My first twenty years as a Christian were lived without one of God’s most precious gifts–His peace. In fact, every year my children would ask me, “Mom, what do you want for Christmas?” I would say, “Peace.” Unfortunately, I didn’t understand God’s gift of peace. I thought my lack of peace was because of the constant conflict in my marriage. However, peace is not the absence of conflict; rather, it is a deep sense of security which God anchors inside inside us–even in the midst of conflict. God is the only source of perfect peace and because He is the Creator and Sustainer of all. He knows all and is all powerful. He is not afraid. When we know Him and stay close to Him–we have peace. How do we get close to Him?
God is righteous, therefore, the first step to our peace is through His righteousness. At the birth of Christ, the angels heralded the dawning of man’s peace: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”(Luke 2:14) But oh, at how deadly a cost was our peace purchased! “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) To give us the gift of peace, The Prince of Peace was born in a manger to die on a cross for our sin. Many of us accept the priceless gift of salvation and then–continue to live in unrighteousness—and deny ourselves His peace. The Psalmist described the interrelationship between the two as “righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psalms 85:10b)
God’s perfect peace within us begins with our salvation. It grows as we live within His righteous will. He promises: “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”(Psalms 119:165) For each of us, “peace on earth” begins in our heart. The message of Christ’s birth beckons us to accept His Gift of Salvation and to thereafter live in His will. It is then we begin to possess the gift of His glorious peace!