“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
So proclaimed the angels attending the birth of Christ...but where is the peace? When will men lay down their arms and join hands in goodwill one to another? Where is the promise of God?
God is not slack concerning divine promises, not as men count slackness, but neither are God’s ways our ways or God’s thoughts our thoughts. Though men have long sought “to be as gods,”
it is not an office we have obtained except in our own imaginations. Nevertheless, the question of peace on earth is a valid one.
I am here to say that God has made good the promise of peace and goodwill proclaimed by the angels and has done so in the person of the Babe of Bethlehem, the Prince of Peace. He that has ears, let him hear the words of Christ.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you...Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword...
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division... ”
People who pray for world peace, send out positive vibes for peace, and march in favor of world peace are doomed to disappointment if they think peace will descend over the world like a warm fuzzy blanket. That peace will come, but only under the future rule of Christ upon an earthly throne...and not a moment before.
While the world will not have universal peace, peace while living in the world is not only possible it is God’s desire for all. Peace on earth is available now...today. However, it only comes in individual size containers. The peace of God that passes all understanding is granted to those who ask for it and seek it.
This peace should not be mistaken for freedom from troubles and trials. That is not peace, but ease...and ease is promised to no one. The peace of Christ is not about ease or singing rousing choruses of We Are the World.
The peace Christ offers is an inner assurance that all is as God intends for our life and our personal good is God’s object. Peace is the calm to sleep while a storm tosses the ship because one trusts God to work personal salvation and deliverance on our behalf.
The source of this peace is Christ, it flows from him to us when we make peace with God. This is the message of the herald angels. All Christ did, we can do. All the strength, faith, and peace of mind Christ demonstrated; we can possess. We make the decision to receive it with all our heart and mind and Christ turns it into reality.
Be warned, peace is never easy, but it is here to be opened as a gift from God this Christmas. The gift is ours, so too is the decision to open it and use it. Have you opened your gift?