I think one of the few things people think about during the Christmas season is the subject of peace. Though you see the word hoisted on a wall as a seasonal decoration or hear it occasionally in a Christmas carol, “peace” is generally not something people adhere to during the holidays. Certainly not myself. And not just during the Christmas season is peace a struggle with me… it is something I am constantly forgetting that I need to have in order to be victorious in this life.
How do you get to the place where you are not feeling peaceful? What might cause or provoke anxiety or fear in your life? What is the result of not having peace? And what is the result when we are living in peace?
Often a lack of peace might demonstrate itself in my life through insomnia, anger, impatience, and a general lack of joy. In other words, I get cranky. I might put some walls up to keep people whom I fear, from getting too close. I’m not very kind when I lack peace and can dish out some not-so-nice remarks to keep people at bay who I am too scared to be vulnerable with. I also am terrified about waiting on something, even if the Lord requires it. I get the sense that if I wait too long, it will go away and so I try to manuever situations to my greatest advantage. This isn’t peace-filled living at it’s finest. I’m sure some of you are starting to identify with some of my struggles.
Scripture is pretty clear about what peace is. True peace, anyway.
First of all, God is the giver of peace. We can’t conjure peace up ourselves. He has to give it to us and He will if we ask Him. (Numbers 6:26, Leviticus 26:6, Psalm 29:11, John 14:27, 2 Thessalonians 3:16). When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we entered into a covenant of peace with Him as foretold by the prophets. This signified that we didn’t have to constantly fret about our sinfulness and freak out about our future. He, who is our peace, took all of our sinfulness upon Himself and then poured out wonderful promises for our future. Because He, who is peace itself, lives inside of us, we can access this stabilizing force anytime and anywhere. We don’t have to worry about anything. It’s all in the contract. This doesn’t mean that we won’t go through difficulty and testing but it does mean that we can’t judge our future by our current circumstances. It means that even in the midst of difficult times, we can enter into His peace and rest by simply asking Him to take us there.
So during this Christmas season, I charge you to think about what peace has to do with Christmas. While you are running all over the place spending money, trying to get to every holiday event, baking, and turning your home into a Christmas palace, know that what you are really celebrating is peace on earth. Peace in our hearts. Peace from fear.