By Pastor Mike Burns
Special to The guardian
When I was putting this message to paper on Thursday, there were over 28 significant conflicts taking place in the world, with more developing everyday. Conflicts in different parts of Africa and the Middle East, Central America, Southeast Asia and Ukraine.
Then we see the events like the one in Los Angeles, the horrendous mosque attack in Egypt, then a few weeks ago with that little church in Texas. We read of disease and famine and earthquakes and fires and we wonder. What on earth is going on? Everything is in chaos. There is no peace.
From what we see and read in the news, it's abundantly clear that peace seems to be in short supply.
There are some who claim to hold the secret of peace. And may people seek peace or at least some flavour of peace. They try to slow down, stop rushing, be better organized, focus on happy thoughts, visualize beaches and sleep to the sound of waves.
They eliminate those people in their lives that do not contribute to peace. The problem with that is they would eventually run out of people to eliminate. Because even peaceful people stress out other people because they are too peaceful. And even if they manage that, they would have to deal with themselves.
I think the answer is connected to the nature of the peace we are pursuing. It's clear that there are many in this world searching peace, but is the peace they are looking for true peace?
Jesus, in John 14:27 tells us “I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
According to Jesus, there is a difference between the peace he offers and the peace peddled by the world.
Peace is not ignoring the fact that there are problems in our world. It's not gained by distraction, and the whole out of sight out of mind idea doesn't hold much water. Sticking your head in the sand achieves just as much.
Until people find that inner peace, it seems that we are going to continue to be plagued by hostility and conflict, with the worry and uncertainty that comes with them. We desperately need true peace.
We need a source of peace.
Turns out we have one! The source of peace is God. I believe that true peace can only come from God. In Isaiah 26:3-4 it says,
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
The real key to peace is trusting in God, because He is the source of peace. As we trust in Him, we experience what you might call peace from God. Our trust places us in the position where the basis for peace is shifted from ourselves and our circumstances to the faithfulness of the God of the universe.
We are entering into the Christmas season, where we remember that Jesus has come, but we also remember that he is coming again! The one who is Lord of all is going to return and reconcile all things to himself.
The reason we trust Him is we know that He has all things under control. We know that if we will take our eyes off of our inability and focus on him, his Lordship and authority over all things, He will calm our hearts and give us his peace.
Thanks and God Bless
Pastor Mike Burns is with Cornwall Christian Church. A guest sermon runs regularly in Saturday’s Guardian and is provided through Christian Communications.