“These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Yesterday a news broadcaster reviewed the past year’s many tragic headlines from North America and beyond. They told of floods and fires, plane crashes, the opioid crisis, mass shootings, genocide, displaced people, and war. The collective pain and grief is incomprehensible. Those affected pick up the shards and try to carry on in their new normal. Some folks succeed; others not so much. How does one heal when the shards continue to cut to the depth of one’s heart?
There’s only one answer. For this we have Jesus—the Prince of Peace.
Before His arrest, Jesus spoke these words to His disciples: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).
Peace of mind and heart is a universal need. Men and women of all ages and from every culture seek it. The world offers cheap knock-offs that may provide temporary pain relief, but nothing and no one offers lasting, deep peace like Jesus.
Hours before He died, Jesus spoke of sharing His peace with us. This is a peace we can neither conjure up nor fake. It doesn’t come through easy circumstances or having enough money to feel comfortable. It doesn’t come through having good health or relationships. Granted, enjoying these things help make one’s life less stressful, but none of them are guaranteed. They can vanish in a heartbeat. Where does that leave us if we’ve founded our peace on their presence?
True, unshakeable peace comes from the Prince of Peace. Our circumstances change but He never will. He carries us and comforts us when life as we know it falls apart. He strengthens us and sustains us through change. He loves us and leads us like a gentle shepherd when we lose our way.
How do we experience the peace Jesus promised? I believe aligning our thoughts about God with the truth is key. Apart from the truth, our minds make Him into a God too small and peace is impossible. With that as our foundation, here are several intentional actions to take:
- Refuse to entertain worrisome thoughts and fears.
- Focus on God’s promises. Speak them aloud and personalize them.
- Tell God about everything that concerns you.
- Make gratitude a lifestyle.
Philippians 4:6-7 explains it well. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Only God knows what the new year will hold. For us, it’s a huge uncertainty. But this one thing we can know for sure—no matter what headlines we’ll encounter, we can experience peace because Jesus said so.
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