Peace on Earth!1
What’s something we all want, but struggle to find? OK, this describes lots of things…but peace is one of them. It’s rare to find people who are at peace. You see a lot of anxious people, a lot of stressed people, and a lot of people who are at odds with life. But you don't see a lot of peaceful people. Yet, God promised peace to everyone when he sent Jesus to earth…
The angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill toward men!”
– Luke 2:16 (NKJV)
In one of the last talks with his disciples Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27, NLT)
The idea that Jesus gives peace to people who receive him isn’t some overblown, hyper-spiritual concept. And it’s not some out-of-context feeling, either. It’s a real thing! It’s just one of the many promises of Christmas. Let me share a few of them…
First, there’s peace with God, or you could call it “spiritual peace.” It’s the most important kind of peace because it affects everything else. There’s nothing more unsettling than being at odds in the relationships that count the most. God is at the top of the list of key relationships. Our Heavenly Father wanted to make this relationship right so badly that he sent Jesus:
God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us…
– 2 Corinthians 5:18 (CEV)
Next, there’s internal peace. You could call in “emotional peace.” When you have peace with God, you have access to peace within.
The Hebrew word for is shalom. You find it all through the Bible. This term means more than “agreeing not to fight.” Shalom means possessing a tranquil soul…even in the middle of chaotic situations. That’s what the Bible means when it says…
Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
– Colossians 3:15 (NLT)
Finally, there’s peace with others, or “relational peace.” This might be the hardest kind of peace to find. We all have disagreeable, irritable and insensitive moments. That’s why we must depend on peace with God, which comes through Jesus, to give us the strength to establish peace with others. Although it can be hard to obtain, God wants us to have this kind of peace. Paul told the believers at Corinth:
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
– 2 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV)
That first Christmas, God intended for us to have all three kinds of peace…with him, with ourselves, and with others.
So think about it. Who can you share Christ’s peace with this Christmas? Who do you know that needs the gift of shalom…that tranquility in chaos?
May each of us not only be in peace this Christmas, but bring peace as well.
How has this week’s blog helped you? Please let us know in the comments. And be sure to share it with friends and family!