“My mother once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women’s feet and asked for forgiveness. This is true all over the world, in the jungles of Mexico, in the back streets of Shanghai, in New York cocktail bars, husbands are getting drunk while the women stay home with the babes of their ever darkening future. If these men stop the machine and come home and get on their knees and ask for forgiveness and the women bless them, peace will suddenly descend on the earth with a great silence like the inherent silence of the apocalypse.” -Jack Kerouac, On The Road
“As our past increases and our future shrinks, however, our minds tend to start looking backward rather than forward. In some ways that’s natural and normal since there’s more to look back on than to look forward to. It can be good for us too; the past can be a source of tremendous joy and thankfulness as we reflect on the mercies we have received and enjoyed from God’s good hand. But that lingering backward look can also cause deep pain and even despair as we ponder bad decisions, bad choices, and bad relationships.” -David Murray, The Happy Christian
BTW NOTE: I often preach the imputed righteousness of Christ as a salve for the person struggling with regret. We look back and see failures, and are filled with shame. But in Christ, God looks ‘back’ at our life and only sees the righteousness of Christ and is well-pleased. In Christ, our past is no longer a thing to rationalize or defend or explain away or ignore. It’s covered with the righteousness of Another. That can give peace to a hurting heart.
“Only when our greatest love is God, a love that we cannot lose even in death, can we face all things with peace.” -Tim Keller
“Isn’t it interesting how in Christmas cards and on public displays we often see the words, “Peace on earth, good will toward men”? But how seldom we see the prior words, “Glory to God in the highest”! But there is no peace, there is no good will, unless there is glory to God in the highest first.” -Ray Ortlund
“This is what David Dickson (1583-1662) did. In December 1662, he became extremely sick. When a friend asked him what he was thinking, he wisely said, “I have taken all my good deeds, and all my bad deeds, and have cast them together in a heap before the Lord, and have fled from both to Jesus Christ, and in Him I have sweet peace.” -Derek Thomas
“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.” Eckhart Tolle
BTW NOTE: Couple caveats. These ideas need to be rightly understood to be a true source of peace–namely my identity as an image-bearer redeemed through the blood of Christ. So it is the identity God gave to me, not one I made for myself.
“In our generation we’ve been told that the highest virtue is peace. We’ve lived in the age of the atomic bomb. We’ve seen widespread warfare. We’re tired of disputes, tired of people fighting and killing each other. It is by God’s grace that churches aren’t burning people at the stake or putting them on torture racks as was done in earlier centuries. We’ve learned to coexist with people with whom we disagree. We value that peace. But I’m afraid the danger is that we value it so much that we’re willing to obscure the gospel itself. We have to be careful of speaking about unity when we really don’t have it. At times I think we believe we have more unity than we actually have.” -R.C. Sproul, What is The Church?