Romans 16; 2 Samuel 1; Psalm 72
What is peace? Everyone seems to value peace. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers…” We recognize the importance of peace and so many people seek the avoidance of conflict at all costs under the mistaken impression that will bring peace. Peace is not the avoidance of conflict. Peace is found in harmony with and the presence of God. When there are people or events that disrupt that harmony, there can be no peace. “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” (Romans16:20) If all you believe about peace is that there will be no conflict, this verse seems to be an oxymoron. How can you have peace and crush someone at the same time? When you understand that peace is harmony with God, then you realize the truth: sometimes peace can only be achieved by overcoming in a major conflict. Children giving in to bullies avoids conflict – but does not bring peace. Fear pervades and the bullies always seek more. Nations giving into evil nations or groups of people does not bring peace. The people are subjugated and in fear. The evil people want more. If the God of peace is to reign in our hearts we must let Him crush Satan. Don’t give in to fear. As much as it is within your power, live at peace with all men. Until we stand up to evil, though, we will never have peace in our time.
Lord, we do live in evil times. There are those who think they are doing Your will who would engage in evil activities. We pray that You would change their hearts, minds and actions. Often I am caught up in the trap of seeking to avoid conflict at all costs. Give me the strength to stand up to evil and follow You.