Summary: Even in a world filled with turmoil you can find peace if you know where to look for it.
HOW TO HAVE PEACE IN A WORLD OF TURMOIL
Everyone is seeking peace. Go to any part of the world and you will find people searching for peace. It may be world peace they are seeking—like the summits between the United States and the other superpowers. They may be seeking peace between nations--like in the Middle East. It may be much more personal. They may be seeking peace in their own family.
But, even beyond these there is another kind of peace that everyone is seeking—inner peace. We want to be at peace within ourselves. Inner conflicts and turmoil can become like ancient tortures to our soul. If we could speak to suicide victims after they had taken their life they would say, “I was in such inner anguish and turmoil I could not stand it any longer. I did not want to live another day like this.”
Books are sold by the millions each year promising inner peace. These books are promising a way to find inner peace where there is inner turmoil.
Today, in the words of Jesus as He is dying on the cross, we see the key to true peace.
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT." Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent." 48 And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. 49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things. (Luke 23:44-49)
Did you see it? In the last words Jesus spoke before His death we have the answer to our inner conflicts and turmoil. “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Let’s examine these words of Jesus and discover the key to having peace in a world filled with turmoil.
The first key to having inner peace is to have peace with God. You can never have true lasting inner peace until you are first at peace with God. In these last words of Jesus we see His peace with God as He addresses Him as Father. Through the Gospels Jesus has called God His Father. With this word of familial closeness, Jesus is stressing His oneness and communion with God.
The significance of this can be seen when we reconstruct His six hours on the cross. After being scourged by the soldiers, they nailed Him to the cross. At this time He prays “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” His communion and fellowship with God is still intact. He maybe at war with man but He is at peace with God.
After experiencing men’s hatred for three hours, the sky darkens and God pours forth His holy anger over our sins upon Jesus. As Jesus becomes sin for us there is a break in His peace with God. He is experiencing for the first time the full wrath of Holy God. There is a separation between Him and the Father as He is smitten of God and afflicted, as He is pierced through for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, and the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him. At the height of this spiritual agony Jesus exclaims, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Notice, Jesus does not say “My Father” but “My God.” I believe this shows the separation, the break in the communion between Himself and the Father. While He is experiencing the full fury of God’s holy anger, He is not at peace with the Father.
Then when Jesus had fully paid the price for our sins—made the atoning sacrifice, He is once again at peace with His Father God. In the words of Isaiah 53, “As a result of the anguish of His soul He will see it and be satisfied.” When Jesus had completely satisfied God’s holiness and justice He said, “It is finished!” He had accomplished all that God desired for Him to do. He had perfectly fulfilled the Scriptures. Now He once again calls God, “Father.” He says, “Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit.” Jesus is once again at peace with God. The fellowship has been restored! The communion has been reestablished! The sin barrier has been removed! Jesus is at peace with His Father God!
If we are ever to have true inner peace it must start with being at peace with God. How can you and I have that peace with God that Jesus had? We must first realize as humans born into this human race we are not at peace with God. The Bible says, “There is none righteous no not one.” It says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” God said in Isaiah, “Your sins have caused a separation between you and your God.” Because we have all sinned, we all are under the righteous anger of God. Romans 1:18 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Instead of being at peace with God we are under His Holy anger, His wrath.