We are all concerned about our future, which is normal, since we do not know what the future has in store for us. However, those who pursue peace will certainly have a good future. In his Psalm, King David gave this assurance for a bright future when he said, “Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace” (Psalm 37:37). A man of peace can either be one who promotes peace as a peacemaker, or one who has the peace of God with calmness and quietness in his spirit. In either case, he will have a good future, for he has no enemy to threaten his life, nor will the pressures and worries of this world burden him.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus assured special blessings to those who pursue peace. He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9). A peacemaker is a man of peace himself. He cannot be one if he has enemies who will come to oppose every move that he will take. He has to sow love and forgiveness in the same manner that Jesus, the Son of God, sowed love and forgiveness. In his epistle, James encouraged peacemakers to give their best when he said, “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18).
Those who wish to be peacemakers need to have the peace of God. This peace is what the apostle Paul called the “peace which transcends all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). This kind of peace cannot be obtained through our own efforts. Rather, this is the result of an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. To those who put their trust and faith in him, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). The peace that the world can give is only the cessation of physical hostility in a person. It does not arrest the anxiety and turmoil that continue to pervade the heart and soul. These result in fear, restlessness and agitation. On the other hand, the peace that comes from the Lord is quiet and serene. It allows the person to think properly or to have a good disposition of mind.
But what can cause someone not to have peace? Their pride and their desire to have more often cause many to be anxious and to live in fear. When they look at the future and it seems bleak, they put things in their hands, rather than trusting in the Lord. With their hands, they will try to secure their future. However, deep within them, they know that the future remains uncertain and this gives them restlessness and instability, in spite of the power and wealth they have accumulated. No wonder the Book of Proverbs advocated simple living resulting in peace: “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife” (Prov. 17:1).
If the blameless and upright have a good future, what will the end be for the wicked? Again, King David warned, “But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off” (Psalm 37:38). The future of the wicked is bleak—they have no peace. They will be restless wanderers here on earth. There will always be threats to their lives and possessions because their enemies abound. Even in their sleep they shall have no rest, because they will be hounded by all kinds of uncertainties and fear. They have nowhere to run to, for the Lord is not their refuge. They run even when no one is chasing them, for their conscience will torment them. This is the lot of the wicked—they have no peace.
Those who try to prepare a better future for themselves by relying on their own strength and abilities are consumed by restlessness, fears and anxieties. As a result, they unwittingly fall into a trap that will shorten their lives, rather than lengthen it. This is the reason why Jesus warned, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt. 6:27). Friends, our future is in the hands of the Lord. Whether we will have a bright future or not depends on how we live our lives. If we live it fully trusting in the Lord, we will have the peace of God that passes all understanding. It is this peace that will allow us to enjoy life to the fullest. On the other hand, life will surely be short if we allow fears and anxieties to dominate our lives. This happens when we choose to live in wickedness, rather than lead an upright and blameless life. Always remember that there is a good future for a man of peace. Praise the Lord!