How can I find Peace?

In 1973 Nick Lowe wrote a song which was originally meant as a joke but by the time he finished it he knew it was speaking a message which would impact generations to come. It was sung by Elvis Costello in 1979 and Curtis Stigers in 1992 for the film The Bodyguard and Bill Murray’s film Lost in Translation in 2003.

He wrote it from the angle of an old hippie who in the early 70’s saw people leaving that lifestyle to a more cynical one scorning his world that he was desperately holding on to.

As I walk through this wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity
I ask myself, “Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred and misery?”

And each time I feel like this inside
There’s one thing I wanna know
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?

The point being there isn’t anything funny about it.

It’s strange how my mind thinks of such songs early in the morning!

I mention the song because of the following words of the Apostle:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 4-7)

Why did I think of the song?

  • You can find contentment in a cynical world.

Isn’t it bizarre that we are told to Rejoice? Twice!

It’s the last thing we want to hear right now isn’t it? 2020 has been a horrible year. How can we rejoice in the pandemic? We have lost so much this year. Wherever we turn we hear voices of despair. The voices of hope are challenged instantly, wrestled to the ground and stifled for the world loves bad news and laughs at those who sing about peace, love and understanding.

However, the person who challenges us to rejoice is the Apostle who is in prison not knowing if he will be released or beheaded. What did he mean?

The word is also used in the gospels when the soldiers mocked Jesus ‘Hail King of the Jews’ (Mark 15:18). Caesar was ‘celebrated’ (the Message uses this word) as the ‘son of god’ who brought peace to the Empire. It could well be that Paul is telling the Philippians to hail, celebrate Christ and not Caesar.

Even if your whole world is looking negatively in a certain direction make sure you are focusing on Christ. Choose to celebrate Christ, rejoice in Him and hail Him.

  • You don’t have to waste energy on entitlement

The NIV uses the word gentle. The ESV ‘reasonableness’ and the ISV ‘your gracious attitude’. The word means ‘gentle, mild, forbearing, fair, reasonable, moderate.’ It is to be satisfied with what is less than what is rightfully yours. We live in a world where people are chasing their dreams and their rights and who look down on those who are singing about peace, love and understanding. The spirit of entitlement is prevalent in the Church as much as out. We came out of the womb hands clenched demanding what is ours and we gradually go into the grave doing the same. Where do you want to put your energy? Do you need to win every fight? Do you need to stand up for yourself? Really?

  • You can find a way from your weariness.

How much time do we spend thinking on how to get through our difficulties?

Paul says your best thought is never enough. He encourages us to pray with thanksgiving. Usually intercessors are singing about peace, love and understanding and it is they who have it.

So let’s not waste energy but find contentment through taking everything to God in prayer.

So where are the strong and who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony, sweet harmony?

‘Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away
Just makes me wanna cry
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?

2 Replies to “How can I find Peace?”

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