Over two thousand years ago on the first Christmas Day, Jesus Christ came to this earth to be our Prince of Peace. But today people are fight and killing one another all over the world, and the War on Terror is being fought every day. So where's the peace? Did Jesus fail?
Some would say that Jesus has had had over two thousand years to bring peace to the earth, and that's long enough. That's because they have not studied Scripture. There will indeed be peace on this earth for a thousand years, according to Scripture. In fact, the Bible says that lions will lie down with lambs. But that is in the future, and that is only one of the types of peace Jesus came to bring.
The more important peace brought by Jesus Christ has been reigning in men's hearts since He came into this earth and people recognized Who He was. This is a peace that the Bible describes as "beyond understanding." It is the kind of peace that causes people to look at followers of Christ who are going through terrible times in their lives, and wonder "How can they have such peace in the midst of such horrible circumstances?"
There is a wonderful story that is found several places in the Gospels. My favorite is in the fourth chapter of Mark, starting with verse 37. Jesus and His disciples were in a ship crossing a lake. Jesus was inside the ship, sleeping peacefully. A dangerous gale blew up, threatening the very lives of all on board, yet Jesus continued to sleep!
The disciples woke him, crying, "Master, don't you care that we are about to perish?" Jesus calmly got up, raised His hand over the waves, and said, "Peace, be still." Instantly the wind and the waves died down, and all was calm. The disciples still didn't fully understand Jesus' power, because they said, "What kind of man rebukes the wins and the water and they obey Him?"
Notice several important points about this story:
1) Outside the ship, confusion and danger reigned.
2) Inside the ship, Jesus was in perfect peace. He was not afraid even though those around Him were.
3) In His perfect time, he caused peace to come over the whole situation just by speaking a few words.
How does this apply to the peace God promised us through His Son?
Each of us is a ship. At times the circumstances outside the ship are enough to cause anyone to be fearful. Rebellious children, threats of terrorism, financial difficulties, a pending lawsuit, health problems. Any of these or dozens of other problems can threaten our peace. Add the reactions of fear and panic felt by others around us, and it would be easy for us to lose our peace.
But if Jesus is inside the ship, there is perfect peace. Put another way, wherever Jesus reigns, peace reigns. Jesus is never fearful, stressed-out, or confused. If He lives in your heart, if He is in charge of your life, peace will reign, no matter how bad things get on the outside of your ship. And in His perfect time, He will speak to the circumstances in His calm yet powerful voice. He will say, "Peace, be still." And the circumstances will obey. That is His gift and His promise to you this Christmas.