Peace, Peace

Isaiah 9: 6

For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us . . . and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Ephesians 2: 17

And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near.

One of the greatest commodities of Christianity is peace.  If you want a revelation, run a search on the word peace. Even if you run the search in the New Testament alone, you will see an amazing mosaic unfold before you.

Besides being the Prince of Peace, Jesus is also called the Lord of peace (2 Thessalonians 3: 16). Father is the God of peace (1 Thessalonians 5: 23). Paul opened many of his letters with the blessing of peace and grace. Peace, living in peace, being at peace with others and in life’s circumstances, is part of our heritage, our inheritance. When Jesus was about to leave the earth and return to heaven, he told his disciples that he was going to leave his peace here, for us. His peace, he said, is different from the peace we have known in the world (John 14: 27). What is different about it? To start, it is perfect. You are, therefore, entitled to his perfect peace.

Jesus warned us that the world has trouble in it and as long as we live in the world, we will be exposed to this trouble. Fear not, though, because he said that even in these times of trouble, we may have peace. In fact, the words he spoke, his teachings, were intended that we may have peace. “Take courage,” he said, because he has overcome the world and all it’s trouble (John 16: 33).

So, what is the point of all this? You know things happen which are unpleasant. Occasionally you must deal with unpleasant people as well. That is life on this planet, for now. However, you are not required to live in that unpleasantness. Your inheritance is peace. So, how do you go from unpeaceful situations and stress to living in the perfect peace of your Lord? Well, the answer is actually there in the question. Living in the Lord, is the answer, and the way to his perfect peace. I wish this came easily but for some, it does not.

Sometimes we must be uncomfortable enough to invest some time and energy. We don’t have to live in torment, but the way out is through. Jesus is the prince of peace, the Lord of peace. Time spent with him is the way of peace. To have the peace he left for us, we must seek him and his peace. I wish it fell out of the sky onto you, but it doesn’t. It is in Jesus and when you are in Jesus, then you will find you are in his peace too.

It is challenging for me to give an entire lesson of getting into that space with Jesus in this format, but if you feel challenged, please, feel free to contact me. Above all, don’t live in turmoil and torment when Jesus made a way for you.

Blessings, peace and grace to you!

A Child is Born

Isaiah 9: 6

For 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 called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

I find this a heart-warming passage as it brings to mind images of the baby Jesus and Christmas. It is also fascinating to me. In this one passage is so much explanation of the once foretold, now realized Messiah. Remembering that this is an Old Testament passage creates an understanding of pre-Christ expectations. Yet, I suspect most people who lived before Christ and even those who experienced Jesus didn’t fully appreciate what this passage reveals. I wonder how much I fail to see in it.

The book of Isaiah is my favorite Old Testament book and you can see why. The revelation God gave Isaiah of the Messiah was very detailed and complete. It was also imbued with the passion of Christ which, amazingly, Isaiah was able to transmit to us through his writing. We feel the enthusiasm of the coming Messiah even as Isaiah revealed that this Savior would come as a baby. That had to have rocked a few people off their feet. I am sure they were expecting a powerful, glorious being to descend from heaven to right all the wrongs and restore the nation of Israel. Instead, they got a baby, but hey, they shouldn’t have been so surprised. Isaiah told them a baby would be born and that this baby would be the son who is given to us from God; a gift of love.

People did grab a hold of the part about the government resting upon the savior’s shoulders but they didn’t understand. They thought he would come as a usurper, a military leader and that he would take over the government which ruled the nation of Israel. Of course, at the time of Jesus’ life on earth, Rome ruled over Israel. The Jews expected, therefore, a conquering hero. I don’t believe that is the vision Isaiah saw. The government spoke of was the government of the whole earth. This government truly is about the laws which govern the earth. Those laws go far beyond political institutions to include gravity, hydraulics, and all the physical laws as well as all of the spiritual laws, most of which we don’t even have names for. These spiritual laws are a bit reflected in the close of this verse where Jesus’ titles are given.

How is the babe, who is revealed as the son of God, also known as the Eternal Father? Spiritual conundrum # 1. He is the Mighty God and the Prince of Peace. How do those harmonize? In God’s kingdom, there is not tension between those two roles. Jesus is God the Father and the son, who is a prince. He is the God of might and yet the prince of peace. These two roles sound like they are in conflict, but it takes a God of gentle yet formidable power to bring about peace. His power is not a threat but rather a comfort. His power actually brings peace when we soak ourselves in it. It is His ability to cause all things to work together which ultimately eliminates conflict. There is no need to strive or try to best one another because in Him, all needs are met.

I hope you find comfort and peace in this passage today. Some prayers will make better sense now as you embrace God as Father and Son. In one breath, we speak to the Father, who is the son. The son has come. He was given to us; a child and a king. He is our Lord and yet our best friend, and even our father.

Let me leave you with one thing more to ponder, if Jesus is Father and Son, what does that make the Holy Spirit?