Prince of Peace is one my favorite names of God. When I really begin to grasp that Jesus gives real peace, it makes me take a big breath and rest deep down in my soul. I’ve been asking God to teach me about peace for several years now because I’ve noticed that peace is often missing in my heart. All too often, I let my full calendar, my long to-do list, or my small daily frustrations steal the joy and peace that I want to be characterized by. I want the peace of Numbers 6: “The Lord bless and keep you…the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.”
God gives us peace with God when we believe that He is the answer to our sin problem. He is peace, and when Jesus came as a man and conquered death, “the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him.” (Isaiah 53:6) He has already brought us peace if we’ve trusted in Him for eternal life! Romans 5:5 says, “Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
But there’s a moment by moment peace of God that requires a choice on my part. It’s the peace that is always available yet often ignored. What I’m finding is that sometimes I know the peace of God better in my life during the valleys than in the more mundane plains. I remember feeling more peace after my husband fell from a cliff and was needing to be airlifted from a canyon than yesterday when I was homeschooling my dear children in a messy house while they kept losing essential things. It’s these moments when I know I need more of Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” What a beautiful offer from our God!
Philippians 4:4-9 is amazing because it reads almost like a step by step equation for peace.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.”
What I read there is rejoicing + gentleness – anxiety + prayer + thanksgiving = incomprehensible peace! Yes, please! I need peace to guard my heart and mind, and I have a choice to make lined out for me in the first part of that equation. It’s a step by step method for abiding and walking with God in each moment. However, I don’t think God wants this to feel like another to-do list to complete in this busy Christmas season. Instead, it’s an invitation to remember Him as we do the everyday items that we have to do. Applying these verses might just mean having a conversation with Him as I go throughout my day and allowing the Holy Spirit to remind me of His offer of peace. It might go something like this:
Me: “But Lord, this house is a mess!”
Jesus: “Don’t be anxious. Trust me when you’re overwhelmed.”
Me: “Lord, my daughter lost her Awana book again!”
Jesus: “Be gentle with her and ask me. I can help you.”
Me: “Lord, I don’t know how I will host all of our family for Christmas!”
Jesus: “Can you be thankful for that family and a home to host them in?”
When I listen to His voice in the midst of my bustling, I begin to experience Him as my peace. Jesus is peace, and He’s the one that gives the peace we and the rest of mankind so desperately seek: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you.” (John 14:27) May we know more peace as we seek to know Him, the Prince of Peace.