We have been told that persecution, battles, fights, struggles, they are all things that grow us and grow the church. We read about how persecution caused the early church to grow, so we create a theology of persecution, struggle, challenges and battles. It is as though everything is about a war we are in or headed into. Sometimes I wonder if we are afraid of peace. I wonder if we resist peace thinking it only produces laziness, rebellion, idolatry and other evils we are seeking to avoid. It is as though we live in a constant war or are creating challenges, because we think this is the only way we grow, increase and prosper.
I was reading Acts 9:31 when the above fore mentioned thoughts arose inside of me as points to ponder. Luke says, “The church enjoyed a period of peace and growth throughout the regions of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria. The disciples lived in deep reverence for the Lord, they experienced the strong comfort of the Holy Spirit, and their numbers increased.” (Acts 9:31) This is describing the early church right after Saul got rocked in Damascus. It was in peace that they prospered. Peace does not have to become a time when we become complacent; peace does not have to become something we fear; peace is actually one of the markers of the kingdom of God. Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).
May I propose to you that we are entering into a long season of peace after a very long season of war and some people are going to try and create chaos, start wars with others, all because they don’t know what to do in times of peace. My friends, prepare not for war, but for peace. It takes a different type of preparation, but righteousness is exalting the nations, so peace will be the fruit of that and we will experience joy and it is going to cause people to come into the kingdom at an exponential rate.