Advent Encouragement and Prayer - Week 3
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6
Week Three: Peace
The word peace can be found throughout the Christmas season, strung on garland and sung by choirs. It can be used so much that we can grow numb to the deep and life changing meaning of the word. Most of the time we equate peace with an absence of conflict or a feeling of inner tranquility but true biblical peace is so much more. The Hebrew word used in the Bible for peace is Shalom, which means to be in a state of safety, wholeness or completeness, without any deficiency or lack. This peace is only possible through Christ.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came into this world to restore our relationship to God. When He took on our sins and died on the cross he fulfilled God’s promise to recile us to Himself, making a way for us to experience wholeness in our relationship with Him. Jesus came to give us eternal and everlasting peace as well as give us access to peace on earth through the Holy Spirit. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). It is because of this we can find peace even in the darkest times. No matter our circumstance we have access to the true peace which transcends all understanding and guards our hearts and minds.
It is from this assurance of peace that we can also seek to extend peace to others. In a world that is easily divided, the Holy Spirit empowers us to be peacemakers with our neighbors, friends, and enemies. “As a prisoner in the Lord, then, I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling you have received: with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, and with diligence to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3).
This advent season we rejoice in what Christ has done, we press on to be faithful with what he has called us to, as well as look forward to the day when all of creation is brought into perfect peace again. “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.” And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).
In the hustle and bustle of the season it can feel difficult to find peace. Consider taking time this week to intentionally take time to rest in Christ’s shalom. “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’-Numbers 6:24-26