READ: ISAIAH 2:1-5; 9:6; ROMANS 3:23-24; JOHN 14:25-29
Have you ever wondered why there is always a war going on somewhere? War causes so much death, so much destruction. It ravages the land, destroying plants, animals, and towns…but the greatest tragedy of war is the loss of human life. From powerful leaders to low-ranking soldiers to defenseless civilians—including the elderly, small children, and even infants—so many people are killed in the chaos of the fighting. And even the survivors are left with scars, both visible and invisible. God sees all this suffering, and He weeps.
War might be described as a sickness caused by sin. Sin infected our world when humans first rejected God. Now, hatred and violence and greed are wreaking havoc everywhere. And yet, God has not abandoned His creation. He still loves us, and He wants to make us well and forgive all our wrongdoing. That’s why God became human and lived among us. Jesus came into our sin-sick world, and when His followers realized He was the Messiah, the Rescuer who God had promised, they thought Jesus was going to overthrow the Roman empire and free Israel from the nation that had conquered them. But Jesus didn’t do that. Instead, He let Himself be put to death on a Roman cross. And in doing so, He did something far greater than overthrowing an empire.
When Jesus gave up His life on that cross, He gave us the cure for sin. When Jesus died, He beat sin, and when He rose from the grave, He beat sin’s consequence, which is death. Now, He invites all of us to come to Him and be free of our sin sickness. We can trust and follow Him as our Savior by putting our faith in His death and resurrection (Romans 10:9).
Without Jesus, we are all sick with the sin that’s in our hearts, and the whole world is sick too. But Jesus promises to cure the whole world of sin. When He returns, He will make everything new. Then war—and everything else caused by sin—will be gone for good (Revelation 21:1-5).
In the meantime, when we put our trust in Jesus, He rescues us from sin and death, makes us new, and begins the healing work of putting His love and peace in our hearts, moving us toward wholeness. Whenever we encounter the pain and destruction of terrible things like war, we can come to Jesus. He weeps with us, grieving all the suffering caused by sin and holding us close (Matthew 11:28-30; Luke 15:20; John 11:35).
As Jesus’s people, we can share His love and peace with others, taking part in God’s good work of bringing wholeness and reconciliation to all of creation. We can care for our neighbors and love them well, even when the world is in turmoil. And even though we will do things imperfectly, we can take great comfort in the fact that God is so good that He is working all things to draw people to Himself and transform us to become more and more like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). One day, war will be no more, for the universe is ruled by Jesus, the Healer of our sin sickness and the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:6). • A. W. Smith
• To learn more about the cure for the sickness of sin, check out our “Know Jesus” page.
• Where have you seen the devastating effects of war? Consider taking a moment to come to Jesus in prayer, bringing Him all the pain, frustration, and confusion…and imagine Him weeping with you over all the things that are wrong.
• When we wonder how God could allow such terrible things to happen, how could the gospel (the good news about Jesus) reveal God’s great love and tender compassion for His creation?
• As you encounter the effects of sin in our broken world, remember that God doesn’t dismiss our questions and doubts; rather, He invites us to wrestle with Him. Who are trusted Christians you feel comfortable talking to about these things? If no one comes to mind, you can ask God to help you identify someone in the future.
• Since Christians follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace, how can we treat our neighbors and communities in ways that show His love and care, even in the midst of the conflict of our world?
“Peace I [Jesus] leave with you; my peace I give you.” John 14:27a (NIV)