From the foundation of this world, there has been one crisis or the other between two parties i.e. people, tribes, nations etc. In fact, one of the first fought wars was as a result of Lucifer’s rebellion against God before he was cast out of heaven.
Throughout the Old Testament, there were different types of conflicts. These included: the territorial conquest (Israel-Jericho, Judges 10:8), Regime alteration (by all Ishmael, Samuel 15), Boarder dispute (Abraham and King David, 2 Samuel 15:1-2, 17:24-26, 18:9-18), Civil war (the kingdom of Israel war; 1 Kings 12:16-24).
The list above shows one thing: whatever form of conflict we are experiencing now it had been witnessed in the time of old. This clearly confirms what the bible says about nothing new happening.
Now to our contemporary world, we have also witnessed a great number of conflicts, crises or wars. Some of the very prominent ones are the first World War (1914-1919) Second World War (1939-1945), the Gulf War ( 1991, 2003) the American Independence War (1775- 1783), The American Civil War (1861- 1865), The Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970), the Vietnam War (1954- 1975), the Fork Land War (1987). The Rwandan Genocide (1994), the Yugoslavian War (1994), The Apartheid Years etc. These events have always left a nasty and unforgettable experience in the minds of people.
To avoid this kind of experience, many have considered an option against war. This, they have referred to as Peace. This peace they have defined as not only the absence of conflict but the presence of justice. Unfortunately though, this peace is always being sought for after every conflict, crises or war. And justice? I don’t want to talk about it.
As such, several organizations and bodies have been set up to always prevent war and to administer peace to warring factions. These include African Union, European Union, NATO, ECOWAS and United Nations and so on. They have been functioning ever since their formations but how far have they gone in achieving the purpose for which they were formed is worth considering. Have they really been able to prevent war, administer and maintain peace and justice?
Many times after religious crises in Northern Nigeria where Christians are massacred, you find them ranting and raving that we can never live in peace unless we, (Christian and Muslims) are separated. Have you as a Christian ever thought of that as the solution to peace in this wicked and perverse generation? If the Christian-dominated South is separated form Muslim-dominated North, do you think peace will reign in Nigeria? What kind of peace are you talking about? Can you define it? What ever made you think there can be peace in this world?
Do the frequent crisis, wars and blood-letting amongst clans, hamlets and villages signify anything to you? What about the armed robbery attacks on luxury buses especially in the South? Do they speak forth any meaning to you? For Christ sake, these are a group of people with the same ancestral lineage; yet they kill each other. What about communal clashes over land in Nigeria, Catholics and Protestants clashes in Ireland; Muslim and Hindu crises in India etc? They are people of the same nation yet they go to war with each other leaving me to often wonder what if they were of different nations. Even in the peace administering United Nations Organization, the member countries still go to war: United States and Iraq; Iran and Iraq; USA and Vietnam; USSR and Afghanistan; England and Argentina, Israel and the Arab nations etc. You can see here that peace has hardly ever been administered politically.
One soothing (?) thing about this is that, it is not only this generation that has sought peace politically. Even the Jews when Jesus Christ came, did the same thing. They saw that God was with Him and so they concluded that the messiah was going to restore the kingdom of Israel back to the Jews.
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1: 6.
They saw Jesus as the king foretold by prophet Isaiah but in a different light. They desired a Jew to be ruler over them instead of a Roman (the same way many of us sought for a Christian Head of State in Nigeria). The prophesy of Isaiah in 9: 6-7 was talking about an everlasting peace and kingdom. Christ’s kingship and peace is spiritual which was why he rejected their desire to make him their (earthly, political) King. The King and the ruler of this world is the devil himself.
Jesus was speaking to his disciples and said,” 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.” John 14:27. Note that Christ said’…the world.’ This world belongs to the devil which is why peace normally brokered most of the time is flawed.’
Come to think of it, we have witnessed a lot of peace treaties like the Abuja Peace Accord, the Geneva Peace Convention. Camp David Peace Accord, Accra Peace Talk etc. How many of these have been kept to the letter? Very few, if any at all. So why do we still run after this type of peace; neglecting the right type- the peace of Jesus Christ. This is dangerous because in like manner will many be deceived by the great ruler foretold in the book of Revelations. He will promise the world the peace he will never ever be able to give.
Let’s see the contrast between Jesus’ peace and the peace of this world. The peace of Jesus Christ is ever-lasting, ever present and ever-satisfying. There is a great calm experienced within once you are in agreement with him. This contrast seriously with that of the world which is for a moment, always sought
after and always with a clause that is not always accepted by all parties. Jesus peace is never sought for after a crisis but is always there before, during and after a crisis. Why is this so? Simple, it dwells within anyone that has Christ as his’ or her master. If you cannot have peace within you will always experience crisis and feel disturbed by events going on around you.
In your seeming distressed situation caused by sickness, poverty, unemployment, marital crisis and natural disasters, this type of peace calms you without and iota of doubt. This peace is everlasting in the sense that it does not last here on earth but translated to eternity with Jesus. Another important thing is that it is easy to arrive at this peace because a uni-lateral decision by a single individual guarantees it. When you have this kind of peace you do not worry about the economy of your adopted nation (because as a Christian, you are a citizen of heaven). You do not mind those that are persecuting you, you care less about the wars and rumors of wars. All you will concentrate on is your work for God and how to reach out and win souls for Christ.
I laugh when after a crisis, Christians say Nigeria must be separated for peace to reign and also when we proffer solutions to improve the economy and better the lives of citizens. Get this clear, God did not put you in Northern Nigeria by accident. If you think you were, relocate at once. The bible says that brothers will rise up against each other. Even in your local government, your relatives will make war with you. About the economy, the book of Revelation makes us to understand that things will only get worse on earth till rapture takes place and as you read further, you will notice that after rapture, things will get even worse at a faster rate for seven years before the Prince of Peace returns.
Finally there will be peace after the great battle where good will over come evil and Jesus will reign on earth for a thousand years. Brethren, you and I may not be around at that time so why don’t we stop expecting the people of this wicked and deceiving world to give us peace.
Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Brethren, what are we looking for in a place where the Prince of peace has said that we can only have trouble? Is it that we do not understand the statement or we have just refused to heed? Why are we searching desperately for a (political) peace that we will never find? Is this not like looking in a dark room for a black cat that isn’t there? Surely we will never find it.
Peace is only found in Jesus Christ. If you need peace of mind from the happenings in this world, turn to Christ today and that peace will be yours.