Aggravated by the lack of inspiration, I finally placed my fingers on the keys of the computer and thought, Just whatever! First thing that comes to mind about blueberries, write it down! You don’t have all day. Then my thoughts were drowned by the wave of words coming from the other room’s TV:
“The world is as angry as it gets…” said President Donald Trump. “…The world is an angry place.”
I write my message today with that in mind. Lately, there is nothing but turmoil, threats of war and loud voices of unhappy people. How can any of us have peace with so much anger?
Well, peace is ours if we believe in Jesus, because peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit, but it’s not peace as the world sees it. In the world’s eyes, peace is a unified circle: everyone sees the same vision, has the same mindset, and shares the same commonalities. To the world, maybe peace is people speaking the same words, feeling the same way, or else minding their own business, submitting or being silenced.
But Jesus Christ admitted he wasn’t bringing peace to the earth. The contrary to that, his teachings tore families apart, brought strife and caused trouble. Ever since the 1st century, the church has been experiencing tumult and genocide. (Did you know that last year alone, 90,000 Christians were killed – one study shows – for their faith?) Christ’s message brings strife, due to the epic battle of wills: for example, a Jew might hear the gospel and become a Christian, creating a problem for his family who remains Jewish, because they do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. Likewise, a Muslim hears the gospel, leaves his religion, and risks the death penalty for being an infidel, so he is hunted, wanted, and forced to run away.
Strife happens in the Christian’s life, because others will react negatively to the idea of “walking with God”. Even so, Christ’s peace can come to you, and be in you, when you understand that God loves you, sacrificed his son to save you, you are his, and so you have no fear of the afterlife. Heaven is yours. This world is not yours. This world belongs to those who walk the path set out before them. Heaven is for those who seek to find the path set out by God, the lamp holders, the pearl merchants, the crucified ones. Ponder on that. If heaven is yours, death cannot harm you, therefore absolutely nothing else is able to harm you either, because no matter how much pain you endure, or how much hate you feel from those who own the world, your soul has purpose.
I must note that when Jesus said he would bring division, he was not condoning violence. God wants us to be peaceful. Otherwise, peace would not be a fruit of the Spirit; Jesus simply means that the gospel will be met with dispute since it “divides soul and spirit” and “judges the thought and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Since nobody wants to hear the Word of God except the ones who want to know God, we should prepare for the worst and hope for the best. In fact, check it out. Jesus told his disciples how to tell their stories to others, and it’s as straightforward as it gets:
“And if the home is indeed trustworthy, let your blessing of peace rest upon it; if not, keep your blessing to yourself. If someone is inhospitable to you or refuses to listen to your testimony, leave that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.” Matthew 10:13-14 (VOICE)
Be peaceful, but be ready for war. Christians face the same challenges today, like they did when first developing the church.
So how is peace like a blueberry? Easy. Fresh blueberries are said by nutritionists to suppress the appetite and help a person feel less hungry. They are blue, rich in fiber and antioxidants, and give the taster a cool, underlying satisfaction, which cannot be duplicated by any other fruit. Even candied blueberries and artificial ones, or ones that are not fresh cannot always duplicate the same taste as a fresh blueberry.
It’s similar with peace. The Spirit’s peace is inward, ethereal, and impossible to receive without faith. Like blueberries with hunger, peace suppresses fear, anger, doubt, and lust. It cools the mind and proves to be a healthy antioxidant for the soul. Consume it as much as possible, and you will find yourself calm, even in the storm.
My personal story with peace: there was one time when I was trying to stop myself from sinning. Much of the time, I sin and have to repent, but this particular time, I actually had the self-control to stop myself from doing the wrong thing. Afterwards, I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and peace, even as my sinful nature was still screaming inside to sin. The two sides were at war. One side said, “DO IT!” The other side said, “You can keep beating this.” After I pushed myself entirely away from the sin, the next day, an almost out-of-body peace overtook me and cooled my mind. For once, no regret! The feeling of overcoming was extraordinary, and I yearn for it to happen again.
Unfortunately, some days sin is too strong and overtakes the will, and peace is forfeit, but the key is to yearn for it, learn from it, and keep inventing ways to have it. The underlying taste of peace keeps us aware of Christ’s love, which is unfailing, and peace is a reminder that nothing in this earthly life can phase you.
“May you have more and more of His loving-favor and peace as you come to know God and our Lord Jesus Christ better.
“He gives us everything we need for life and for holy living. He gives it through His great power. As we come to know Him better, we learn that He called us to share His own shining-greatness and perfect life. Through His shining-greatness and perfect life, He has given us promises. These promises are of great worth and no amount of money can buy them. Through these promises you can have God’s own life in you now that you have gotten away from the sinful things of the world which came from wrong desires of the flesh.”
2 Peter 1:2-4 (NLV)