When Bertrand Russell was on his deathbed, he asked his wife, Edith Finch, to embrace him and he said, “My love, I’ve been searching for peace all my life, but I’ve never found it except in your arms.”
It sounds quite romantic, but it also surprises those who know him as one of the greatest peacemakers of the 20th century and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
The great peacemaker said he has never found peace except in his wife’s arms, and if you know Bertrand Russell, you know that this is his fourth wife.
This was a great disappointment for those who looked up to him, as a model atheist, to see if human beings can find peace and happiness outside of faith in Christ, ever since he authored “Why I am not a Christian,” which became the Bible of atheism and agnosticism, at least to some extent.
Russell also authored a short but famous book “The Conquest of Happiness,” in which he wrestled philosophically with the issues that make us unhappy and those that do.
Peace is one of the most sought-after wisdoms of life.
I did a search on Amazon for books on peace and I got over 50,000 results.
The fact that there are so many books on this subject means peace is a big business.
We live in this stormy sea of suffering and everyone wants to reach out for a straw that might keep them afloat.
Without peace, there’s no happiness.
The question is, how do we find peace in this stormy sea of suffering?
The scripture lesson today has an interesting verse.
Jesus is saying that the peace he gives us is different from what the world could give us.
This explains why people search for peace elsewhere will never find peace at the end.
Jesus left his peace with us.
His peace is the peace allows him to stand still in the strongest storms of life.
His peace is the peace that allows him to forgive people when suffering the most excruciating pain of crucifixion.
The Bible provides us five secrets to peace.
I organized them for you in a mnemonic acrostic using, PEACE.
1. Pray About Everything.
P is for Pray About Everything.
The Bible says, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
(Php 4:6–7) Notice it says “everything.”
You pray about everything.
For the things that you messed up in the past, pray for the forgiveness of sins.
For the things that you worry about in the future, pray for guidance.
For the things that you are happy about, pray to give thanks.
It says, when you do that, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds.”
Life is full of things to worry about, but most 90% of the things we worry about never happened.
The rest of the 10% of the things we worry about are beyond our control, so it is meaningless to worry about the things we cannot change.
So, spend the time for worry in prayer and you will have peace.
Pray about everything.
2. Entertain Beauty.
E is for Entertain Beauty.
The Bible says, “Finally beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Php.
I summarize all these things listed here with the word “beauty.”
You go to the Broadway to entertain beauty.
You go to the parks to entertain beauty.
You read the Bible, to entertain beauty.
You listen to music, to entertain beauty.
Last year I spend the spring season going around taking pictures of flowers.
You might have seen them on my Facebook.
When I zoom in to take a close up shot of a flower, I begin to see the beauty that I’ve never seen before.
Some of them are just breathtakingly beautiful.
They amaze you about God’s handiwork.
You see God’s fingerprints in them.
Entertaining beauty makes you think about what God can do for you instead of what this world can destroy you.
Jesus said, “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you?” (Matthew 6:30).
So, entertain beauty.
Think about the things that are true and don’t think about the things that are untrue.
Think about the things that are honorable, and don’t think about the things that are honorable.
Think about the things that are just, and don’t think about the things that are unjust.
So on, and you will discover that the God peace will be with you.
3. Accept God’s Gift of Peace.
A is for Accept God’s Gift of Peace.
Before Jesus left for the cross, he said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.”
(Jn 14:27a) Peace is a gift, and since it is a gift, all you need to do is to accept it and claim it.
One of the reasons that we don’t have peace is because we look for it in the wrong places.
We think money can give peace, so we try to find ways to accumulate money.
Barbara Walter was interviewing Jim Carry some time back.
Jim Carry talked about how poor he was when he started out in Hollywood, and how he worked hard to because so successful.
Barbara asked him, “So, now you have a lot of money.
Are you happy?” Jim Carry laughed and said, “Anyone who thinks money can make him happy has not yet have money.”
In the same way, I can say that anyone who thinks procession, power, and prestige can bring peace is just delusional.
The good news is the true peace is not so hard to get.
All you have to do is to accept it as God’s gift, and you will be able to experience peace.
King David says, “I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O LORD, make me lie down in safety.”
4. Conquer Your Fear
C is for Conquer Your Fear
We have fear when we feel weak and don’t have someone to guide or guard us.
In another word, we have fear when we don’t have the presence of God because in such times, we are like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus knew that his disciples would be afraid after he left.
That’s why he said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
He wants them to understand that even though he is no longer physically with them, he is with them spiritually.
He said, in verse 23, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
It says God will make his home with you.
Do you want it?
I’m sure you do.
If God is with you, you will be able to say like King David, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me.” (Ps 23:4a).
How do you have the presence of God?
It says, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
The key here is to love Jesus.
How do love Jesus?
By keeping his word.
When you keep his word, God will love you and both God and Jesus will make their home with you.
You will have peace because the God of peace will be with you.
5. Emulate The Saints
E is for Emulate The Saints
We don’t have enough time in our life to learn everything we need to learn.
One of the shortcuts to grow faster is to emulate those who has been there and done that.
That’s why the Apostle Paul said, “Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Php 4:9) He said, “Hey, look at me and learn from me.
Do as I do because I learned from Jesus and I do as he did.”
When you read the Bible, you learn from the saints—King David, Moses, Joseph, Paul, Peter, the Apostles, and so on, and of course Jesus, our ultimate model of peace.
You can also learn from the saints outside of the Bible.