Yesterday, I shared a personal epiphany I had when I rode Amtrak to Washington. Looking straight out the window yields a blurry sight. But if I look ahead a bit, the image becomes clearer and the blur goes away.
I was challenged about this when I was reading about the angels declaring, “Peace on earth.” To what kind of peace were they referring? What peace was brought by the child born in that manger 2000 years ago? Does that peace still exist?
I want to declare, like the angels, there is peace. There is a resounding certainty that the child, the promised Messiah … whose name is Jesus … brings peace with Him. I declare, based on the truths in Scripture, this peace exists and you can discover it. Let me share three types of peace.
FIRST … There is peace with God
You may not realize it, but without the work of Jesus, we are enemies to the holy God. We are at war between His ways and ours. And, well duh, we will lose that battle every time. But Jesus’ blood, the blood shed on the cross, the blood spilt for our sins, the blood that paid the price we owed … that blood makes peace with God. We now have the right to be called children of God.
Don’t miss this wonderful truth. The circumstances surrounding the birth may not clearly show the peace He brings. But look ahead to the cross, and it the peace is clearly seen.
SECOND … There is peace of God
This world is chaos. Life is messy. I don’t need to explain, just follow the news or look out your window. Life is anything but peace. But God tells us He gives a peace that passes all understanding. So don’t let your hearts be troubled. It is not based on circumstances, not based on anything this world offers.
The peace that Jesus gives is not circumstantially based. It is peace in bad circumstancesJohn Piper
It’s not a peace based on a retirement plan, a bank account, health insurance or locking your doors at night. Anything this world offers can be lost, stolen or destroyed in a blink of an eye. And we fear and become over-anxious. But God’s peace is beyond that. It promises a future secure for eternity, something beyond human comprehension.
Let me give an example. As I type this, I am binging the Bourne trilogy with Matt Damon. It’s intense, messy, and very suspenseful. Chase scenes, shoot outs, gritty fights, explosions, subterfuge … you get it. But you know, I’m not worried. I’m not bothered with his potential demise. I’ve seen these before. He wins. He overcomes in the battles and even returns for two sequels. Looking at the image in front of me, the end result is blurry. But I know the future, all is going to be okay.
That’s the peace of God … He has the future in His hands, and I’m going to be okay. I’ll cast all my fears and anxieties on Him (oh, they still pop up, but they’re now His.)
Peace of God … Peace with God
THIRD … There is peace with others
The first two come from Him and we claim them. This one requires us to work for it. We are to strive to live at peace with others … it may not always work, but we are to work for it. This is our responsibility with others around us.
This year, may you first know peace with God … experience His grace and forgiveness. Then as His child, you have the peace of God that comes with knowing you’re in His hands and nothing, nothing, will separate you from His love. And with those, you now have a reason to pursue unity and harmony, a peace with others.
You know, if we all had these three peace’s … 2022 will be the best year ever.
So peace out dudes!