The Real “War to End All Wars”

World War I, known as “The Great War,” officially ended when the “Treaty of Versailles” was signed on June 28, 1918 outside the town of Versailles, France. Fighting, however ceased seven months earlier when an armistice—temporary cessation of hostilities—between the allied nations and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918 is generally regarded as the end of “the
war to end all wars.” In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of “Armistice Day” and it was celebrated with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m. An act approved on May 13, 1938, made Nov. 11th a legal holiday, one dedicated to world peace. It was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of WW I, but in 1954, after WW II, the act was amended and called “Veterans’ Day,” a day to honor veterans of all wars for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
     Unfortunately, “the war to end all wars,” did not bring lasting peace. It wasn’t long until World War II broke out and then the Korean War and then came Vietnam and Desert Storm and on and on it goes with nations rising up against nations. Of course, almost every person would prefer to live in peace. Our annual observance of Armistice Day (now Veteran’s Day) wistfully expresses the hope that when the current war is settled, it will be the final war, and there will be peace. The word “armistice” is from the Latin and means “arms standing still.”
     But, there is no real peace; there were numerous wars back during Roman times and Babylonian times and medieval times and all times! Even today there are dozens of small “wars and rumors of wars” going on in any given year just as Jesus prophesied in Mt. 24:6 and they will continue until Christ, the “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6) returns to “speak peace to the nations” and to  establish His kingdom of peace “to the ends of the earth” (Zech. 9:9,10). The fact is, there can be no lasting peace between nations or between men until there is peace between men and God. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can make such a peace, for He alone is the “Prince of Peace.” Indeed, He has already paid the price to make such true and eternal peace, for He “made peace through the blood of His cross,” and is thus able “to reconcile all things unto Himself” (Col. 1:20).     
     We must await Christ’s return to earth to reign before we have “world peace” but until that time we, as individuals, can experience both peace with God and the peace of God in our hearts.  Because Jesus shed His blood on our behalf to pay the penalty for our sins (II Cor. 5:21), we can put our faith in Him and be reconciled to God. Paul wrote: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ro. 5:1).  We can also experience inner peace—the “peace of God.” Paul’s exhortation to the Philippian believers was: “Be anxious, for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6,7).  Interestingly, the Apostle Paul wrote this letter while a prisoner in Rome!  But, Paul didn’t complain about his situation. He had “learned to be content in whatever circumstances” he found himself (Phil. 4:11). He was at peace with God and had the “peace of God ruling in His heart” (Col. 3:15). As Jesus shared with His disciples in the upper room just before His arrest and crucifixion, He told them He would be going to prepare a place for them but that their hearts need not be troubled, (Jn. 14:1-3) and went on to promise:  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 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, nor let it be fearful” (vv. 26,27). Notice that it was His peace which He promised. That is a peace that is not dependent upon outward circumstances. No matter what the turmoil and chaos in the world around us, we can have that “peace that surpasses all comprehension” guarding our hearts and minds.
     So, no matter what is happening in your life today, for this you have Jesus, and “He himself is our peace” (Eph. 2:14).
                Forever His…In His Peace,
                    Pastor Dave

About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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