The Key to Peace
February 1, 2004 - At the height of peace negotiations in Sudan, that nation's government invited me to share for national TV what the Bible says about peace. For many in the predominantly Muslim audience, this might be their first time to hear a Christian message. Here is part of my message:
by Franklin Graham
Sudan has the opportunity to become one of the leading countries in Africa. You have vast oil reserves, major mineral deposits, and one of the world's great rivers running the entire length of your territory. With these natural resources, Sudan also has the potential to become an important part of the international community.
But in order for these natural resources to be developed, you must have a just peace and stability. This is only possible with God's help. To have God's help, we must seek Him as individuals and as a nation with a sincere heart. Today, I call on all the people of Sudan to pray for your country and to pray for all those in authority over you.
What does the Bible say about peace? The Bible says that the path to peace must begin in our own hearts.
If our hearts are filled with bitterness and hatred, we will never live in peace, as God desires. Eventually those emotions will break loose and lead to conflict. On the other hand, if our hearts are filled with God's love, compassion, kindness and forgiveness, we can live in peace. The key to peace with others, the Bible says, is for us to be at peace with God in our own hearts.
Why is peace so difficult to achieve? Almost a century ago, some people said that the First World War would be the war to end all wars. The League of Nations was formed, and many optimistically declared that the world would have peace at last. But it did not happen. Many people had similar hopes following the Second World War with the founding of the United Nations, but again it has not happened.
Why? The reason is because of sin. Sin has come into the world. Sin has infected the entire human race. And the Bible says we have all sinned and come short of God's glory. Our sins separate us from God. The Bible says, 'What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?' (James 4:1, NIV).
Our greatest need is to have our hearts changed from within. The Bible declares that only God can change the human heart. Only He can take away our hatred and anger and replace them with His love and His peace.
The Bible says, 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life' (John 3:16, KJV).
Many years ago I committed myself to Jesus Christ and asked Him to cleanse me from sin and make me a new person. My life has never been the same. Every sincere follower of Jesus has had a similar experience. Committing my life to Jesus has given me great peace.
It is my heartfelt belief that God Almighty wants to bring to you and me, and to all people of Sudan, that lasting, eternal peace."
I thank God for the ways that He is opening doors for evangelism in Sudan and elsewhere.
"Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to your name" (Psalm 18:49, NIV).