World Peace Or Personal Peace?

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
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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.

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Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Peace be with you.

    Very reassuring, Joel. Thank you.

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Joel.

    Joel, indeed, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”
    Thank you.

    Week begin with peace in our hearts but then pray for peace in this troubled world.

    Well timed and a truth that we must grasp onto not only in word but through faith in our hearts. Shalom.

    His peace is the best.
    Thank you so much for your devotional this morning.
    Keep writing.

    Amen Joel.
    The world will never know peace until Jesus returns.
    But praise God, we can know peace in our hearts amidst it all.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging and timely devotional with us today. Praying for the peace that passes understanding for us all.

    Thanks Joel,
    Very encouraging in a world that seems to be in chaos.
    Hope all is well with you and we hope you are able cope with your wife’s Illness.

    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for your message today. Our current wars and other rumours of wars are all around us right across the globe. May the Peace of God be with each of us during these difficult times.

    Dear Joel
    This is such a true and timely devotion. Thank you for expressing what many of us are feeling. I have requested that we close our service on Sunday with “Let there peace be on earth”.

    Hi Joel. I just want to tell you I appreciate your devotional today as it’s very relevant to what’s going on right now. As a Christian counselor you’ve given me something that I can give my clients to pin their hopes on and take away some of their sorrow and fear. Depend on the piece of Jesus Christ, Our Savior and Lord.

    Thanks, Joel, for another of your very mindful devotional writings. The way the world is today much prayer is needed for peace everywhere. Our loving Lord must be very disturbed seeing the way things are going astray. How peaceful our lives would be if more people would follow the word and actions of Jesus. Blessings for these special messages you prepare and for the one you will present on Nov.12th.

    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for sharing about those war years in the Netherlands. I cannot even imagine what it must have been like. The passage that comes to me and has helped me is Philippians 4:4-9. I’m thankful for the peace that you were given and how you went to Canada where you can witness, “And the peace of God will be with you.” 4:9b. Thank you for your faith witness, and how you can encourage others.

    God bless you, Joel.
    Thank you for your sentiments and for your prayers.
    Peace is my prayer, daily. It is obvious that mankind learns nothing from wars and the horrors they bring. Thank God for prayer. Believers are, at least, able to achieve inner peace despite the devastation and death that occurs around them every day.
    God bless you and keep you.
    In Jesus name,

    Good morning, Joel,
    This is a great message because it is on everyone’s mind at this time. The title is a good question which we all need to think about. If we have internal peace through the help of our faith, we can treat others with kindness and respect which I feel is so important at this stressful time.
    I think the hymn chosen to accompany this devotional is right on. I don’t know this hymn so I was intrigued by the title and moved by the lyrics.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I am sure your sermon will be well received. Blessings.

    Thanks for this thoughtful devotional Joel. At times I think…well, I really don’t have much time left on this earth…thank goodness. AND then, of course, I consider our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and the many others who are trying to keep “faith” alive.
    We live in a small county population wise, 28000, so it is easy for us to block out the real world and its problems, especially if one chooses not to listen to the news. I prefer to read it, which is sometimes difficult but not quite as graphic.
    Thanks again for writing, Joel. Your devotionals are always thoughtful and appreciated.

    goedemorgen Joel,
    I must thank you for writing such a beautiful devotional and thank you for the beautiful reminder of history. I visited kamp Vught 2 weekends ago and I cried and smiled. There was so much memories of Hate but there were also memories of the beautiful people who were there. It was very hard to be there as I have only seen war on TV and never experienced any of my freedoms taken from me, which I so cherish. The luxury of freedom thanks to those brave men and women in May, 1945.
    My fiancée’s grandmother was liberated first and then his grandfather. He didn’t speak of the war the memories they were too hard to speak of. But he did mention the hunger and eating tulip bulbs to survive. I never could imagine it. I believe going to Kamp Vught made it so real. I prayed so hard that night.
    Thank you for sharing again your stories and memories.

    Good morning, Joel!
    I don’t usually respond to any of the writers of these Reflections. Today, however, I wanted to send you a big “thank you” for your message. It truly has been a heartbreaking time in our lives.
    My memory of WWII is of one of my uncles who was part of the Windsor Regiment – another was a WW1 vet- my dad had been part of the Dieppe raid, whereas my uncle part of Sicily. He rarely shared a story, but the one time he did was a reference to Holland, hunkered down in a barn …. enough said …. A bad heart meant my father didn’t go overseas but spent more time at the local armoury than at home. My late husband was the duty bugler on Remembrance Days, including playing it during our services throughout the years at our Church where I continue to worship.
    Thank you again for your message. Peace be with you!

    H Joel, nice to read a recent devotional from you and on a very fitting topic for the troubles we are surrounded by on a world stage. So, as you said we need to and can still be knowing peace in our hearts and beings. Blessings on you and yours.

    There are so many anxious hearts today, Joel! Even in our Canada. Our Pastor the last two weeks has been focused on “Being still and know the peace of God Almighty through Jesus Christ”. A simple and imperative truth. Your message struck the same truth. Blessings.

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