“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27.
I don’t know about you, but “peace” is one of the last things I’m feeling at Christmastime. Peace is hard to find when we become hyper focused on the problems that are causing the lack of peace all around us. You have gifts to buy, people to meet with, parties to attend, cards to distribute as well as the other things you typically do all by one specific date – Dec. 25. It’s not like you can really put it off until the day after. It’s a deadline that is hard to put off.
With all the pain and violence recently in our world, these next words seem a bit ironic. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased”. (Luke 2:14) People think that Luke 2:14 is God’s personal “anti-war statement.” My point is not to debate what God thinks of the wars throughout history. God knows humanity all too well, Jesus said in Matthew 24:6: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”
From God’s point of view, we are hopeless when left to ourselves. Our pride bristles at that. But the truth is, we are incapable of redeeming ourselves, which is the whole reason God came down from Heaven to earth at Christmastime. So what did the angels mean by “peace on earth?” They meant that finally, through the birth of Jesus Christ, mankind had the opportunity to find peace with God. And only when He, the Prince of Peace, is in charge can we ever expect peace in our world.
And He did it all for each of us. So we would be at peace with Him. And also so we could finally find peace in our own life. Not a peace coming from no wars or conflicts – unfortunately, they will always be around in this sinful world.
But His peace is one found even “in the midst of the storm,” when chaos is all around. A peace that makes no sense to anyone unless they have first met the Savior of the world. The one angels sang of, shepherds bowed to, and wise men were in search of.
In closing, I want to share one of my favorite Scripture passages that gives us great insight into finding that elusive peace we so long for in our lives: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
I pray that each of us can truly find peace in the person of Jesus this Christmas season and at all times. This passage in Philippians tells us that prayer brings peace. Don’t be overwhelmed, anxious or stressed, but instead bring it all to God. When you bring it all to God, then the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. This December, let’s make it our aim to spend more time on our knees and less time looking for peace amidst the chaos around us.
- How can we best describe God’s peace?
- Read Philippians 4:7: Name four aspects of God’s peace from this verse.
- Do you tend to worry? What about? Is there ever a time when we have legitimate fears in our lives?
- Do you believe God’s peace can really be obtained?
- Pray and ask God to help you find His peace this Christmas season.