LATJ: A Legacy of Peace

19 10 2009

peaceIn his seminal book, “Peace with God”, Billy Graham says this about peace: “One of the characteristics of the Christian is an inward joy that does not depend upon circumstances.” I recall an experience at work from years ago. I was working at a startup company where we had been really hitting it hard for 9 months to develop and release our first product. Throughout that period there had been many challenges, a lot of successes, and some conflicts. Near the final push to get the product out, one of the engineers came into my office and made a very poignant statement. He said to me, “You never seem to get upset or agitated. You always seem to be at peace.” That statement has really stuck with me through the years. It made me realize a couple of things. First, that people were watching. And second, that I was actually witnessing to people by the way that I reacted to situations around me. There should be something different and recognizable about a Christian. I’m not saying that I have it figured out. In fact, I know that I still a have a long way to go. But I am certainly conscious that how I deal with situations is a reflection of the peace that I have in Christ.

In 1873, Horatio Spafford wrote a wonderful hymn in response to overwhelming tragedy in his life. This hymn, “It is Well with My Soul”, begins with a reprise of what it truly means to understand peace.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My life verse is 1 Thes. 5:16-18. I’m not sure if I read this verse before or after I became more at peace, but nevertheless it speaks to a heart that understands the peace that Jesus gave to us:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thes. 5:16-18

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