We find ourselves in the week which many Christians and non-Christians around the globe celebrate Christmas. Along with the good and cherished things occurring, my guess is this week will also usher in fresh violence, despair, loneliness, anger, and bitter questions from humankind. There will be worshippers harmed for their faith in God. Political unrest may continue to destroy dreams and perhaps lives. In some circles, wrongdoing will be touted as good and those committed to things which are excellent viewed with suspicion and hostility.

How, then, can it be there are still people who greet and encourage one another with pronouncements or reminders that Jesus is the Prince of Peace?

Is peace on earth even possible?

Ask the grieving woman who steadfastly trusts Jesus, standing next to her husband’s freshly dug grave: Wrenching pain and deep peace can occur simultaneously.

Confer with the student of the Bible who treasures God’s Word: True peace is not the absence of trouble.

Seek input from the Godly man whose life’s work just went up in flames: This business belonged to the Lord; I know He has a plan and I trust Him.

Ask the prisoner taken from his or her family for resolute faith in Christ: I know it doesn’t make sense, but my peace looms larger than my circumstances.

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If you’re wrestling with doubts as to whether Jesus was or is the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), or if there can be such a thing as “peace on earth” (Luke 1:76-79; 2:9-14), don’t throw in the towel. Join us, rather, in looking at what is recorded about Jesus and said by Jesus regarding peace. It’s foundational in finding peace in the most unlikely place:

Earth.

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A misconception we might hold is that Jesus came to bring earthly peace. But in Matthew 10:34 Jesus tells us: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”

Say, what?!

This sounds more like “C O N F L I C T”

Jesus’ statement seems to contradict the Hebrew Scriptures that Isaiah 9:6-7 spoke of—that the coming Messiah would appear and reign on the earth for 1,000 years as the “Prince of Peace”.  Israel understandably longed for the day when an earthly kingdom would be established where wars and conflicts would end and the lion would lay down with the lamb (Isaiah 11:6); but Jesus was explaining the complete picture to them.

Even though Isaiah 53 clearly testified to a suffering Messiah who would bear the sin of many and provide justification to the unworthy (that’s us—transgressors before God), it was difficult for Jesus’ listeners to fathom God’s plan for a heavenly kingdom to arrive first; one in which Jesus reigns in the believing human heart and individuals once separated from God can know the miracle of peace with God. And not just temporarily, but for eternity!

And nothing on earth is sweeter than being at peace with God. Romans 5:1 states:

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”

Through the blood of His cross, Jesus is the peacemaker between God and humanity (Colossians 1:19-22). He is the God of peace (I Corinthians 14:33, Hebrews 13:20-21). And John 14:27 tells us Jesus is the giver of peace to His followers.

This giving of peace is more intimate and beautiful than we may realize. Think of how a loving dad may bring his daughter to his workplace where others enjoy seeing and visiting with her. But the day in which he gives his daughter in marriage to a man is vastly different. No greater human affirmation and responsibility can be given a man than for a father to entrust his daughter’s happiness, well-being, and care into the groom’s hand.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27a). Just as in a holy, joyful union in which a father gives his precious daughter away in marriage, Jesus gives His bride, the Church, His peace.

Through Christ, peace becomes a part of who we are.

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Jesus brought the Gospel of peace to earth and sent His followers out to proclaim it (John 20:21, Luke 9:2, Ephesians 2:13). This message, when delivered and received through His power, produces a peace in the consciences of men, women, young people, and children. It also serves to cultivate peace within the global community of believers. Yet this same Gospel sharply divides and separates people, even within families, which Jesus articulated.  Those devoted to Christ will be severed from the world’s principles and practices; to that end, an array of divisions, discords, and persecutions will—sooner or later—arise (John 15:20; Matthew 5:10-12; 2 Timothy 3:12; Revelation 2:10).

As a Shepherd calming His flock, however, Jesus tells His beloved:

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27)

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The wonderful reality is that the trusting child of God has peace within his or her soul—here and now, on earth—through an eternal, right relationship with Him:

Colossians 1:19-22: “For in Him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him…”

Romans 8:1-2: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

Romans 5:1: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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And if the above truths weren’t wild and wonderful enough, the trusting child of God can experience His peace in the midst of any and all conflicts, tribulations, and trials. Possessing peace in troubled times is a choice we never could have, outside of life in Christ. Amazingly, you and I have option of having peace—here, on earth!

Philippians 4:6-7:“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah 26:3:  “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Colossians 3:15-16a: “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…”

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Peace on earth is not a dream for fools. It can be, through God’s grace, the ongoing reality of the child of God facing situations which should, humanly speaking, see him or her down and out for the count; broken and overwhelmed.

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Peace isn’t a fleeting experience, but a Person: Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Close out this tumultuous year in oneness with Him. Journey into this next calendar year with His truths and His promises covering you with an inward and outward peace which surpasses all human understanding.

Read about Jesus in His Word, the Bible. Listen to Him through His recorded words and through humble prayer.

Then a voice came out of the cloud saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” (Luke 9:35b).

Will you join me in listening to Jesus these last few days of 2020 and as we enter 2021? I’m guessing you (like me), need the supernatural gifting of peace to keep you from allowing temporary situations to loom larger in your mind and heart than the eternal realities of Jesus’ power and promises.

It is wonderful to have eternal peace with God through belief in His Son, Jesus Christ! If you haven’t yet put your trust in Jesus to have peace with God—and would like to—tell Him that right now. Then walk with Him and His other imperfect, grateful followers.

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“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

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Glory to God in the highest! And today—on earth—receive and live in His amazing gift of peace.

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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