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Council Letter: May - June 2021

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Council Letter

May - June 2021

It sounds a lot like our daily news! Very little news coverage focuses on anything positive and as a result, many people feel unsettled, anxious or stressed. They struggle to maintain peace and calm in their lives.

Could it be that we don’t understand that peace is not merely the absence of conflict? That peace does not depend upon what is happening around us? That the peace God wants us to have, is possible even in the midst of conflict? It is unconditional; we can be at peace regardless of what may be happening in our lives.

On the night that Jesus was crucified, He told His disciples that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to dwell in them, to teach them all things and bring into remembrance all that Jesus taught. Then He said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
American King James Version×
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Jesus’ did not say that they would have lives without conflict. What He said was that the peace from God exists regardless of the circumstances of their lives. He said it has nothing to do with what is going on in the world, in fact later on He also told them there will be tribulation, but they should still have peace (John 16:33 John 16:33These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
American King James Version×
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What is the key to having true peace in our lives? Psalms 85:10 Psalms 85:10Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
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holds a key for us, “Righteousness and peace have kissed.” Can you think of a more beautiful, intimate description of what is necessary to have peace in our lives? The word “kissed” is used here as a metaphor to describe the closely-knit connection of these two attributes.

The words righteousness and peace are frequently united in the Scriptures. For example, the Kingdom of God is described as, “not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit . . . Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Romans 14:17 Romans 14:17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×
, 19).

Peace that can be disrupted by news headlines, a hurtful comment, a health trial or angry coworker is not true peace. That “peace” is conditional upon having no conflict in our lives. If we think peace will come only when all our problems or frustrations are solved, then we will never experience true peace.

True peace comes from having a right relationship with God; the Holy Spirit is our Helper in this regard. Peace starts with a change within ourselves. The apostle Paul wrote, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6 Romans 8:6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
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). He also wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 Philippians 4:6-7 [6] Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×
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Jesus said that the cure for being overly anxious in this life is to, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×
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The peace that God wants us to have is not affected by what is going on in the world around us! The pursuit of peace, requires the pursuit of righteousness, because “righteousness and peace have kissed.”