Those of us who have experienced the new birth know very well that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Through his death in our place, we have been forgiven for all our sins. And as a result, we are no longer enemies but have peace with God. This peace is a wonderful thing to experience. But it is readily apparent that not all people know this peace--even some who are very close to us.
This conflict is explained by Jesus in Matthew 10:34-36.*
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN's ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD"Jesus came to reconcile man to God. But that peace, provided by the Prince of Peace, is not given to all indiscriminately. Those who continue in their sin and choose to rebel against God will never acquire it. This causes a problem for those of us who are on God's side. We often experience the brunt of the rebellion's anger against us because of our allegiance to Jesus. Our new life is a constant conflict with their lifestyle and goals.
This conflict can affect even the closest family relationships. Jesus said that following Him would bring division between father and son, daughter and mother, and many other relationships. We hate the division and if we could change things we would! We would love to share God's peace with those closest to us. But this deep seated hatred for God and his ways often wins leaving believing family members with great sadness.
But amidst this great sadness, there is one who can give peace despite the great conflict. That person is Jesus, the Prince of Peace. While at times the conflict worsens and our hearts are troubled, he promises to "keep him in perfect peace who trusts in Him." He also calls believers to "cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you." And when we take these difficulties to the Lord in prayer, with thanksgiving, Jesus promises "the peace of God that passes all understanding."
It would be easy for a believer facing family opposition to lose hope and become discouraged. Perhaps this describes you today. Please take some time today to not only understand the conflict but also to seek the peace that Jesus offers to you. He cares for you!
*Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.