Reflections on Peace in Advance of its International Day, Sept. 21

NEW YORK – The International Day of Peace was initiated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981. Twenty years later, the General Assembly agreed unanimously to “invite all nations and people” to cease violence and hostilities during the 24 hours of the International Day of Peace.

Initiated by the UN General Assembly - “invite all nations & people” to cease violence & hostilities during the International Day of PeaceThe theme for this year’s observance is “Shaping Peace Together.” It is readily apparent that approaching the 40th anniversary of the International Day of Peace, there has been no peace. The Bible prophetically warns us about these past four decades (and nearly all preceding decades) when it speaks of the coming day of the Lord. That day will come as a thief in the night when men are claiming, “Peace and safety!” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Having made little impact on bringing peace to the world through the International Day of Peace in previous years, the UN has changed the focus of the 2020 observation to call upon “all warring parties to lay down their weapons to focus on the battle against COVID-19.” We are being asked to promote “solidarity and cooperation [in the fight against] our common enemy [to] heal our planet and change it for the better.”

The documented history of the United Nations is replete with failed attempts to bring peace to the planet. The organization has, however, discovered that, although they may not be able to sustain peace, their best hope is to unite the people and nations of the world against a common enemy. For the moment, the common enemy is the COVID-19 virus, temporarily displacing the focus on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – all of which appear to be unattainable.

Peace is an elusive thing. Rather than add to the ongoing rhetoric about peace, we have decided to share just a few of the more salient perspectives on peace already spoken. Please take some time to ponder these points, especially the last two. Perhaps some of them will set you on a pathway to peace in your life.

“Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” – Ronald Reagan

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing.” – C.S. Lewis

“The business of peace requires more than showing up with paint brushes, foodstuffs, and an oil pipeline or two.” – Tony Snow

“We should live, act, and say nothing to the injury of anyone. It is not only best as a matter of principle, but it is the path to peace and honor.” – Robert E. Lee

“Remind yourself that the greatest technique for bringing peace into your life is to always choose to be kind when you have a choice between being right or being kind.” – Wayne Dyer

“Peace is more important than all justice, and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace.” – Martin Luther

“An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.” – George Eliot

“I would rather have peace in the world than be President.” – Harry S. Truman

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” (Psalm 122:6)

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – Jesus Christ (John 14:27)

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – Jesus Christ (John 16:33)

Finally, we leave you with this quote from Dr. K.P. Yohannan, the founder of Gospel for Asia:

“Life is peaceful when you know there is nothing between you and God. Life is washed in the blood of Christ, cleansing every sin, making you whole.” [1]


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[1] Dance Not for Time. GFA Books, 2013, p. 226.

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