SUNDAY, December 16
Peace for Life
Real peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God within the conflict. The peace that the angels celebrated on the night Christ was born was indeed the peace the Messiah brings. During the earthly ministry of Jesus, His healings (both spiritual and physical) revealed that those who trusted in His name could live in peace. This reminds us of two exciting and life changing truths about peace.
As announced in the message given to the shepherds by the angel, peace comes from God’s favor – God’s work of grace in your life. So, first, peace, as the result of God’s grace in you, is very personal.
Second, peace becomes a very practical subject for your life. Jesus once said, “The peace I give you is not like the peace the world gives, so you do not have to worry or be afraid.” (John 14:27) What is this peace Jesus gives? Jesus’ peace expresses the quietness or rest of the soul that is unaltered by circumstances. Sadly, the peace of the world is much different; the peace of the world is a dangerous substitute that allows you to feel good as long as your circumstances are good. So many people attempt to journey through life hoping for good circumstances; when life doesn’t work out as hoped, many tend to blame God or others. Jesus’ peace is stronger than any circumstance, and will never fail. His peace really works, even in those seemingly difficult to reach areas of the soul: bitterness, guilt, worry, anxiety (to name a few). His peace conquers those experiences that usually keep our soul agitated with emotional ups and downs. How?
Consider the announcement the angel gave on the night Christ was born. Peace had finally come! This peace was not like the Roman Government’s attempt at peaceful living (which was legislative peace), and not like man’s own attempt at avoiding conflict.
The peace of Christ rules the heart and soul, bringing great comfort and rest regardless of the circumstance. This is why Jesus is called “the Prince of Peace.” The Bible calls God the “God of peace.” Peace is His very nature. The closer we are to God, the more we will live in His peace. We need to submit to the Prince of Peace every day. This peace is real and truly overcomes and overwhelms the soul. The very presence of Christ, ruling and reigning in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, brings supernatural peace. Therefore, this peace stands defined as His presence in control. What an amazing gift God has sent! Let’s live astonished today at this great peace of God.
Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 2:12-14; John 14:27; James 4:7