November 29, 2005


Philippians 4:4-9

The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts ... Philippians 4:7


Everyone seems to be searching for peace. Married couples try to find peace in the hope of healing their distressed marriages. Broken families try to find peace by making time to get together. Friends who have become enemies want to be at peace with each other. National leaders spend much of their efforts trying to get warring factions to commit to peace again. It seems that everybody cries for peace, but there is none. Paul tells us there is peace available in Christ Jesus. It's a peace that transcends all understanding. We see so little of it in our broken world. Perhaps we see so little of it because we're looking for the wrong kind of peace. Remember that Jesus himself said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled" (John 14:27). Maybe that's the problem of so many who are seeking peace today. They are looking for peace without the Peacemaker! Paul had a lot of conflict and difficulty in his own life, yet he had peace in Christ. This peace involves a sense of wholeness and assurance that God is in control, no matter the circumstances. Peace rules in our inner life when we know that we belong to God, that his grace has pardoned our sins, and that we are living within God's will for our lives--all because of Jesus!

Holy Peacemaker, enter our hearts, our relationships, and our communities with the peace that only you can give. Keep us in your peace. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Howard Vanderwell

Rev. Howard Vanderwell was involved in pastoral ministry in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, serving as a pastor in Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. Upon retirement in 2002, he began his work at Calvin Seminary, where he helped train the ministers of the next generation. Howard and his wife, Eleanor, were married for 57 years and had three married sons and ten grandchildren.

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