It seems that the news is constantly reporting on war and conflict in other areas of the world and we look to our own government and those of other Western countries to try and intercede in solving at least some of these issues. But when we hear of our government getting involved in an attempt to maintain peace it begs the question of why? What are the real reasons we become involved? Is it an attempt to create unanimity between countries or is there a more political incentive behind such peace talks?
At least some of the time it may seem that the attempts of peace are made only when a situation has the potential to bring instability to our own economy. Even if this does have the desired affect of bringing about peace, is it right? The Bible teaches that we should live at peace with everyone as much as possible. The teachings about peace are quite extensive and give instruction as to how conflicts should be solved whilst also commending those who strive for peace: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God -Matthew 5:9. We are told to attempt to solve issues between each other, then if one party does not listen to bring in witnesses to peace discussions, then if the issue is still not solved, to take it further and bring in a higher establishment. The Bible in this instance makes reference to the church being the higher establishment but in regards to the larger situation of conflict between nations this could represent a collection of objective governments. From this perspective it will enable relationships to be rebuilt rather than the issue remain unresolved.
Nevertheless conflict is always bound to happen in a world full of different cultures that are becoming increasingly interconnected. This does not mean we should stop attempting to strive for peace. Even so peace between nations is not the only sort of peace that should be sought after. It is written in John 16:33 that there will always be tribulation and troubles in the world but peace can be found through Jesus, for he overcame the world. This peace is not necessarily the peace between nations but inner peace. Christianity is about having a relationship with God who cares immensely for you and about you. That means that God grants peace to those who ask even if the situations they may be in are difficult. It is not always a peace that ends troublesome situations but a peace of having the security of knowing that God is always there for you and will never leave or fail you. Christ, through his death and resurrection, overcame death and overcame the world so that we may be able to have that relationship with God and consequentially live in peace.
So whether governments become involved in peace attempts for honest reasons of maintaining good relations around the world or in an attempt to retain economic stability, all situations can be used for the good of bringing about peace. Yet what remains is the need for all to know the inner peace that a relationship with God will provide. After all those who promote peace have joy.
Header image rights; Alice Popkorn