One of the familiar words that typically surround the Christmas season is “peace.” We see it on billboards, lit up in twinkling lights, and on charms worn around necks.
Yet, with so many who pray for peace this time of year, why does it seem like peace always eludes us?
For Christians, this season is of extreme importance as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior who rescued humanity from our sins and healed our brokenness. One of the central promises associated with the birth of Christ is the hope and expectation of peace on earth. In an era filled with conflict – conflict between nations and conflict even within our own homes – the message of peace that Jesus gives should certainly bring a message of hope for all families and communities.
There are different kinds of peace Christ offers us. In fact, the Hebrew word “shalom,” translated as “peace” in the English language, appears 550 times throughout Scripture.
There is peace characterized by the absence of conflict. This is a peace the prophets predicted for the world when the nations “will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4). This will happen only when Jesus, the Prince of Peace, returns to His eternal kingdom.
We also find a version of peace when Christ would greet others in Scripture. “Peace to you” (Luke 24:36), He said to the Apostles. Or “Peace from our Lord Jesus Christ,” as many of the Apostles say in one form or another in their letters.
There is the peace described between Jews and Gentiles. “For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility,” Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:14.
We learn in the book of Romans that we can have peace with our neighbors “so far as it depends on us,” Paul explains. We are to always seek peace rather than conflict with those around us.
With so many comforting promises of peace in the Bible, the Christmas story delivers the word “peace” with heavenly praise. When Jesus’ birth was announced by the angels to the shepherds outside Bethlehem, they declared, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to those on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:14).
This is the living and lasting peace that gives us eternal hope. This is about more than the type of peace that brings an end to disagreement, ending tension and strife. What the angels are declaring is personal peace with God. It’s a peace that grips our souls and promises everlasting salvation.
The Bible tells us of a God who loves us and promises indescribable peace. Jesus is our peace. Only Christ and Christ alone can give us both internal and eternal peace.
Jesus said to a desperately sick woman who came to Him for healing: “Your faith has made you well; go in peace” (Mark 5:34). This woman’s faith in Him would do more than heal her disease; it would give her an eternal peace deep within her soul, a wellness within.
Whatever your state of mind is this Christmas, this abundant life is yours when you believe in Jesus when you place your faith in the God of peace – Jesus Christ.
It’s true that in this world, we’ll still have trouble. The promise of peace doesn’t mean our earthly problems just disappear.
But this leads us to look forward to the final promise of peace in Scripture. When Christ returns, the prophecy will be fulfilled, and He will reign on earth in perfect peace and harmony with all of humanity. What a spectacular day that will be! It will be a Christmas celebration forever.
We can wait expectantly, knowing our future is with Him.
This promise of peace on earth remains as real and relevant as ever. It’s ours, if we’ll just receive it. Until then, we live with expectancy and with the promise that our future is with Him. He holds the future, including your future, in His hands.
This article was written by Dr. Jack Graham and originally published by Christian Headlines