MERIDIAN — "Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." —John 16:32-33 (NKJV)
This is Memorial Day weekend. This holiday is set aside for us to recognize the ultimate sacrifice made by those in military conflict. Each year, we dream of the future being a time of peace. Yet, each Memorial Day finds our nation in some conflict in the world with lives in harm’s way.
The scripture, John 16:32, 33 is part of the last conversation Jesus had with his disciples prior to his arrest and crucifixion. Notice that Jesus speaks of a peace in the midst of conflict. Jesus foretells that a coming conflict will cause all disciples to forsake Jesus.
Notice the reason he warns them of the coming conflict. Jesus says that he has spoken these things that they may have peace! This is a confusing goal. If someone wants to give another peace, they usually will speak of a time without conflict. But, peace is more than the absence of conflict.
Peace is a settled spirit when we realize everything is under control. That is why Jesus can say, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
As long as we are in this world we will face problems and threats. But, the calming factor in every situation is that Jesus has conquered the world. When MacArthur signed the peace treaty with Japan on the battleship, Missouri, people celebrated the end to World War II.
When Jesus sealed our forgiveness with His blood on Calvary, everyone should celebrate the end of any conflict between us and God. The only action left in both declarations of peace is going home!
On this Memorial Day Weekend, celebrate the peace that comes from above!
Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www. psdbc.org.