What is your definition of peace, is it the ability to look out of your window and see no war nearby, the absence of conflict in the surrounding hillsides. Perhaps it is the battle that rages in your own mind, the continuous forces of what you may like to call “good and evil,” attempting to sway your mind to a path that is not conducive with your basic desires.
If you will notice that last statement, “your basic desires,” to which end of the pendulum is your desire, what brings you peace, and why does it not stay. “For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.” (Prov. 4:16) Peace is rest from that which is not rest, that which is not what one would like to consider, it is the absence of conflict, whether it be internal or external. The question then is this, how much of that lost peace do you bring upon yourself, and how much of it is inflicted upon you by others?
Think on this, if you had no cell phone, no internet connection, no television, newspaper, radio, no external information of the condition of the world, would you be at peace, or at least have a greater portion of it, or would you become anxious, would that lack of external information become internal conflict simply because of the lack of information from the outside world.
Many years ago news traveled by foot, and so the community that one lived in was, in a sense, these individual’s world, if no one from outside of that realm, that particular geographical location came into that sphere, what you knew was all that was known about the world, and even then, when someone arrived from outside of that community, their words of the world outside of your community had no way to be verified. Information either causes distress, peace, or is static, such as mathematics, and the way we process that information is the path to either peace or unrest. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Assurance in the Sovereignty of God, is the assurance that “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) The perfect knowledge that “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” (Psalm 91:10)
How much news from the outside world, how much information does it take for you to lose that peace, how close does it have to come to your house, your life, before you do the opposite of Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Before you begin to doubt Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” How much peace do you lose because you allow inner conflict to rage, how much of the external do you internalize that in all truth need not be given a second thought.
This is what the advent of continual, world-wide information being available has caused within many, the fear of what is not only outside of our doorstep, but of what is occurring on the other side of the planet, and it has become the perfect tool of our adversary. It matters little if that information is relevant to the hearer or not, what matters is how it is offered, for most, that is all that is necessary for it to become a “conversational topic,” and hence produce its intended effect, fear. The closer to home, the more relevant, and all the better, but the creeping malaise must be made visible to all, available to all, so that all, if only even in the most subtle of ways will consider it, and thereby make it personal.
The information must come at a rapid-fire pace, quick enough that little time is available to debate and disseminate either its validity or its relevance to our personal lives, if the perception of fear is not increased, it must at least be maintained. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11)
Do you know those thoughts, have you moved past the fear stage, did you skip over the uncaring stage, the nonchalant, the callous, the overbearing stages, and stayed in the perfect peace that the Lord offers to us? Information matters, but just how much does it truly matter. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8)