Summary: The peace of God shines brightest in the darkness of man.
Peace is a precious but rare commodity that many of the nations of the world are chasing after. But it is probably the most elusive one. I for one, it is. Most countries are suffering due to the absence of it. Peace treaties, peace pacts, agreements have been signed; and many of such are yet to be signed. Still, there are peace negotiations going on. But where is global peace? Alfred Nobel’s “Nobel Peace Prize” is an attractive incentive. We can only imagine the honor, and other prizes, involved in it. But since its inception, not many people have been awarded of it. The slogan, “Give peace a chance” is globally popular but not ocular.
How about in our personal lives? Is there really peace in the workplace, at home, in the community, in the church, and most importantly, in our minds, and in our hearts? Be honest with me now…. Peace you can call… but peace you can’t claim. We need the peace of God! It is readily available from the God of Peace and it can only be claimed through the Prince of Peace. This is the kind of peace that exists not in the absence of life’s troubles but amidst life’s troubles. It is not limited within the confines of emotion and reason… rather, it reaches far and beyond the borders of nations, even religions. The peace of God shines brightest amidst the darkness of man.
There are days or moments in a person’s life that can be labeled “the darkest valleys”, when a chance for peace is extremely remote. I can cite some:
1. When Your Dreams are Unfulfilled.
2. When Your Situations are Unpleasant.
3. When Your Future is Uncertain.
It is during these darkest moments of our life that we need God’s peace the most. Give peace a chance!
1. When Your Dreams are Unfulfilled!
v.32 … you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will LEAVE ME all alone.
The disciples’ common dream was to be with each other always under the visible leadership of their eloquent master – the Lord Jesus. With this man Jesus, who is evidently a prophet from God, everything is in proper place. Jesus, son of a carpenter, had all the answers to peaceful, though simple, life – food, healing, humane rules for daily living, name it, Jesus has it. They wanted to escape the oppressive dominion of the Roman empire.
We all have dreams but not all of us had his or her dreams fulfilled. There are a thousand causes to that but I can generalize and come up to only two categories.
a. There are Frustrations that the World Caused.
Daily we see on our television screens scenes of natural calamity, accidents, even global economic recession, and the like. There are events in our lives that are out of our control. And when they occur, there is nothing we can say or do. These leave us with our dreams unfulfilled, and open up the door of our hearts and minds for fear and worry to creep in. During these moments, my friend, give peace a chance.
b. There are Failures that We Created.
Also, we see celebrities in the limelight. The rich, the famous, and most envied and honored. National leaders, highly respected lawmakers, leaders of mega churches and religious groups and other social organizations crumble to the dumps on the ground of self-induced failures. Sometimes, the main reason started from a petty curiosity that became a foothold of carnality, which eventually led to a disappointing catastrophe. Man-made failures. They punch a hole into our reputation and diffuse a well-guarded peace in our minds and hearts. Then guilt and depression creep in. Even in these times, my friend, give peace a chance.
Benigno Aquino Jr., a Philippine senator who was exiled in the US, had a dream – to topple the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos, the strongman of Asia. Many Filipinos had the same dream and they believe that “Ninoy”, as the senator was nicknamed, is the political figure that will transport them to the fulfillment of that dream. In August 21, 1983, Ninoy arrived in Manila airport with that dream. Many Filipinos who shared the same dream were in the arrival area with their welcome banners flung and cardboard placards hoisted. The senator was all smiles inside the plane with all the other passengers cheering. Then three uniformed men boarded the plane and escorted Ninoy out of the plane, not through the passage tube, but down the stairs to the tarmac. Few shots were heard from inside the plane, and Ninoy was on the tarmac motionless, lifeless. But on that unfulfilled dream, his widowed wife, Corazon Aquino, took the stand to continue her late husband’s dream. On a snap presidential election, she filed her candidacy, at the support of her husband’s allies, and challenged then president Ferdinand Marcos. The election was allegedly or proven to be wrought with fraud and cheating. And with the help of “People Power”, Corazon Aquino became the first woman president of the country – an icon of democracy. On her thrust for national reconciliation, she says, “Reconciliation should be accompanied by justice, otherwise it will not last. While we all hope for PEACE it shouldn't be PEACE at any cost but PEACE based on principle, on justice.”