Reason #21: Establish peace on earth
One of the most well-known Christmas carols starts off with:
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Is it possible to read those lyrics without singing the tune?
Isaiah, prophesying about Jesus, said: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” He certainly is the Prince of Peace and he desires to establish and see peace on earth. This begs a question: If Jesus is the Prince of Peace and he desires for us to have peace, why do we see so much lack of peace in the world?
A couple of things need to be mentioned here.
First of all, when there is a lack of peace it is usually because 2 people or 2 groups of people cannot get along. Because of their differences, one group, out of pride, feels that they are “superior” to the other. This leads to arguing, strife, conflict, and war. But in Christ, there is no one that is superior, no one that is privileged. The church was a very attractive place to many people in the first century, for it consisted of all different kinds of people who supposedly hated each other, yet through Christ were living in harmony and love. “Two opposite groups can become one together, because the walls of hostility and divisions between them are totally destroyed and broken down by Jesus, who is our peace” (Ephesians 2.14, paraphrase mine).
Secondly, the ability to experience true inner peace is available to those who accept the peace that Jesus gives. It is like a Christmas gift. It is yours for the taking, to be unwrapped and experienced, but God does not force it on you. Consider the following verses in which Jesus is talking to his disciples:
“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)
“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)
We can see that peace is something that Jesus bestows upon those who follow him. We also observe that peace does not necessarily mean freedom from all troubles. In fact, as long as there is sin in this world, there will be trouble and a lack of peace. But if your life is marked by a lack of inner peace, it is probable that you are chasing after and opening the “gifts” that the world has to offer. Seeking things that this world defines as successful does not lead to peace. Look at what Jesus says again: “I do not give you as the world gives you.”
One day, when Jesus returns once again to earth, there will be no more sin and then we will experience a world without a lack of peace.
Returning to the prophet Isaiah, one of the grandest visions of the future can be seen in chapter 11. Here are verses 6-9 of that chapter (NIV):
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
People may debate whether Isaiah is referring to a time where this will be fulfilled on this earth or on the new heaven and earth, but one thing is true: there will be a time when God puts an end to all strife. Resting in the promises of Jesus and his provision for all things both now and in the future certainly brings about inner peace.
Questions to consider:
Is your life marked by peace? When people enter your home, do they get a picture of what the Prince of Peace looks like?
Is there anything you need to do to experience the peace that only Jesus gives?
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