What is peace?
We often think peace is freedom from troubles and calamities, and it is.
Then, how can we have peace in this COVID World?
Can we have peace if we get vaccinated and wear both mask and face shield all the time? Can we have peace if we do our hygiene practices like washing hands with soap and showering daily? Can we have peace if we avoid everyone in the world to get protection from a higher chance of getting COVID-19 from others?
Or, can we be ultimately protected from COVID-19 if we do all things above?
Unfortunately, the answer is ‘NO.’ We might not have peace if we do one of those things. Even if we do all of them and have the ultimate protection from COVID-19, we might not have peace.
Yes, we can feel peace from COVID-19 for a little while, but it vanishes after a while. We cannot have everlasting peace in the world by doing all those practices, even though we think freedom is on our side and we can do whatever we want.
Then, since peace usually comes and goes away, how can we experience peace and freedom to hold on? We cannot whatsoever unless we come to Jesus, who is the prince of peace (Isaiah chapter 9, verses 6-7).
God has established peace with the world in Jesus Christ. The peace that God brings through Him is reconciliation and salvation of believers in Christ.
The story of Christ
Since God has wanted to reconcile with human beings, He became human in the flesh as Jesus Christ and came into the world as a baby.
When Jesus’ appearance as a baby was announced, a great company of the heavenly beings appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” (Luke chapter 2, verse 14).
When Jesus was grown up and ministered to people, He showed them what God was like.
Then, after a while, He was crucified on the cross and raised back three days later. In this way, the death penalty of human beings was paid, and the new life of humanity could be initiated with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was given to us by Jesus when He was raised and went to the heavenly realms. The main reason for this is that He still wants to journey with us, but as the Spirit of the truth (John chapter 16, verses 7-15).
Although the full story of Jesus’ life and death is not explained here, and I will explain it at another time, those who believe in Him could experience His peace through the Holy Spirit. Jesus declared,
“When the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. 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.” (John chapter 14, verses 26-27)
Peace and freedom
Although peace leads to freedom, different kinds of peace lead to different kinds of freedom. The peace of the world leads to temporal freedom, and the peace of Christ leads to eternal freedom.
We create temporal freedom. For example, I think I am obsessed with technologies as I use them all the time. I can search and buy every good technology I want and use them to make my life as convenient as possible.
Whereas the peace of Christ means reconciliation between humanity and God and links to the presence of the Holy Spirit, we become dependent on God to work within us through the Spirit.
I often need to resist my desire of buying things.
I want to purchase suitable technologies like iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPad Pro 12.9 inch (5th generations).
Although I have three reasons to buy the iPhone, I plan to buy the iPad Pro first as it is old and runs slow. Sometimes, it even turns itself off automatically. I need the iPad more than the iPhone for my studies.
Another good example of the peace of Christ is that I feel God’s work within me through biblical and theological studies.
While I get immersed into Christianity’s worldview through these studies, I find more of my identity in Christ and the process of my relationship with God. So, I do not want to be in freedom of studies forever. In fact, I even study during the holidays by writing articles for Christian Today.
Therefore, we need to choose which life we want—temporal or eternal. Then, we get to decide which kind of peace we value the most—the world’s peace or God’s peace.
If we choose God’s peace, let us put eyes of the heart towards the eternal life we have through faith in Jesus and on how to glorify God in everything we do through the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than striving to live the best earthly lives we can in the COVID world.
Kevin Park is studying at Carey Baptist College and finds that Christian-writing is his ultimate will of God and his ultimate method to build the kingdom of God. He started to become a Christian writer from 2013. Other than his writing life, Kevin desires to see that each finds everlasting satisfaction in God, the Almighty. You will be able to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He loves to encourage others spiritually.
Kevin Park’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/kevin-park.html