Do you feel like you are holding your breath this week?
Do you feel anxious and hypervigilant?
I can’t say anything about the events happening tomorrow and this week because recently I wrote a post and mentioned in one sentence the name of our collective civic duty and was blocked on social media. It’s funny really because I’m hardly a threat, though living for Jesus and making Him known has been hated since He walked the earth. And it may be increasingly risky in the future.
All of our current instability, both nationally and personally, reminds us we need the Prince of Peace. This name of Jesus was foretold hundreds of years before His birth. And this year we have all four of the Isaiah names of Jesus available for your Christmas tree here.
More than ever perhaps because 2020 has radically changed our comfortable circumstances and we can’t trust the familiar as we once did. And don’t you know God wants that? For us to see we were placing far more trust and hope in outer structures than in Christ alone?
Regardless of our life situation, every human heart longs for peace without end. But it cannot be found on earth.
No ruler who has ever lived, even the most benevolent, has ruled with perfect peace. All leaders are human, flawed, and prone to error. But there is One who is perfect. Jesus. Whose name is Prince of Peace. This name brings the great promise of a life without conflict. Only One who is divine, who is sinless, can rule with perfection. His Name is Jesus.
While we wait for His government on earth, we can still experience the peace Jesus offers us today. In John 14:27 He tells us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Later He added, “in me you may have peace” (John 16:33). Jesus knew He was leaving, and His followers would feel abandoned and afraid, so He promised them the assurance of much needed peace.
It is both remarkable and comforting that Jesus can dwell within our frail humanity by His Spirit. Even in our faults and failures He can produce miraculous peace. Does He live within your heart? If He does, then no matter how difficult your circumstances, He can and will give peace that passes all understanding if you will ask.
Fifty years ago I gave my life to Jesus after listening to a Bible study on this verse: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). The teaching that night showed me a God who loved me and wanted me to have peace and not anxiety. God knew the desire of my heart, led me to this Bible study, and I heard His invitation to trust Him with my life. It was an easy decision. It was clear this God of peace was who I needed.
One of the most loved hymns of the church, and my personal favorite, is “It Is Well With My Soul.” It was written by Horatio Spafford just months after all four of his daughters drowned when their ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean. His wife was saved when a plank of wood floated beneath her unconscious body, keeping her from drowning. Unimaginable grief must have overwhelmed Spafford.
On the journey to meet his wife, he wrote these words near the place where the ship sank: “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll … Thou has taught me to say, it is well with my soul.” How was that possible? Without the Prince of Peace it is not. Only in Jesus can we say, “It is well with my soul.”
As we walk these challenging days and into the coming Christmas season, I pray we will embrace opportunities to trust God in new ways. He’s giving us trials so we can experience more of who He is … including His perfect peace.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
Will you turn over your anxious thoughts, your fears, your needs to the One who knows you best? Will you ask Him to give you His peace?
This is who Jesus is: “And His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
And it’s never too early to sing Christmas carols, so here are some words from a favorite that will hopefully get stuck in your head and remind you often to rest in your Prince of Peace:
Hail the heav’n born Prince to Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”
May you know His peace today and forever.