IS it sensible to say peace is inevitable? Yes, because peace, and not war, is of God. Peace is what every heart on earth is yearning for. Though it requires great -- and continuing -- work, peace is still the rightful state of affairs among nations. Of course, if you were to listen solely to the rumblings of governments, people, and various competing interests, you might think that anything but peace is coming or truly wanted. But really to understand peace (and the effort required to gain it), we need to look at God and His government. We need to find out more about God's nature and how He governs man.
God's nature is one of unsurpassed love and goodness. He is divine Love itself, and because divine Love is the foundation of God's creation, peace is the natural result. It's one of the fundamental elements in the eternal, spiritual bond between God and man.
Christ Jesus' life stands as the prime example of the way in which God governs man. His meekness and kindness were powerful. He healed fevers, he calmed storms, he quieted angry mobs -- proving beyond question the power of God's love in the government of man. Isn't this why he could say so matter-of-factly, ``My Father worketh hitherto, and I work''?
To me, there is something more that stands out about the peace that Christ Jesus brought. Because it was drawn directly from the reality of God's presence, it was sure and strong, never variable. It was a heavenly peace, not a worldly peace. In the New Testament Gospel of John, Jesus says: ``These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.''
What can we find today in what Christ Jesus said and did that gives us peace? One thing that we find is a radically different idea of man. The conventional idea of mortal personality full of ego and prejudices and rigidity results in a government that degenerates into willful thinking and acting.
But when we glimpse something of the idea that man's genuine self-government comes directly from man's spiritual nature, we see that the created (man) never leaves the loving control of the creator (God). This is government by God -- by divine Truth and Love. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love.''
Beginning to think in this more spiritual way may not bring instant peace to the world. But because it demands honest examination of each one's own thought and heart and individual spiritual growth, the peace that grows is lasting.
Sometimes, people believe -- and for apparently good reasons -- that they have little choice about peace. Either they have it or they don't.... It's all beyond their control. But the spiritual peace that Christ Jesus taught grew from his knowledge of his own individual relationship to God. It was something that he knew to be true between God and himself; it didn't depend on any external circumstances.
This fact can be a place of peace for us, a place we can always take refuge in. Within our growing understanding of spiritual peace, we can practice peace each day. We can build up our understanding of God's law and its government of man. And we can let our love for that law show more in obedience in our own lives. As we do this, we'll find ourselves more and more in a working, spiritual peace -- a peace with teeth that can literally change the world. We'll find ourselves always ready for peace, and nev er looking for its opposite.