This is Part 2 of 5 parts answering the question, “Can there be peace in a world filled with suffering?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 3-5 will be posted on successive days.
The Christian Has a Peace the World Doesn’t
The Christian has a peace, because of his relationship with the Lord Jesus. When Jesus went to the cross, He paid the penalty for the sins of the world, reconciling it to God (2 Cor. 5:18-19). However, each person must receive that action for himself. We can compare this to a person on death row who might be pardoned by the governor. The inmate must accept the pardon, or the pardon is considered to be rejected and the execution, therefore, will be completed.
The same is true in the spiritual life. Jesus Christ died for the sins of the entire world (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2), but in order for this action to be applied to an individual, he must first accept the Lord Jesus as His Savior (his Substitute) (2 Cor. 5:21; Jn. 11:25-26). At that moment there is a peace with God, because the genuine faith of this new believer gives him the right to become His child (John 1:1 2). Paul highlighted this, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1 NKJ) This is an unconditional, positional peace with God, because we are in His family. There may be conflict in the relationship because of personal disobedience, which means a loss of Divine fellowship, but the “peace” remains because of the family relationship.
Peace Beyond Understanding
This is why a Christian can have peace when everything around him is falling apart! When the world is full of worries and failures, the Christian can depend on the sovereignty of God and have a calm in the soul, just like in the eye of the hurricane. Paul wrote,
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7 NKJ)
This supernatural peace is beyond worldly understanding. While the world may be flying around him, the Christian is in God’s peace, held in His almighty hands.
Part 3 will be posted tomorrow.