Only leaders, who first have peace with God, can lead Ghana to experience peace and prosperity

By Jude Hama |
Lake Volta Ghana
Panorama and landscape of Lake Volta in Ghana: Lake Volta is the largest reservoir by surface area in the world. | Sandister Tei / Wikimedia Commons

We can have peace with God. This is the key message of Easter. Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection makes it possible for us to have a right relationship with God: “He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” (Romans 4:25 NLT). A right relationship with God ends the spiritual and other wars raging within us, and causes the turmoil in the environment around us to cease.

And so, the Hymn writer says:
“Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease,
Turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.”

Jesus’ saving events of Easter, His death and resurrection, makes this peace with God, peace within ourselves, and peace in our environment possible.

We need peace with God and the peace of God. Indeed, the search for peace and progress in personal and national life, has been a real need for people in human history. The Psalmist longs for peace, security and progress. “I look up to the mountains - does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” (Psalms 121:1-2,5,7-8 NLT).

According to research by sociologist Dr. Max Assimeng, in the University community in Legon in Accra, Ghana, people from the highest ranks to the lowest ranks have all been in search for peace and security at all kinds of shrines and sacred places. The professor wants peace and progress in his life, and to enjoy security. The gardener has the same need for peace and security. St Augustine has said, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”

We also need community peace and national peace. And we must pray for every citizen, and indeed for National Political leaders, Traditional leaders, and leaders of our public institutions for peace in our environment: “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Saviour, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4 NLT). It is those who are saved who really function as God’s instruments of peace in the community and nation.

Where is the solution to finding this peace with God and experience the peace of God? The Easter celebrations point us to Jesus Christ the source of all true peace and the giver of the peace we desperately need. Here is the Easter good news. Jesus died and rose again to save us! Christ died to save us from what? And for what?

  • Jesus died to save us from the punishment for sin and wrongdoing in our lives: “It was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6 NLT). “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NLT)
  • Jesus Christ died to save us from the power of sin: “We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ, we were set free from the power of sin.” (Romans 6:6-7 NLT)
  • The resurrected and living Jesus Christ will save us from the presence of sin, when He shall come again: “All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.’” (Revelations 1:5b; 21:3-4 NLT)

And we are saved for good works. “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Ephesians 2:10 and Matthew 5:16b NLT).

We cannot save ourselves. But the Easter Good News is that Jesus Christ, who was named “God saves” at birth, saves us. Jesus Christ is called saviour with Divine authority to grant us salvation and in His resurrection, God has exalted Him as Lord over all people, all powers and all things to demand submission. And as saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ offers forgiveness of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who will come to Him, believe on him and be changed by the Holy Spirit from within. The salvation Jesus Christ offers is a free gift. We are saved by grace only through the saving death of Christ on the cross. Love sent Him to the cross. Love kept Him on the cross till He finished total payment for our sin: “God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT). So, salvation is entirely Jesus Christ’s love gift to us.

But a gift is not useful to you until you have actually received it. What must we do to respond to God’s amazing love offer to save us in Christ? We are to respond with faith and repentance. Jesus Christ requires repentance and faith. We are to believe in Jesus Christ as our only and true Redeemer God and Saviour. And we are to change our mind on what we think of Jesus Christ and believe what the Bible teaches He is: God, Redeemer, and our sin bearer, and saviour. We are also to turn away from wicked and wrong behaviour in the saving power He gives us. And so, when we respond to Christ’s offer with repentance and faith, He saves us.

When we are saved by Jesus Christ, we have peace with God!

Lack of integrity and pervasive character flaws; and the absence of national ethical standards and positive values, deprive us of progress and actually threaten our national peace and security. We very much need peace, unity and progress in Ghana today.

  • We have been sadly polarized, and divided in many ways by partisan politics. We have been unable to put all our best human resources to use because of partisan political marginalization.
  • Our lands have been degraded by “gather them and sell” practices and our forests and water bodies and food security threatened.
  • Greedy, self-serving leaders and exploitation by foreign interests have left us poor people in the land of God given riches: including gold, diamond, lithium, oil and gas and precious minerals, and abundance of water in the largest man-made lake and rivers.

We need political leaders who will properly mobilize us to husband our rich human and natural resources for the common good, lift us up out of embarrassing poverty, and improve significantly the living standards of all our people groups. This is what political leadership, national governance, and traditional leadership and institutional leadership should deliver to us as a nation.

But only leaders, who first have peace with God and experience the peace of God, can lead Ghana to experience peace and prosperity.

We conclude with the words of the hymn writer:

“All my life long I had panted for a draught from some cool spring,That I hoped would quench the burning of the thirst I felt within.

Hallelujah! I have found Him Whom my soul so long has craved! Jesus satisfies my longings; Through His life I now am saved.”

Rev. Jude Hama is the Chair of the National Association of Evangelicals in Ghana, a consultant in Authentic Christian Spirituality and Discipleship and former CEO of Scripture Union in Ghana.

The views expressed in this or any other opinion article do not necessarily reflect the views of Christian Daily International.