Once again our world is being rocked by forces seeking to rob us of peace. The ne’er do wells of cyberspace, known as hackers, are working to besiege our freedom of speech and expression. Those charged with upholding our laws, known as peace officers, have seen three of their own slain in the past 24 hours. All at a time when we are approaching the celebration the Prince of Peace. Each day seems to have enough trouble of its own. It is time to guard our hearts and minds against the attack of anxiety and worry.
At this time of year we anticipate celebration of the birth of Christ. Hundreds of years before his birth, the prophet Isaiah referred to him as the Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. On the night he was born, the angels said to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” This is not an exclusive statement. The Apostle John wrote, that whoever believes in God’s Son could have eternal life. This statement means that God’s favor rests with the people he has created. That means all men. Through Christ we can have peace with God. Christ said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.” How can we have this peace when lives are disrupted by hate and division?
This Prince of Peace, the very Son of God, God himself, told us we would have trouble in this world. He also said he was leaving us his peace and that because of this gift we should not let our hearts be troubled, nor should we live in fear. The Apostle Paul wrote that the peace of God which is beyond all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds , through the one whose birth we celebrate. We’ve spoken of hope, joy and now peace that come through faith in Jesus Christ. When our faith is placed in Jesus, the Son of God, we have hope (confidence) in our salvation, joy in him despite our circumstances, and peace in the knowledge that the creator of the universe is in control. As a friend of mine often says, “I’ve read the book, I know how this story ends and it’s a great ending.”
All that we encounter here is preparing us for eternity with our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. When we invite Christ into our hearts, the peace that comes along with him is truly indescribable. Allowing ourselves to be loved by God brings a peace that is contagious. It spreads seeds of hope and love to those around us. The peace of Christ helps us keep the turmoil around us in perspective. The peace of Christ is not a respecter of persons. We are all created by him and he loves every one of us. His invitation to the love, peace, joy and hope he offers is universal. But it is a decision. Like a child who must decide to trust a parent, we too must take this like the faith of a little child to trust our futures to the hands of the one who created us.
I encourage everyone to take the step of trust and faith this Christmas season. Find the peace that surpasses all understanding.