Sometimes peace feels hard to find. But God promised us peace throughout His Word. In fact, He offered Himself in the form of humanity and conquered death so that you and I can know peace. He gives peace. He calls us to peace. So as we enter the season that marks both the birthday of the Prince of Peace and one of the busiest times of the year, let’s pause and consider true peace. The peace Jesus offers.
Read Judges 6:1-24
I sat in traffic the day after my grandma died listening to Christmas music. She loved Christmas. The song, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” started playing, and I listened to the words for what felt like the first time ever.
“(I)n despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said; “For hate is strong, And mocks the song of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
I found myself agreeing with the anguish of the song, even though I knew my grandma would be spending this Christmas with Jesus in heaven. Where is the peace?! What’s the point of Christmas bells that ring loud and strong and proclaim peace on earth when hate and evil and sadness and terrible things happen and make living here on earth so hard? Then in what felt like a whisper from God, the despairing lyrics turned to hope. “Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: ‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep . . .'”
God whispered hope through my car radio that day. God is alive. He is with me. This is peace.
Jesus was born on earth in the form of a baby. God took care of the desperate status of mankind when He gave His Son to death and brought Him back to life, having conquered all that threatens our peace and our life.
God is with us. He does not sleep.
He assured Gideon of this in an Israelite winepress. We read it today. Hiding from the Midianites, Gideon was afraid and discouraged. I guess he figured they wouldn’t know about his wheat harvest if he took it into the winepress to thresh it there. That’s when God told Gideon he had all he needed.
“The LORD is with you, mighty warrior” (v. 12)!
Don’t you love Gideon’s honesty? “Pardon me, my lord, but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us” (v. 13)?
It’s a question I asked that day in the car. I’ve asked it more than once. Maybe you have, too. If the LORD is with us, how can we be in this mess! But God assured Gideon that He was with him. Therefore, he had all he needed. We have that strength, too. God is with us. He is not dead! He does not sleep!
The God who is Peace lives in those of us who trust Him to lord our lives. And we can be sure we have all we need for all we face. Because God is peace.