If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:18 ESV
During World War II, the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945, which marked the first use of atomic weapons in war. The atomic bomb killed 80,000 people immediately in Hiroshima, and 40,000 in Nagasaki. Tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure. Now, the Russians have been threatening to use nuclear weapons in their war against Ukraine. As a comparison, the atomic bomb that killed around 146,000 people in Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II, was 15 kilotons. Russia's largest strategic weapons are thought to be at least 800 kilotons. Half of the world’s population would die immediately if Russia and NATO nations engage in a nuclear war. The remaining people would probably die of radiation exposure. Thus, it is in the best interest of all the citizens of this planet to pray for peace and promote peace.
World peace is not a luxury or a political ideal. It is fundamental for the survival of humanity. But before we can talk about world peace, every individual must seek peace with self and with others. In today’s text, Paul exhorts us to do everything possible to live at peace with everyone. This may sound idealistic, but it is necessary and fundamental to our spirituality. Hebrews 12:14, calls us to “strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
God is the author of peace, and He expects us to cultivate a life of peace. As more and more nations are working to build nuclear bombs, we need an atomic bomb of peace to be dropped in every area where there is military conflict. At the nucleus of such a bomb are prayer and love. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God promised to heal the land from the darkness that engulfs it. This same God can heal the world from military aggression and bring world armies to their knees so peace can prevail.
Most people do not realize the role they play in promoting and securing world peace. Governments are empowered by individual citizens who authorize selected leaders to make decisions on behalf of a nation. Individual citizens have the power and authority to push forth an agenda of peace at the national level so it can become an international movement. Every vote we cast at the local level should be done with peace in mind. We must hold political leaders accountable for the sake of peace. Otherwise, we are endangering the future of our planet.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with those in your household, at your place of employment, in your neighborhood, and in your local church. This is a good way to live peaceably with all and to begin a peace movement. I’m tired of the aggression, the bloodshed, the destruction, and the hostility that have become the norm in our society. These days it seems people are more apt to reach for their guns to deal with conflict instead of finding peaceful means to address their differences.
Most of us need to stop feeding the lion within us and start feeding our internal lamb so we can have peace with ourselves and others. Gandhi and Martin Luther King taught us to fight injustice and inequality nonviolently so peace can still prevail. If everyone would find nonviolent means to solve their differences the world would not have to worry about nuclear war.
For the sake of our children, we need to speak the language of peace and be more intentional about praying for peace. God has a special blessing for peacemakers. It is time for the people of God to rise to the challenge we face with the threat of nuclear war that is upon us by standing for peace and living peaceably with others. The alternative is unimaginable and unacceptable for us all.
Questions for Personal Reflection
How can you help promote peace in your community and the world?
Why is prayer so critical for world peace?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I am praying for your peace to overwhelm the world. Lord, as the world is being threatened with nuclear war, I need your help in becoming an agent of peace. Please teach me how to live peaceably with all no matter the challenge I face. May your peace saturate my heart, my home, my city, and my church. I pray for political leaders who represent me and other citizens in my city, state, and country to prioritize peace over warfare.