Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 2, 2012

Finding Peace in 2012 Part 1, by David Bower

Was Hegel Right?

As we start 2012 it seems as if the world around us is in ever increasing turmoil and strife; regardless of where one looks there seem to be endless stories of anger, discord, and misery. In addition to the usual problems there is now the thought that the world will end in 2012. It occurs to some of us to long for simpler times when the world was a more peaceful and contented place but is this longing based on fact or fancy?

I’m reminded of Hegel’s observation on experience and history: “What experience and history teach is this–that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.” This has been paraphrased and simplified by commentators to read: “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”

The more history I read the more I’m convinced that our experience today may not differ all that much from the experiences of earlier generations. Certainly the details have changed but the underlying principles seem to have changed very little or none at all.

A Better World for Our Children and Grandchildren?

As I look at my grandchildren I wonder what kind of world they will have in which to live out their lives? I feel a sadness that we, as their elders, couldn’t have done better and left them a happier, more peaceful world.

When I think back to how the world was when I was their age I realize that the world was not a happier, more peaceful place at that time either. I grew up during the Great Depression which was followed by the Second World War and as a young man served in the military during the Korean War.

Actually one can roll the calendar back endlessly and never find that ideal time of world-wide happiness and peace; this is a dream, a worthy dream but only a dream. True, there may have been isolated moments of happiness and peace but these were surely of a transitory nature.

Peace Within

Although circumstantial peace and happiness would be nice, inner peace and happiness would be even nicer; fortunately it is this superior form of peace and happiness that is offered to God’s children. It is freely available to all of God’s children who decide to live life in accordance with God’s instructions.

If peace is so elusive in our troubled world, where then must one look in hopes of finding some sort of peace? The answer to that very important question comes, as you probably suspected, from the Bible.

We live our lives in a sin cursed world that is filled with rebellion against God; without God’s help there is no hope of finding peace. With God’s help, however, peace is available for the asking.

A Search for Inner Peace

The peace we seek most is an inner peace, a calmness of the spirit that soothes and steadies us. Peaceful surroundings can promote this kind of peace but is no guarantee that this inner peace will appear; I’m sure we have all experienced peaceful conditions in which we have felt very agitated on the inside. This is certainly not the condition that we desire; it is the inner peace that soothes and comforts us for which we yearn, not just a peaceful environment.

What then is the real answer to lasting inner peace? I believe we will find that answer as we examine the gifts God wants to give to His children. We might start by addressing the normal focus for our lives; in II Corinthians 4:8 Paul writes: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

In Part 2 we will examine more about God’s plan for peace in the lives of His children.

 Happy New Year!

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