This article was requested to be heard on a radio station with the goal of spreading a message of peace around the world.
This is Roxana Reyes Davis, founder and coordinator of Papito Dios / Father God Children’s Outreach Ministry: A ministry that supports families who care for children that were left orphans due to criminality. Today I would like to share some thoughts related to one of the most needed subjects at this hour: “peace”. Let me share with you the following news:
A young girl was kidnapped from her school, presumably by her sister’s boyfriend.
The 14 year old girl is missing. The accused man affirms that he killed her and left her near the Arkansas river…
A married couple has been together for over 30 years. Both were outstanding at the police department where they were both employed, and on more than one occasion rewarded for their excellent performance. Then one day the husband uses his gun to kill his wife, one bullet in one arm, the other in her head; all this in front of their children ages from 16 to 8.
In the city X, a man driving a white ban, blows himself up inside the car killing 6 people, 8 were badly hurt and remain at the hospital.
One young man was walking on the street after leaving his church and was assaulted by 3 men who took his wallet and his cellular phone. The thieves were assaulting the man when a friend came by. The thieves then ran away. The man survived their attack…
Sounds familiar? Some of this news is from Oklahoma, my home state, other news is from my country, Puerto Rico, still other news from Africa and from Europe. No matter where we are, we are subject to become victims of criminality. We hear about wars and bombings, and if we live far away from the war zones we might think that it could never happen here. Or maybe we might fool ourselves by closing our thoughts to such events. But our world’s reality is right in front of our faces; it is impossible to run away from it.
The result of living bombarded by violent acts and the fear of having to face a criminal creates a sense of despair among us, where there’s no room for peace. How can we, then develop the opposite, hope, peacefulness, and promote kindness? I propose a, perhaps, different view, Jesus’ view.
Jesus warned his disciples (us) of the times where we were going to hear rumors of wars, earthquakes, advanced knowledge (science); times when a nation will raise against another nation…(Mathew 24: 6-7)
Yet this same Jesus offers His peace, not like the world’s peace but His kind of peace.
This kind of peace is not subject to our circumstances; it is a matter of our spirit, our mind, our life subject to proclaim The Christ as our Lord and Savior. (Philippians 4:7) We would never be able to control every event in our lives but we can be certain that if we believe in Jesus, we will experience His peace and His joy in our hearts.
What happens when someone truly serves God through Jesus? We will be able to see changes (what the Bible calls: a New creature) and one of those changes is the capacity to experience hope in the midst of adversity. Jesus, in one of His most famous sermons affirms that those that are peacemakers are blessed (happy) because they will be called the children of God. (Mathew 5:9)
A peacemaker is not a super-natural being but a regular person that has committed himself/herself to develop self-control guided by the Holy Spirit. At some point in our lives we are going to feel angry, the Word of God tells us:
"In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry…” (Ephesians 4:26)
Meaning not to allow our angry feelings to take over our heart, to ask God and our fellow brothers and sisters to forgive us. Peacemaking has to start in my own life, spread to others in my own home, and from there, spread it over my community, my country, our World.
When we depend on the strength that only Jesus gives, we are able to forgive those that hurt us, we are able to do good to others, we become better listeners, slower to speak after hearing an insult, and eager to show kindness to others even if they can’t reply by doing us any favors.
An old church song used to say that Jesus didn’t promise us a sun, talking about having a perfect life without burdens but He did promise His peace, and to be with us every day until the end. This is what the Bible tells us:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
(See: John 16:33)
I dare to ask you: Can we be brave enough to proclaim peace while we see so much violence in our World? I hope many of you out there can commit yourselves to say that
if Jesus is our peace, peace we’ll proclaim in such a time as this.
Let me leave you with the following Bible verses and wish all of you: peace in the mist of our time…
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)