Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "No Not One"1 (Lyrics)
Early in October, I was asked if I could possibly lead a worship service in one of the churches in our area. It was to be on November 12. I agreed that, the Lord willing, I could. It was only one day after what we here in Canada call "Remembrance Day", and in the USA "Veterans Day", to remember those men and women who have fought and are still fighting for peace in our time, and those who have given their lives for peace in various places.
Thinking about this, I thought that I would use peace as the basis for the service and that it would be good to talk about both world peace and personal peace. The word "peace" is used a lot, and it is prayed for by many of us on an almost daily basis, especially as we are being confronted daily by wars in different places. So, I chose some passages with the word "peace" in them.
For example, Joseph's brothers came to Egypt a second time to get grain. They were afraid of the person in charge, who they did not know was their long-lost brother whom they had sold into slavery. They were scared, but they were told, "Peace be with you." (Genesis 43:23a NKJV)
Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, and they were very afraid. Jesus saw the fear in their faces, and He said, "Peace be with you." (John 20:19b NKJV)
Psalm 122:6a – Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. (NKJV)
Suddenly, on October 7th, we became aware of the terrible situation in southern Israel and the subsequent misery for the people living in Gaza. I remember, personally, the occupation of the Netherlands for five long years and the terrible hunger winter of 1944/45 when literally thousands of people starved to death. There was the destruction of personal property, with people displaced and with no place to go. Sound familiar?
In May 1945, the occupation and that long winter was finally over; peace was declared, and there was to be peace in our time. But it did not last very long. Within a few years, there were wars again in various places. It appears that we have learned nothing from history.
Are you, too, agonizing over the things that we see on television, the terrible results of military conflicts in various places? We are reminded that peace is not a period between two wars, but a feeling in our hearts. We are assured through faith and the words of Scripture that the only lasting peace is faith in Christ as Saviour and Lord, Who assures us of our eternal destiny in heaven, which the world cannot take away from us. "Peace be with you," Jesus told His disciples, and so He tells us as well.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many times when we fear for the things going on in the world and perhaps even close to home. We thank You that You can give us peace in our hearts. We offer this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.