by Katie Pearson
“And he shall be their peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men.” – Micah 5:5
Every one of us longs for peace both internally and externally. For inner peace we turn to a myriad of techniques, from mindfulness to deep breathing. Or we talk to professionals, start exercise programs, and reprioritize our schedules. Rarely do these methods last long-term because the circumstances surrounding us continue to pose new challenges, disrupting our newfound calm. If peace is our ultimate value, then we will be terribly disappointed in ourselves and life when it doesn’t seem to take root and can’t provide the happiness we strive for.
Philippians 4:7 assures us that in Christ we can have “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” so why do we continue to wake up in the night under a blanket of anxiety? The answer is startlingly simple: we are turning to self-protection for peace rather than to our Savior.
Peace isn’t a feeling; it’s a person. Jesus didn’t come to bring peace—he is peace.
Through him we are no longer at war with God, with others, or with ourselves. We don’t have to create unity in our strength or through our own ingenuity: it is already present and ours to experience daily, regardless of what happens. Ephesians 2:13-14 says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.”
So what can we do to experience the peace of Christ this Christmas? First, we must receive the gift of our salvation by grace—not just once, but daily.
In Christ we have total and irrevocable reconciliation. As long as we choose to do our part in obediently walking out God’s commands, we can stop defending our little pockets of peace and start giving more of ourselves as ambassadors of the peace we already possess!
Who or what is threatening to steal your peace, even as you read these words? Repent for forgetting that Jesus is your peace and for making a feeling more important than worshipping your Savior. Because here’s the truth: only when we surrender to our circumstances and trust Jesus for our peace, praising him in all circumstances, will we truly understand the gift of our salvation.
Rather than trying to manufacture peace and protect ourselves from anything or anyone that might disrupt our perfect Christmas, let’s invite in all the distractions knowing that peace is a given. Let’s uphold the truth that in Christ, peace is our birthright. While we might not always feel calm and centered, we are protected by our oneness with God which can never be broken.
Jesus, I am so sorry for making peace my ultimate value over knowing you. I repent of believing that I can create an environment that calms my anxious mind and soothes my troubled soul. Today I choose to trust you in all circumstances, joyfully reclaiming the peace that my enemies can never steal, kill, or destroy. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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