Childhood Bob Pappas
Those who serve in the Armed Forces have a good understanding of the concept of war, they also understand peace at least in the academic sense. War is a state of violence between two or more parties about which the objective is to force submission by one of the belligerents or cessation of hostilities on favorable terms and thereby gain some desired end result. Sometimes war comes without much or any warning and sometimes it does not work out as intended. Any serious American warrior will quickly tell you that a just and lasting peace is preferable to war; but that war is preferable to peace without freedom.
Peace, on the other hand is divided into two broad categories, secular and personal. A secular definition of peace is:
“It is a state of tranquility or quiet; freedom from civil disturbance; a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom; Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict; a state or period of mutual concord between governments; a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity.”
Nowadays one hears “peace,” the “peace process,” or “peace accords,” just consider a typical day on television news the word, “peace” is mentioned numerous times. The Old Testament book of Jeremiah Chapter 8 verse 11 states:
“…, Peace, peace; when [there is] no peace.” It is filled with accounts of conflict between Israel and her enemies. But that is only a microcosm of world history which is a history of war with brief interludes of peace.
Whether, secular or spiritual, “Peace” is something that every human yearns for…although for different reasons, different circumstances and in different ways, some consciously and others unaware. Some seek peace through meditation, through religion and some through drugs or alcohol, but wise men and women seek and find Real Peace through Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
The focus here is personal peace, and once a person understands that peace begins within oneself then there is a chance for wider peace, one without secular conflict.This holds true except when large forces are irreconcilably at odds, such as Islam with approximately a billion adherents versus the rest of the world. Personal peace is not only the absence of conflict, it is a state of inner security, contentment, satisfaction, serenity, and happiness.
Found in the book of Isaiah Chapter 26 verse 3 are these words:“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.”
In the Old Testament, Isaiah Chapter 9 verse 6 the prophet writes of the coming of Jesus the Christ who Christians revere as the promised Messiah: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
The second chapter of the book of Luke in the New Testament verses 8-14 explain the advent of Jesus.
“10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
The widely known “peace” symbol had its beginning in the 1950s, was devised for use during protests against nuclear weapons. The symbol depicts a semaphore stylized into the circle, a bisecting vertical line and outward and downward extensions represent the “D” and “N” flags of a semaphore to represent “nuclear disarmament.” That early use was eclipsed by Vietnam War protesters who used it to call for “peace.” In reality it symbolized rebellion and made a statement of opposition to the war and the military draft.
On the other hand, the symbol was held in contempt by many and ridiculed as a symbol of cowardice. It was frequently and derisively referred to as “the footprint of the American chicken,” a term that arose out of those who fled to Canada or other places to avoid the draft. It was also countered by the introduction of a B-52 bomber in the same format, a symbol that suggests peace through the application of overwhelming force.
Today the symbol is one of rebellion or anything that stands in opposition to “the establishment” rather than for advocating Nuclear Disarmament; it is arguably anything but a sign of serenity. Lastly, the symbol has a decidedly anti-Christian subliminal meaning through its intentional or otherwise depiction
of an upside down, broken cross which many use to besmirch the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son. It is significant that Jesus prayed while dying on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And so, we make the same plea.
It was through a combination of life events that the Real Peace symbol emerged and is presented here.
Until Jesus returns to begin a thousand year reign of peace on earth, the writer of the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 24 states:
“And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”
Regardless of the circumstances in which one finds oneself, real and lasting peace begins and ends at the personal level and if it is to be attained, comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”This verse, taken from the Gospel of John Chapter 3 verse 16 is the essence of God’s love, mercy and grace toward all of humanity. Jesus’ death on the cross, His burial, resurrection and ascension into Heaven make it possible for those who believe on Him to have inner peace now and the sure knowledge of eternal life.
In the New Testament book of John Chapter 14 verse 27 Jesus says:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The book of Philippians Chapter 4 verse 7 offers assurance of internal and eternal peace for those who are in a right relationship with God:
“And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Anyone who truly seeks will find genuine peace of heart and mind, it is a gift of God made possible though His only begotten Son, Jesus. Here it is symbolized by Christ on the cross for you, His arms upward in the semaphore letter “U” supplicating God the Father whose infinite love is symbolized by the unbroken circle.
Are you at war? Are you beset by inner turmoil? If you do not have peace, it is yours for the asking and is available to all who seek. This is because Jesus came to live, teach, die as a sacrifice for the sins of all so that humanity can be free from the shackles of evil and live in peace; then He arose from the dead, ascended to God the Father and will come again!
Do you seek peace? If so, find a quiet place, no formal introduction is needed just open your heart to God, the Heavenly Father and He will listen. He knows you and accepts you just as you are. Speak to Him as with a friend and although it’s likely that you will not hear an audible response He will hear and you will sense it. Ask forgiveness of all that is past and for a new life as a follower of His Son, believe on Him as your Savior, ask Him to be the Lord of your life, and defender against all that is to come and He will give you the “peace that passes understanding.”
One should not think that everything will instantly be “peaches and cream,” it won’t be, but He will give you inner peace to deal with whatever comes your way. Find a Bible, read it, study it and internalize it and you will be on the road to everlasting peace. But, that’s not all, find a church and begin regular attendance. Seek one where God’s word is proclaimed and where you can have the opportunity to become actively involved. Life is a journey not a destination and you will grow as you go.
The New Testament Book of Galatians Chapter 1, verses 3-5 state:
“3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,4Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:5 To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
The Book of Numbers chapter 6 verses 24 through 26 is a beautiful blessing that has been used for centuries and I offer it to you here:
“The Lord bless you, and keep you: The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”
Excellent resources for daily living:
This Days Thought:
Living In Christ introduction
The “scribe” of this finite discussion of peace served 30 years in the Marine Corps including two combat tours in Vietnam. He flew just under five hundred missions and on one occasion was shot down. During that ordeal he made a commitment to God that if his life was spared he would serve Him. Although his part of the bargain has been imperfect, this website with its “witnessessing” products is, among other things a part of that commitment. The profits from sale of these products will be used to sustain and advance the “Real Peace” movement.
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