Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The Prince of Peace
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 KJVS
You might have heard the John Lennon song where he says, “All we are saying, is give peace a chance.” Even if you were not around when the song came out, you probably have heard it. What does it mean to give peace a chance? What does it mean to have peace? What is peace?
So often we think of peace as the absence of something – war, conflict, noise, strife, difficulty. While each of those things clearly affect our sense of peace, I don’t think the absence of them is peace. You see, peace is not primarily an absence of something. Rather, it is fundamentally the presence of something; something so deep that even in the midst of conflict, noise, strife and difficulty you know it is there. This peace, true peace, allows us to move into and through the challenges to it without our hearts and our minds being overwhelmed. This peace, true peace, is not natural – it is supernatural.
The Bible tells us exactly this. The apostle Paul, who had every right to not be at peace, wrote about this true peace. He wrote, “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5–7).
Two phrases stand out to me first of.1) “do not be anxious about anything.” 2) “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding.” The two phrases lead to two questions: 1) Is it possible to not be anxious about anything? 2) How can you have peace that cannot be understood?
Does the passage raise other questions for you?
For me, the answer to both of those questions is found in last three words “in Christ Jesus.” I believe that as I connect regularly into who I am in Jesus, I learn who he is and I learn who I am. As we connect with him, we learn to hear his voice and to experience his deep love for us. As you connect regularly, habitually, with Jesus (through set aside times in his word, in silence, in intentional walks where you look for and recognize his presence etc.) you will find yourself more and more without anxiety over things you cannot control, you will find yourself at peace over things that that are only within his control. You will have a peace that defies explanation outside of the supernatural; you will have the presence of Christ, the Price of Peace, within and flowing through you.
Peace, hope and love