In a conflict-filled world, it is almost impossible to find peace, but Christ offers it to you in a way that brings you joy, guards your heart and mind, and passes all understanding!
I am a harmonizer. The results of a StrengthsFinder test I took a few years ago captured my perspective best when it said, “We’re all in the same boat. It’s a good boat. There’s no need to rock it.” Arguments tie knots in my stomach and I hate thinking someone might be upset with me. I try to avoid gossip. I don’t do drama. I try my best to read other peoples’ emotions and respond appropriately. It brings me great joy to make the people in my life happy and I am the first to jump in and try to fix it when I feel like there’s something off in one of my relationships.
It creates a very peaceful life…
But then, there are the things I can’t fix – hate crimes, cancer, violence, addictions, poverty, abuse, and the list goes on and on. It’s too big for me. It’s too big for any of us, which is why we need Someone more powerful.
The peace I create in my own life is a drop in the bucket compared to the one that Christ brought when He came to save the world as a child, born in a manger. My peace is man-made, dependent on situations and imperfect people. It’s not reliable and can change in the blink of an eye.
His peace, though?
His peace is one so great that it passes all understanding
“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
It’s a supernatural peace, one that doesn’t fit into our box of logic and reasoning. It’s one that is greater than any war, any argument, any natural disaster, and any contentious world leader. It is woven through marital fights, quarrelsome teenagers, hurtful insults, and the stinging pain of loss. It doesn’t make sense to feel at peace in the midst of any of those things, but I’ve felt it.
Because His peace has nothing to do with what is going on in the world around you. It has everything to do with being in a right relationship with God, trusting and believing His promises are true – that you are safe, that you are loved, that you are His. No conflict is greater than those truths.
His peace guards our hearts and minds
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:7
Have you ever been broken-hearted? Or felt worries flood your mind, as you were helplessly swallowed up into a sea of anxiety? Yeah, me too.
But you are not helpless. I have no doubt that your life is full of chaos, clutter, demands, and heartache, and there is no denying that violence and tragedy dominate the news, but Jesus came to bring you His peace as a shield against the fears fighting to take hold of your life. When the world gets too loud, find quiet in Christ, at the foot of the cross. Choose Him.
His peace brings joy
“…those who promote peace have joy.” – Proverbs 12:20
Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace. It doesn’t just mean an absence of conflict or trouble, though. It is a word that encompasses a tranquility both externally and internally, giving you a feeling of completeness and contentment. It is connecting with God in such a way that you are made whole, lacking nothing.
The more we can live in a state of constant surrender to God – fully accepting His forgiveness of our past, His purpose for our present, and His hope for our future – the more we will be able to live joyfully in all kinds of situations.
Paul even spoke about finding joy while being locked up in prison. That is not situation-based happiness! That is a deep joy that can only come from God, and He is offering the same joy to us – reach out and take it!
Enjoy this Christmas season, singing out and living out, “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men!”