Wars rage! In 2022 much has been made of the war between Russia and Ukraine. The globe has been impacted economically, and many have stood with the Ukrainians. Their president has been recognized for his leadership, and Russia’s leader has been condemned for his decisions. The ugliness of war gives contrast to peace and builds within us a desire for the end to hostility and death. War is ugly, and truthfully it is unavoidable.
While wars and conflicts between countries over land and political disputes will continue and even escalate as the Lord’s return approaches, this reality does cause us to long for peace. Peace on earth was the promise of the angels to the shepherds. Peace between God and man is attainable. Peace in our hearts is possible. Peace over fear, anxiety, depression, animosity, and failure is more than hope. It is a promise. But how is it achieved?
Truthfully, achieved is not the best word to use. That implies that we have the power to possess or acquire peace. The reality is that we are lost and without hope for peace unless God intervenes. Thankfully He did just that. John 3:16 speaks to the rescue mission from God through Jesus to atone for our sins.
It is that gift and act of sacrificial love that makes peace possible. Romans 5:1 declares that peace with God is made possible because of what Jesus did. The hostility between God and man that results from sin has been eliminated and overcome by Jesus’ blood. This is the path for justification that Paul preaches in Galatians 2.
We cannot earn it. We cannot overcome it. We cannot work hard enough, be good enough, and push through enough to attain peace. It is a gift extended to us by God. It is a gracious act that we don’t deserve.
The path to peace is faith. Faith is the exercise of trust that admits I don’t have the power to overcome my sin and accepts that Jesus has done the work I could not do. This confidence is the step to peace. Peace in our heart that allows us to sing, no matter what, “It is well with my soul.”