The Peace Symbol, Fingers in a V-shape, even the symbol of a dove and olive branch. All these symbols were not born out of peace, but in the midst of conflict. Peace is defined as freedom from disturbance, quiet and tranquility. But it is often in situations that are exactly the opposite that we most recognize our need for peace. We see peace most clear not in the absence of suffering and conflict but in the middle of it.
That’s how Jesus was born. He came when the world was in darkness. Jesus is not just a symbol of peace. He is peace – the Prince of Peace.
What kind of peace does Jesus bring?
1 – Peace with God.
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1).
There is a bumper sticker that says, “No God, No Peace. Know God, know Peace.” Isn’t that true? Our first place to seek peace is with God. That is the reason Jesus came to earth. Because of sin we are at war with God. From the time sin entered our world in the Garden of Eden, humanity has been at odds with God. Our sin and His holiness are not compatible. They are not at peace but in conflict.
But through Jesus, peace has been made. Through Jesus we can be justified by grace through faith. When a person believes in Jesus and accepts His salvation and forgiveness, peace results with God. The barrier of sin has been removed. This eternal peace with God is a great gift available to all who trust Jesus as Savior.
Is everything okay between you and God? Have you trusted His Son, Jesus Christ, as your own personal Lord and Savior?
2 – Peace of God.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Life can be anything but peaceful. But peace is an attitude that every Christian can experience. God knows the unrest we feel within ourselves. He knows the broken world around us and the anxiety that longs to overcome us. But He has promised that when we have Jesus, we have peace.
Paul tells us that the ‘peace of God’ is beyond anything we can understand. The peace of God is stronger than our world and circumstances and fills us when everything is going wrong. God’s peace is stronger than anything you face.
To have the ‘peace of God’, you must quit fighting God. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). God has given us His peace, but often we fight Him. I’ve met people who are so accustomed to turmoil that they don’t know how to live in peace. If the day seems to be peaceful, they have to bring up some kind of drama to create an environment of chaos. Quit fighting God’s peace.
To have the ‘peace of God’ you must surrender to God. “Now be ye not stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.” (2 Chronicles 30:8). The Jews were in a continual rebellion against God. Each generation and each person must decide to yield to God. Surrender is not an easy word to accept. But if you want to enter into peace, you must surrender to God. The sanctuary was a peaceful place in the Temple. If you want to enter into peace, you must surrender. In the passage above I find it interesting that part of the chaos people were experiencing was due to the wrath of God. Some of our problems will be immediately eliminated if we will simply yield to God.
To have the ‘peace of God’ you must serve God. Not only does 2 Chronicles 30:8 teach us that we must surrender to God, but we must serve God if we want His peace. I can’t tell you the inner tranquility that comes when I serve God. He has blessed each of us with talents, abilities, and experiences. They are given to us to glorify Him. But most people serve themselves. They use these gifts to make money or make themselves happy. But when you use what God has given you to make Him known and serve Him by serving others, it will give you more peace and joy than you can imagine.
A story is told that during World War 1, as German, British, and French solders were in the trenches along the western front on Christmas day, someone heard Silent Night being sung. The words were in a different language, but the tune was the same. Soon, the soldiers laid down their weapons, sang the Christmas carol, played soccer and shared care packages. British Army Captain Edward Hulse called it “the most extraordinary Christmas in the trenches you could possibly imagine” in a letter to his mother. It was called ‘The Christmas Truce.”
Or you can read more Gifts of Christmas.