Last week’s word was JOY. This week’s word is PEACE. It’s a word that I have a special fondness of, a feeling I enjoy, a promise I depend on. We hear a lot of this word this time of year as it is part of the Christmas story found in Luke 2.
Jesus liked the word PEACE too – I guess it shouldn’t surprise us since Isaiah 9:6 told us He would be the “Prince of Peace”. In the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew 5:9, Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” The word is used multiple times in John’s account of Jesus’ teachings, even telling us “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) In fact a quick search on biblegateway.com of the word “peace” will give you hundreds of references to the word throughout the Bible!
One of my all-time favorite promises of peace is found in Philippians 4:6-8 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Peace. Yes, I confess, I am definitely a peace lover.
Recently a message at church hit home in a major way for me. It was taken from the Matthew 5 scripture referenced earlier. “Blessed are the peacemakers”. Our pastor explained peace-making by telling us what it isn’t – peace-making is not “peace faking”. Avoid, ignore, neither is a characteristic of a peace maker. Peacemaking is also not “peace breaking”; a peace breaker usually ends up trying to control the situation, either by words or actions. Perhaps even the silence of peace faking is a form of peace breaking? Neither is the peace-making Jesus calls us to.
Peacemakers speak truth with love. As the saying goes “Love without truth is enabling; truth without love is brutality. Jesus calls us to speak truth with love.”
Or in other words TRUTH + LOVE = PEACE
So how’s your peace in this most wonderful time of the year?
Is it the peace that Philippians 4:7 in the Amplified Bible describes “that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace – which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”?
Is it “that peace”?
That peace that speaks truth, with love, in a heartfelt desire to bring peace.
That peace that envelopes us even when everything around us is chaotic.
That peace that mounts guard over our hearts and minds even when we are overwhelmed or hurting.
That peace that is able to say “God this relationship is difficult but I trust You for the outcome, I trust you to bring about change, in me, in them, in us, for Your glory and honor”.
That peace that brings sanity in the midst of an insane world.
Jesus came so that we can live in “that peace”.
He is truth.
He is love.
He is PEACE.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)