Only God Gives True Peace

Peace sign. Image source Wikimedia

Peace sign. Image source Wikimedia

My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful,î John 16:33. To many people, the answer is obvious judging from the high level of poverty and insecurity in our country. We all crave to live a peaceful and fulfilled life. Unfortunately, every civilization has known little peace owing to incessant human conflicts born out of the need to conquer and control new frontiers and the scarce natural resources.

Here in Nigeria, peace is gradually becoming an elusive commodity. Many people now run from pillar to post trying to safeguard their lives, their loved ones and properties. Thousands of misplaced persons are now living away from their homes as refugees. Many more are at a loss on where to go to for safety in these trying periods characterised by terrorism, armed robbery, kidnapping and other negative vices. All these can easily rob us of our peace of mind.

As Christians, what should be our attitude to all these challenges? How can we get over these and emerge stronger and better? Is there any sign of peace ahead of us? For those with spiritual insight, it is obvious that we are dealing with agents of darkness that are bent on wrecking the ship of the state. The sponsors, who are obviously very rich and highly connected by all standards, have capitalised on the alarming state of unemployment and disenchantment in the land to recruit a group of frustrated youths, who have been brainwashed into sacrificing their lives for a cause they believed would earn them some rewards. How disappointed they would be, when, on reaching the other side, they discover they had been deceived.

While evil forces are busy fueling the ember of violence, we have given them a leeway to do just that by our actions and inactions. We have failed to stand up and act, when it was glaring that equal rights and justice was being trampled upon in our country.

What should be our attitude to all these, as followers of Christ? Christianity is a journey and it is not a very rosy one. We encounter so many thorns on the way that we feel like giving up altogether. How do you explain a belief system that tells you to turn the other cheek, when someone slaps your face, or to love and forgive those who kill and maim us? For the average person, these may not sound realistic, but for a true believer, all things are possible through Jesus Christ.

The truth is that there can never be lasting peace in this world. Your money cannot give you lasting peace. Your wife and children cannot bring you lasting peace. You can travel to every nook and cranny of the world and yet discover that nowhere is truly safe. Alcohol and drugs are not the solutions. What then? True and lasting peace can only be found in God and it begins in your inner self. We all need to move closer to God and mend our ways, while also praying for President Buhari in his effort to rid our country of corruption.

Most importantly, we can only realise our yearning for peace, if we begin to obey Godís laws and become receptive to His teachings. ìHe will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His path,î (Micah 4:2).

Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.

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