Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Prince of Peace

The Christmas season returns each year loaded with various traditions, activities, and Whitman chocolates. Receiving the candies create anticipation and hesitation because inside the yellow containers are many delightful tastes as well as some disgusting bites. How many times have you spit out a selection that wasn’t as good as it appeared? Looks can be deceiving, even in a box of chocolates.

During the holidays, people express words of merriment or happiness with various Christmas phrases. Their mouths pour out greetings of grace, but what is in their hearts? Wounded hearts contain fear, worry, agitation, discord, brokenness, insecurity, and disappointment. Where is the peace? Just as we all survey a Whitman box for our favorite piece of chocolate, everyone searches for peace.

What is peace? Peace has many synonyms, like tranquility, calm, restfulness, and quiet. In Hebrew the word for “peace” is shalom. Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Doesn’t it sound blissful?

Where can we find that kind of peace, the peace that spells relief? It’s found in Jesus, our Messiah, the Prince of Peace. He can free us from our wounds, giving the contentment we all strive for. MPs, hear the words of the prophets:

Now gather yourself in troops,
O daughter of troops;
He has laid siege against us;
They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.
“ But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”
Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the LORD,
In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth;
And this One shall be peace. Micah 5:1-5 (NKJV)

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan—
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
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.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:1-7 (NIV)

It is accomplished - the Savior of the world has come, bringing hope, peace, and new life to the world! But do you truly believe that what He accomplished is for you? Do you have faith in His ability to deliver you from your hurts and give you peace? Paul tells us in Romans 5:1-2 (NKJV): “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

God has granted us access to this peace through His Son, Jesus Christ.....and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:20 (NIV) By believing in the work of the cross of Christ, we can trade our gloom and distress for the peace of God. Scripture tells us that God’s peace will guard 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 (NIV)

Have faith and trust in the God of peace, allowing Him to dispel the gloom that threatens your way of life. Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV) gives us a promise from God:

You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
No matter what circumstances come your way, God promises peace.
Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
He loves you. Rest in His peace.
“The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)
All God’s people say, “AMEN” - let it be so!

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