When is the last time you felt peace? Many can’t remember.
I’m talking about a time when your mind was at peace, a time when your spirit was quiet and restful.
In today’s world, we are bombarded with messages day in and day out. It’s noisy.
Christmastime seems to get even louder as you attempt to manage the family’s holiday schedule, the meals, and of course, gift buying.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this Christmas you enjoyed real peace?
For our final blog in the Advent series, I’m writing about true peace -- a peace that comes from trusting God. God who loved us so much sent His only Son nearly 2,000 years ago on Christmas morning.
The Theme of Peace on This Fourth Sunday of Advent
As we discussed in a previous Advent blog, the prophets foretold Jesus’ birth, down to where he would be born.
The prophets hoped the coming Savior would restore peace between God and people.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
– Isaiah 9:6
When the angel appeared to the shepherds to share the good news of the Savior’s birth, the Bible says, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests (Luke 2:13-14).’”
The angels praised God because they knew peace had come to earth.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace
This Christmas, as you sing the Christmas carol “For Unto Us a Child is Born” or “Emmanuel,” pay attention to the lyrics calling your attention to the Prince of Peace.
This heavenly title, given to Jesus, is why we celebrate Christmas.
God gave the world peace through His Son. Without Jesus, we would carry the weight of our sin.
We can enjoy a relationship with God only because Jesus took away our sins on the cross.
When we acknowledge our sin and trust Jesus as Savior, He forgives our sin and restores peace between God and us.
True Peace is Only Found in Him
Another important thing to understand about peace is it’s only found in Jesus (another reason for the name Prince of Peace).
Today, peace is thought of in many ways.
World peace. Inner peace. Peace between men.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
-- John 14:27
The world promotes peace through many sources but, even if you believe you have found peace, it is momentary and fleeting.
In contrast, the peace Jesus gives is eternal because when we enter a forever relationship with our Savior, our heart is made whole.
All we have endlessly searched for is found when we trust God in all circumstances.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
– Isaiah 26:3
Amy Grant sings, “Emmanuel, Emmanuel, Wonderful, Counselor, Lord of life, Lord of all; He's the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Holy One, Emmanuel, Emmanuel.”
Did you know the word “Emmanuel” means “God with us?”
It is because God is with us that peace is possible on earth.
May We Be Instruments of Peace
Inner peace leads to outer peace.
When we have inner peace through a personal relationship with God, we also strive for outer peace, peace between men.
Because those who live in Jesus are called to be peacemakers, we should actively glorify God in conflict by pursuing reconciliation and eagerly forgiving others.
We should look for opportunities to bring peace to those around us even if we’re the ones wronged. Especially if we’re the ones wronged.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
– Matthew 5:9
Ways to Continue Celebrating Advent Beyond this Blog
As we approach Christmas Day, I hope you will use these final days of the advent season to prepare your heart and quiet your spirit in anticipation of our Savior’s birth.
Extend your reflections on peace after the blog by doing some of the following:
- Spend time alone with God. True peace comes from having a relationship with God. A real relationship requires spending time with one another. Look for time during the busy upcoming week to spend alone with God praying, praising, and listening.
- Seek forgiveness and restore peace. A major component of true peace involves restoring peace between others. If there is someone from whom you need to ask forgiveness, the time is now. Likewise, choose to extend forgiveness even before people ask. Be an ambassador of peace (2 Corinthians 5:20).
- Do things that “feel” peaceful. While we talked about true inner peace and outer peace in the blog, there are some ways you can make your home more “peaceful” at Christmas, such as quieting all the noise and messages from the outside world.
- Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. This classic Christmas film is a reminder that mass commercialism at Christmas is not what it is all about and does not bring peace as the world