The Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
The world is crying out for peace. Everywhere around us we see turmoil. There is a constant din of noise. Our hearts can follow this pattern and become anxious, nervous, weary, and worn. Yet, this is not God’s desire for His creation. This is not what the Scripture speaks to. There you find refreshing promises where Christ, our Savior, encourages us, stating “in me ye might have peace” (John 16:33) and “ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29) He promises more than salvation. He also promises to be our Prince of Peace.
First, we must consider what this “peace” is of which Christ speaks. Society today can focus heavily on emotions and feelings. How I do or do not “feel” becomes the determining factor when making decisions or in my general attitude. Our emotions drive our thoughts and then our thoughts drive our actions. Scripture, though, lays out a different equation. It discusses two types of peace:
- Peace with God is a reconciled relationship between God and an individual (see 5:1). This is truly why Jesus came – to be our Savior. From the child to the man to the cross, this was His purpose. This peace belongs to each believer by grace through faith. This realization can be a very emotional experience, but this peace is experienced and understood through believing in faith the truth of the Scriptures. We are no longer enemies but children of God, reconciled by His work (2 Cor. 5:17-21). This is powerful fulfillment to his promise to be our Prince of Peace.
- Peace of God is the awareness that our circumstances rest in God’s hands (see 4:7, Col. 3:15). This peace refers to the confidence which the believer, who is already at peace with God, has in knowing God is good, faithful, and in control. We hold on to these truths about God and have the peace of God, being confident no matter the circumstances because we know God is in control and can be trusted. This peace can settle into feelings as well but is often best described as that quiet assuredness which helps us to carry on in the midst of tumultuous times. It is the secret of the Believer and a great witness to the chaotic world around us. It transcends the emotions we may be experiencing in the moment. It is truly faith in action. This peace, as well, is why Christ came to be our Prince of Peace.
These truths may seem obvious on the surface level but often these truths need continual reminders and disciplines in our lives to bring them into our hearts. And to the non-believing world around us, they are as foreign as can be. In a world where feelings and emotions hold sway, we must work to keep ourselves grounded in the truth of God’s Word, resting in His promises. In this season, as holiday events, activity, stress, and trouble stir all around us, consider the following practices to remind yourself of this peace:
- Write down and recite to yourself your testimony of faith, recalling how you, by God’s grace, have become his adopted child. Reflect on Christ’s role in this transformation.
- Create a list and share with your friends and family five ways that God has proven trustworthy in the past year.
- Find three scriptures which speak to the peace of God which is offered to each believer. Commit to recite them each morning and each evening for a month. Put them in your car, on your mirror or kitchen window, or have them on your laptop so you frequently view them.
- As you give gifts this holiday season, share with your children the ultimate Gift which God gave his creation and read the Biblical Christmas story with them, reminding them of the good gifts which he continues to impart to his children.
- Write a note or purposefully have a conversation with a neighbor who you know could use encouragement and hope in this season of life.
- In the midst of troubled emotions and busied lifestyle this season, take a moment and stop, pause, and prayerfully thank God for the baby who came to be our Prince of Peace.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matt. 1:21
*Thoughts on the definition of Peace taken from Peace: A Clarification issued by the Elder Body.
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