Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. (Psalm 85:8-10)
Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice, of law, of order—in short, of government. (Albert Einstein, On Peace)
Righteousness and peace are intimately connected. We see this in every dimension of society: from the upper echelons of government to every citizen’s daily challenge to contribute to the harmony of his neighborhood. Where there is order, and when people’s hearts are united within that order, peace has a fertile place to grow. Where there is disorder, peace has a very low chance of being prominent on any large scale.
As human beings created by God, our order, our government primarily stems from God himself, impressed on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The name of this government is the Kingdom:
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:7)
Our own earthly governments are just a shadow of God’s government, and while we may achieve some level of peace here in our nations, peace’s ultimate fulfillment is found in the Kingdom of God. That being said, we can do much to bring peace to the world around us if we live from God’s heart and establish justice in our earthly systems.
We must be secure in our own morality, even when society does not agree. We cannot control society or popular opinion, but we can influence. God’s ways are always going to be better than any lesser ways. Demonstrating the merit of those values and practices, practically, scientifically, psychologically and sociologically, will go a long way to promoting peace in our world.
Living our lives individually and collectively in right standing with God, bearing the fruit of self-control, love and peace in community through the gospel: it is all a witness, a vision of hope, a gift to the world around us. We demonstrate love in relationship, and forgiveness within conflict. We get to show the world that the Kingdom works, in whatever context we’ve been placed.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”–Matthew 5:9