This is the last week of Advent, and it focuses on peace. The past three weeks we have looked at hope, love, and joy. All three of these things stem from a peace that God gives us as believers. When the angels brought the news to the shepherds, they also started singing. Their song alluded to this peace.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
This peace was not an outward peace. Jesus told us that he did not come to bring peace to the world, but a sword. However, those who believe in him will have peace.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Matthew 10:34 NIV
“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 NIV
Jesus was telling his followers that he was not the earthly king they had expected. In fact, the believers could expect troubles. Some of those troubles may even mean that a brother would turn against a brother because of their belief in Jesus. We see this in many nations today where someone believes in Jesus and their family, angry because of their conversion, plots to kill them. Jesus’ message is not received by all and that causes strife.
Satan is also at work in this world, causing pain and strife. His sole purpose is to cause trouble for those that believe. Jesus told his followers about this and it is no different today. You willhave troubles. However, Jesus came to bring peace to those that follow him. Not outward peace, but inner peace. The kind of peace that gets you through the troubles. The kind of peace that sets you right with God.
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 NIV
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 5:1 NIV
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Romans 8:6 NIV
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
Colossians 1:19-23 NIV
This peace is given to those who believe in Jesus. Not everyone can have this type of peace. It is reserved for believers, those that have the Holy Spirit.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
Romans 14:17 NIV
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 NIV
This inner peace that is given to us can also be an indicator of our faith journey. If we are starting to lose our inner peace, we know we need to refocus on Jesus. When we are focused on him, the Holy Spirit fills us with the peace we need. If we are losing our peace, we are losing our focus. Take time to focus on him and set things straight.
Thank you for coming to the earth as a baby and bringing us reconciliation with the Father. Thank you for giving me peace that allows me to soldier through even the hardest of times. Thank you for walking through life with me.
Help me to stay focused on you. I know when I falter I become anxious, I worry, and I try to control. Help me to see that when I get this way, I am taking my focus off of you. Despite what is going on around me, I should have a peace within me. You give me that when I walk where you ask me to. Help me to stay on the path.
In your name I pray,
- Do you currently have peace in your heart? If not, spend some time in prayer speaking to God about what is going on in your life.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any area in your life that is not fully under the authority of Jesus.