The Gift Of His Peace
By Dr. Charles Stanley
There is a special word found throughout the Christmas story that should be very important and meaningful to you and I as we consider the birth of the Christ child. Used more than 400 times in Scripture, it is a term found interwoven in the prophecies of Jesus’ coming as a special gift to us from God.
That wonderful word is peace.
In speaking about the Savior, the prophet Isaiah reported, “A child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be . . . Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). Also, recall what the angels said the night Jesus was born: “There appeared . . . a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased’” (Luke 2:13–14).
Christmas can undoubtedly be one of the most joyous and revitalizing seasons of the year for us as believers. However, it can also be hectic and nerve-wracking—so much so that we lose our sense of security and tranquility, which is the very thing Jesus came to bring us.
So today I would like to ask you: In the hustle and bustle of Christmas, where do you go to find silence and stillness? Do you rejoice and rest in all that the Lord has given you? Or is this time of year characterized by impatience, agitation, conflict, and pain?
Many people believe the pathway of peace is through possessions—especially during the Christmas season. They believe that if they could just have the latest gadget, they would be happy. If they could only buy their loved ones the special objects they desire, then they could maintain harmony in their households. Sadly, this does not work. Worldly goods can never fill emptiness, give worth, or restore broken relationships.
My son, Andy, understood this from a very young age. I remember one evening when he was still in high school, we were sitting at dinner and he said to me, “Dad, I want to thank you for not giving us everything we wanted.” Of course, this had me intrigued. I asked him why he felt this way. I will never forget his explanation:
“Many of my friends—well, their parents give them everything they want, and it’s really messed them up,” Andy replied. “They think that is all there is to life. Thank you for teaching me what is truly important.” I was so thankful my son had learned this vital principle: Peace, joy, and fulfillment come through Christ, not through possessions or anything else this world can offer.
So as Christmas approaches, how can you maintain genuine tranquility in the midst of all the activities and pressures of the season? How can you preserve harmony within yourself, with others, and, most importantly, with the Father? Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). How can you take hold of all He offers?
First, realize that the peace of God originates from reconciliation with Him. The Greek word for peace is eirene, and it simply means, “to bind together.” When you trust the Lord Jesus as your Savior, He binds you together with Himself for all eternity. You never need to worry about your salvation because He makes you right with the Father through His death on the cross—and no one can ever take that away from you.
Second, embrace the fact that Christ takes full responsibility for your needs as you obey Him. Earthly tranquility is often based on worldly resources, which can—and ultimately will—fail. So whenever you face situations that are beyond your abilities, talents, skills, and wealth to overcome, it is no wonder you feel overwhelmed, anxious, and discouraged. However, God is completely capable of helping you, regardless of your circumstances. Therefore, as a believer, you can calmly and joyfully trust Him, because you know that the One who is best able to give you the victory in every situation will never leave or forsake you.
Third, understand that the Father’s peace is the result of your personal relationship with Him. When you feel apprehensive, what do you do? Do you rush about, trying to find solutions to your problems? Do you try silencing your anxieties by shopping, eating, working, or engaging in some destructive habit? It doesn’t really help, does it? Friend, the Lord’s presence has the power to calm your worries and drive out your fears (1 John 4:18). Whenever these concerns creep up this Christmas, consider it a call to spend time with Him.
When you spend time with the Lord, you realize He’s got everything under control. And when you walk in the center of His will and learn to see your circumstances from His perspective, you experience the deepest, most wonderful tranquility—confident that He will work everything out for your good. Not only will you experience peace with the Father, but you’ll also be a calming presence to those around you. You’ll be able to handle the conflicts that arise with greater grace, wisdom, and composure.
So this Christmas, instead of focusing on all the presents you must buy, think of the one you most need to receive—the gift of His peace. Surrender your life to the Prince of Peace—and enjoy the rest, tranquility, and hope He created you to enjoy.
Jesus’ disciples experienced tribulation, rejection, and even death as they strived to spread the gospel. Yet Jesus told them, “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). In this message, Dr. Stanley explains how we can have peace in a world full of rebellion, dishonesty, crime and greed. (Watch Jesus—The Prince Of Peace.)
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