‘And peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased‘ (Luke 2:14 NLT)
With all the problems that we see around the world, and the constant coverage of these events in the local, national and global news and internet, along with natural disasters that seem to be constantly occurring, it is hard to see or imagine peace anywhere.
Yet Jesus said;
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you‘ but not only did he say that but he continued; ‘I do not give to you as the world gives’ (John 14:27 NIV – emphasis mine).
Jesus left us his peace, but the peace he left us was his perfect peace, not as the world gives, the world is imperfect, and anything of the world is flawed, Jesus left us his perfect peace, and Paul, when writing to the church in Philippi, reminded them of this in his farewell part of his letter;
‘And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding’ (Philippians 4:7 ESV – emphasis mine).
Jesus told his followers that they would have his peace and also, ‘I do not give to you as the world gives‘ (John 14:27 NIV). We too can have the peace that our Lord, Saviour, Friend and Redeemer left to the world. His gift of peace is available to us and all people, should we and they seek it, and accept Him as Saviour. And if they and we do, peace will be theirs and ours, and Jesus told people how, and what they should do to get this peace that he offered;
‘seek first his kingdom and his righteousness‘ (Matthew 6:33 NIV).
Jesus also promised us that once we have come to Him, and accepted Him as Lord of our life, that He would stay with us forever; ‘Never will I leave you‘ (Hebrews 13:5 NIV), which is what Moses reminded Joshua of, shortly before his death;
‘The LORD himself goes before you… he will never leave you nor forsake you’ (Deuteronomy 31:8).
Once we are with God, we are never alone.
We can take comfort in the fact that, ‘the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones‘ (Psalm 37:28 NIV).
Most Christians will suffer to varying degrees, at various times, but when they/we die, there is knowledge of the place they will be going to, Jesus said;
‘I am going to prepare a place for you’ (John 14:2 NLT).
I have heard some Christians say that they are getting ready to ‘go home’, and they will have His eternal peace when they pass from this life.
Those who live for the Lord, and delight in Him, know that, ‘The Lord upholds them [him] with his hand‘ (Psalm 37:24 NIV).
We walk with God in His strength, but sometimes we don’t have the strength, and so we get carried by him (Footprints in the Sand). We know we need Jesus in our lives, for he said;
‘apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5 NLT).
From the very beginning, Jesus was always going to be special; as His birth became imminent even the angels could not keep silent; they spoke to the shepherds saying; ‘Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased‘ (Luke 2:14 NLT).
We also sing other songs with words such as, ‘Glory to the newborn King‘ and ‘Peace on earth and mercy mild‘ (Hark The Herald Angel Sing – F. Mendelsson).
Jesus though said that he did not come to bring peace (Matthew 10:34), but he did share with His disciples so that they would have peace (John 16:33).
We may not always feel at peace, we may have issues that require addressing, but whatever is wrong in our lives, Jesus is the answer. Only Jesus can give us what our hearts crave for.
Within us we know there is something missing, and that brings us to seeking, and we seek because;
‘There is a God shaped hole in all of us, and it’s a void that only he can fill’ (God Shaped Hole – sung by Plumb – written by Wayne Kirkpatrick & Tiffany Arbuckle Lee)
God can remedy all things, in His time. ‘God has called us [you] to live in peace‘ (1 Corinthians 7:15 NLT), for He himself is a God of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).
God gave the undeserving world the greatest gift of all, his Son (John 3:16), and all he requires from us is the gift of our life lived for him. Did you return the gift voided or unwarranted, or did you accept the gift?
Is He the God of your peace, and have you given Him the gift of your life yet?
Every point of view has another angle
And every angle has its merit
But all comes down to faith
That’s the way I see it
You can say that love is not divine and
You can say that life is not eternal
“All we have is know”
But I don’t believe it
There’s a God-shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There’s a God-shaped hole in all of us
And it’s a void only he can fill
Does the world seem grey with empty longing
Wearing every shade of cynical
And do you ever feel that
There is something missing?
That’s my point of view
Wayne Kirkpatrick / Tiffany Arbuckle Lee
Father we thank you for sending your Son, Jesus to give us the peace that we did not know that we needed. Lord we seek you and want to remember at this time of year the perfect gift that you gave us, your Son. Help us to show others this season that life is so much more when the God shaped hole is filled with the love, mercy and forgiveness that only comes from you.