One of the central themes of the Christmas season is the message of peace. We send Christmas cards, sing songs, and display decorations that speak of peace on earth. This year especially, with the recent violent tragedies around the world, there seems to be a renewed cry for peace. However, it is important to realize that true peace is found only in Jesus.
The prophet Isaiah foretold that the birth of Jesus would bring peace to the world. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given … and His name will be called … Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end (Is. 9:6-7, NKJV).
When Jesus was born, the angels celebrated the peace of God by proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14).
The good news is that the peace God offered at the birth of Jesus is still available today! The key is to understand that true peace isn’t based on the circumstances around us but rather on our relationship with God.
You don’t have to wait until all your problems cease before you have peace; you can experience peace now even in the midst of a storm. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Let’s face it; it’s easy to find circumstances that are not peaceful. Around the world, you can find war, terrorism, and division. In your own family sometimes, you may find discord, disagreements, or conflict. However, even in the midst of turmoil, you can still experience genuine peace by receiving Jesus.
What does it really mean to be at peace? The word most commonly translated as “peace” in the Old Testament is the Hebrew term “shalom.” Its meaning involves more than just the absence of discord but furthermore represents the ideas of wholeness, soundness, fullness, and welfare. So when Isaiah referred to Jesus as the Prince of Peace (shalom), he presented Christ as the one who brings true fulfillment, completeness, and prosperity.
Isaiah also offered an important key to enjoying the benefit of God’s peace. He wrote in a song of praise to God, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Is. 26:3). When we keep God at the center of our thought life, we view things differently. We see problems from a different perspective. We go through life knowing that God is in control, and we trust Him.
In the original Hebrew rendering of Isaiah 26:3, the words translated as “perfect peace” are the words “shalom shalom.” Hebrew writers would sometimes duplicate a word in order to emphasize its meaning. Apparently, Isaiah wanted to drive home the truth that God offers not just “peace” but “peace, peace.” In other words, God doesn’t just bring a shallow, temporary feeling of peacefulness; instead, He offers deep, eternal fulfillment and wholeness.
Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27, NLT). In this season, regardless of the circumstances around you, know that “He Himself is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). Let Jesus be your peace today.