In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Perfect Peace

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." ~ Isaiah 26:3

Of all things needed and craved by mankind, none is so vital as peace: peace without, and peace within.

Because by nature we are selfish and aggressive creatures, peace among nations and neighbors is tragically elusive and, historically, seemingly impossible but for short periods and in scattered places. All too often rulers use their powers to wage war on other countries and upon their own peoples, and even the best democratic governments are incapable of preventing the mini-wars individuals make upon each other every day. Endless conflict and suffering seem to be the natural lot of human beings almost everywhere.

Peace within ourselves is even more precious than peace in the world, because it transcends the world. One can feel desperate and hopeless even when conditions about us are peaceful. But thanks to the blessed assurance that we have from our Savior, we can be at peace within even when the world around us is rent with conflict. Through repentance, faith, and embrace of His sacrifice on the Cross, His righteousness is ours. We needn't groan and fall under the weight of our sins, no matter how heavy they are; they are laid at Jesus' feet, and in His infinite love are swept away. Because we know that in Him death is swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54), we know that we likewise shall be victorious in the end, and fear not what men can do to us.

The prophet Isaiah warned that "[m]any days and years shall ye be troubled," and that the world would become as a wilderness,
. . . Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places . . . (Isaiah 32:10, 15-18)
This is the promise of Christmas, when Jesus came down from Heaven to dwell among us and proclaim the Good News of salvation, to take the weight of our sin upon Himself, and to establish the never-ending Kingdom of Righteousness that leads all sincere believers to that inner "peace of God, which passeth all understanding . . ." (Philippians 4:7). He is indeed the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). We pray unceasingly that that peace spread among all men and women, and for the day when this world is finally and fully transformed into the quiet and beautiful Garden that our Lord always meant it to be.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” ~ Luke 2:14

May the Peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones
this Christmas and every day of your life!

NOTE: This post was adapted from one on another blog to which I contribute, Faithful Feet. Visit that site for spiritual lessons and encouragement from people all over the world, every day!


It's A Wonderful said...

I love this post, Tom. It's a sweet reminder of what Christmas is, rather than what we've made it. And yet, He loves us in spite of what the world has made of His birthday...

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL post! It is what Christmas is really all about--and knowing (and appropriating for oneself) that sacrifice Jesus made for our own sins. That is the way to achieve real peace within.