Hilarion “Chidi” Ihezuoh is an ordained minister with Mosaic Conference and an associate pastor with Los Angeles Faith Chapel in Los Angeles, California. He just finished his first year as a master of divinity student at Fresno Pacific University. Chidi graduated from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s Journey Missional Leadership Development Program. Back home in Nigeria, Chidi was involved in prison ministry and evangelism.
Peace is knowing that the Lord of the universe is by our side and resting on that knowledge. Peace is sitting in God’s closeness and knowing that God is around us, no matter what happens in this world. When Jesus was with his disciples and the windstorm was raging, the disciples were terrified, and our caring Jesus responded and rebuked the wind. He said to the sea, “Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39 KJV).
Peace is knowing that God is in control and will fight for you, and you will hold your stillness. The way to perfect peace is found in those whose mind is focused on God and who have trust in God. (Isaiah 26:3). In Galatians 5:22, Paul wrote that peace is a fruit of the Spirit; it is a spiritual requirement for your inward mind that connects you to the Holy Spirit.
The Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, Article 22 states, “We believe that peace is the will of God. God created the world in peace, and God’s peace is most fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world. Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance even in the face of violence and warfare.” Furthermore, humanity introduced violence into the world, opposing God’s plan for peace. Prophets and other messengers of God continued to emphasize the importance of peace over war. The fullness of the peace of God is manifested in Jesus Christ. By his death and resurrection, he destroyed death and gave us peace with God.
Peace in the Scriptures is the absence of war or chaos. The world is surrounded with so much unrest, but the Prince of Peace is our Lord, Jesus Christ. The God we serve “maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth” (Psalm 46:9 KJV). Today, as we look around the world, we pray that the Prince of Peace, upon whose shoulders the government of this world lies, will cause the war-ravaging nations to cease and release peace into the world. The commentary on the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, Article 22 states, “Peace is more than the absence of war; it includes the restoration of right relationship.”
The restoration of relationship is in three classes according to the commentary on Article 22, which are listed as follows: 1. Human relations 2. Peace among nations 3. Peace with God’s creation.
Following peace with all people in our community is an important feature in the Bible. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrew 12:14 KJV). Every Christian that desires to enter the kingdom of God is required to follow peace with all people in this world of betrayal, offense and bitterness. The right relationship with humanity will make God speak peace unto his people (Psalm 85:8). Peace of the nation is of concern to God, and the psalmist commands us to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: that they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces” (Psalm 122:6-7 KJV). We, as missionaries, pastors, prophets, apostles and teachers, continue to pray for the peace of God in our world.
The utmost peace is having a right relationship with God.
Peace is preached and revealed by Jesus. This begins in salvation and is achieved as we continue to preach the gospel. Isaiah 52:7 (KJV) says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” We are to publish peace as we continue to draw people to salvation. The peace of God is not of this world and is far beyond any trouble the world present.
Peace is more than the absence of war; it includes the restoration of right relationships — human relations, peace among nations and, most important, peace with God’s creation. God created the world in peace, and God’s peace is fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world. We are called to publish God’s peace through the preaching and publishing of salvation to the world.
Today, and every day, I greet you all with the last words of Jesus to his disciples in John 20:26, “Peace be unto you” (KJV). Also, I will encourage you to always “smile,” for in the words of Mother Teresa, “Peace begins with a smile.”
The views and opinions expressed in this blog belong to the author and are not intended to represent the views of the MC USA Executive Board or staff.