Peace is something we all desire, but it is rarely seen in the world around us. If I were to ask you to choose one word to describe 2016, I am pretty sure you would not say peaceful. We have seen too much terror, a wearying amount of violence, and conflict both within our nation and across the globe.
If so many people desire peace, why is it not easily achieved? Evangelist D. L. Moody observed, “A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it forustodo;allwehavetodoisenter into it.”
Moody was right. The only way to truly experience peace is through a relationship with God. His peace is not a quality to achieve, but a gift. Peace is also part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, a byproduct of a growing, fruitful relationship with our Father (Gal. 5:22).
God’s peace is also not dependent on our circumstances. Whether we experience disruption in our personal life or in the world around us, we can know peace. Peace is not the absence of trouble; it is the certain presence
of God. He offers us calm, even in the storm. “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety” (Ps. 4:8).
The biblical meaning of peace never implies that our lives will be tranquil; rather, that as we dwell in Him, we will be made whole or complete. Jesus, the promised Messiah, was God’s gift of peace to us that first Christmas. “His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). Through Him, we can know God and experience peace within our own hearts.
One of the Minor Prophets, Micah, referred to the coming Messiah: “This One will be our peace” (Micah 5:5). This month’s devotional will walk through the Minor Prophets, some of the least studied and appreciated books in the Old Testament. And in these books, we will learn more about Jesus, God’s Son.
He is our peace. Through Christ alone, we can experience peace in our relationship with God and with others. It is His gift to us. Jesus said, “Peace, I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). May you dwell in His peace this Advent.