Welcome to newcomers to our Advent series on God’s “I WILL” promises. I hope you return again and again!
As we open Christmas cards these days, inevitably one card will quote the angels announcement to the shepherds of Bethlehem: “Peace on earth and good will towards men!” But as we look around our world it is often hard to imagine a day when God’s peace will truly reign in our world. Refugees flood into camps, looking for relief from warring factions. Politicians throw accusations at each other and demand government inquiries. Rogue shooters kill innocent victims attending concerts or young students inside schools.
Life in Jesus’ time was no different. Jewish authorities dragged early Christians from their homes and killed innocent men and women. The believers fled and scattered across the known world. All this was predicted by Old Testament prophets, but in Isaiah 26:3, the great prophet also wrote, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! “
Jesus made a similar promise: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” Following his lead, Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6,7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
God’s peace is not a treaty between warring factions. It does not establish international boundary lines. No, it settles down deep inside each individual that trusts in God.
As you open the greeting cards that arrive in today’s mail, pause to pray for those who sent the cards. Ask God to let his peace descend on each friend or family member who took time to mail a greeting to you.