Peace is arguably the most difficult thing to obtain and keep. There are so many inside and outside forces trying to steal it from us. War, both literal and figurative. Physical, mental, spiritual afflictions. If I had a dollar for every time I talked to someone who was worried or stressed out who said, “It’s always something,” I could’ve stayed in bed this morning instead of going to work.
Some would probably argue that this is a result of our fast-paced world, and one could even go farther and say that Christmastime is the worst for it. Expedited shipping, the bustle in stores, planning parties and dinners, driving all over the place, working overtime to be able to afford it all, and maybe the added pressure of making it all seem effortless (if that kind of thing is important to you).
But if we operate under the knowledge that God’s word is timelessly true, then we have to know that God’s promises of peace were just as true and necessary for people back when the words were being written as they are now.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying that everyone’s struggle for peace is the same. I don’t live in a country where land, resources, and families are currently torn by war. I don’t have to face every day with heartache and confusion about needing to make amends with someone I love who I’ve hurt. And I assure you that while I don’t have a lot of money, I’m not scrounging for food, scouting for a place to sleep, or standing in line at a homeless shelter. No, my struggle to find peace and my entire relationship with peace is vastly different than many, many other people’s on this planet. And yours probably is too. Because while all of our peace problems may differ, all of our peace problems certainly exist.
As I mentioned last week, the Israelites were looking for a savior. They were looking for a king who would ride in and rescue them from the Romans and all their other problems.
They never got what they were looking for in a physical, earthly manifestation. Jesus wasn’t a government gladiator or born in a palace or a battle-tested warrior or even a soldier.
But He was the Savior everyone needed and none deserved.
In this realm, Jesus certainly promoted and provided peace, although not to the extent the Jewish people had hoped. (“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9, NIV), “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…” (John 14:27, NIV), etc.) But in the spiritual realm, Jesus is constantly fighting and leading in more ways than we can imagine. Saving us from our past, future missteps, and often ourselves.
Most often, peace rests in our minds rather than a tangible or outer form. So it makes sense that this would be where Jesus would work the most since it’s usually where we need it most.
Prince of Peace is one of the most fitting titles bestowed upon Jesus (Isaiah 9:6). I mean, just look at His life and words. Just try reading the story of His birth without feeling a great sense of tranquility.
The Israelites may not have gotten the peace they were searching for, but they would’ve gotten more than they could’ve even asked for had they only taken God up on His promises.
Let’s not make that same mistake. I may not know your problems, but I’m certain you could use more peace in your life. Why not look to the Prince of Peace and the God who’s never broken a promise? Take Him up on it. He will give you a peace that transcends any and all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
By Carrie Prevette