by Thomas Kourkoulis

I remember I was in High school when I learned that if I were to take all of recorded history, (say, seven thousand years) and add them all up, I would find that there was approximately ten years or less that peace was on the earth. That means that for the remaining 6,990 years, somewhere, someone was waging war or conquering someone else. It is true to say that peace is not our nature. When Adam and Eve left the garden, they also left that perfect peace. The repercussions would manifest themselves only one generation later, when Cain would kill his brother Able in a plot of jealousy and rage.

The Adamic nature of man is prone not only to conflict and outward violence, but to anxieties. Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:6-7 to: “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 comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Paul is telling us that we can be free from fleshly anxieties, that we can have the “peace that surpasses all comprehension” rule our hearts and minds. Paul says in verse six that in order to have this peace, we must make our requests known to God by: “prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.” In order to do this, we must put our entire faith in Jesus Christ. Total peace requires total faith.

Romans 8:28 gives us a powerful basis for this faith: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” If we are endeavoring to walk in a way that is Godly, then every circumstance we encounter is designed by the Lord to conform us into His image. He has made a way for us to have peace in our hearts and our minds in the face of life’s seemingly impossible circumstances.

Luke 8:22-25 contains the dramatic story of Jesus calming the storm:
“Now it came about on one of {those} days, that He and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, ‘Let us go over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended upon the lake, and they {began} to be swamped and to be in danger.

And they came to Him and woke Him up, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

Here again we find the need to put our faith in Christ by His question to the disciples. Jesus’ ability to sleep through the storm, (and to also calm it!) had nothing to do with His Godliness, it had everything to do with His absolute faith and trust in the Father. Jesus had such faith in the Father that the resulting peace simply blew the disciples minds, as evidenced by their last statement. Mind blowing peace!

Abraham, who’s faith Paul states in Romans 4:3 was “reckoned to him as righteousness,” was the one whom the Lord chose to father the nation of Israel. Hebrews makes mention of him as a person who was looking for a city whose architect and builder was God.

We Can Live There!

In ancient cultures, and in some cultures today, where you were from was considered just as important as what your name was. Abraham was called by God to leave his home, and follow Him to a place Abraham knew nothing about. On the way to this new country, Abraham has the following encounter with Melchizedek in Genesis 14:17-20. This story dramatically shows us that we can abide in peace when we put our faith in Christ Jesus.

“Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ And he gave him a tenth of all.”

In Hebrews 7:1-3, Paul expounds greatly on this meeting. Giving us a dramatic look at the character and very nature of the Lord Jesus:

“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all {the spoils}, was first of all, by the translation {of his name}, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he abides a priest perpetually.”

Paul also makes mention in Hebrews that Jesus is not a priest of the order of Aaron, but of Melchizedek, “king of peace.” How would you like to have lived in a city whose name means “Peace,” ruled by one whose name means “King of Righteousness!” Just like Abraham put his faith in God, looking for a city that was fashioned by Him, we must also put our faith in the Lord Jesus. We can allow His kingdom of peace to invade our hearts and rule our lives no matter what may happen circumstantially. The Lord has opened up a way for us to continually abide in the peace He will put into our hearts if we will but put our faith in Jesus. Keep fixing your eyes on His Kingdom, the Eternal Kingdom, a city that He Himself built. We truly are citizens of Peace.

Copyright 2014