sad, I was sad. That is not compassion; it is sympathy. There is a small difference. Real compassion is, I see your pain, and I want to help. Jesus had compassion, and he did not wallow in their emotion with them, he saw who they really were, God’s image, and that healed them.

I had to learn how to be a friend. I had to develop an interest in others, see their needs, and reach out to them. It was hard at first, as I had to get over my fear of people. Thank God I did, as friends are nice to have. 🙂

I thought I was honest, but I lied to myself. I thought I was protecting myself from hurt, but when I honestly looked at my life, I realized I was defining myself based on my past, and needed to redefine myself as God’s image and likeness, before I could achieve any changes.

I once wondered what I, one person, could do to help achieve world peace. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16) All our devoted prayers go out into the universe, and they can be heard by anyone ready to accept them, and the “still small voice” reaches every ear. I know I will not live to see it, but I believe the time will come when there will be peace on earth, where everyone loves their neighbor. It may take another 2000 years, but it will happen.

I lived almost fifty years before I understood what Love is, and with Love, there comes peace.

“Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts!” Mary Baker Eddy

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