December 6: Advent Peace, Day 11

Read Isaiah 53

It was another one of those Christmas letters–you know the type–a picture of a perfect family along with a letter detailing every success of every member of the family throughout the year. This one was from an old friend, who truly was successful by most standards. Out of humble beginnings and personal tragedy, he had built up his own business, had a beautiful home and a wonderful family. There was a long list of amazing accomplishments throughout the year. But then this: “Now, to show that we are human/definitely not perfect…” He went on to detail their struggles with faith, finances, depression, lawsuits, betrayals–a long list–followed by an affirmation of God’s grace and their desire to serve Him.

No matter how hard we try to avoid them, none of us are immune from the things that would rob us of our peace. I remember reading the words of Isaiah 53 after experiencing what I perceived to be a betrayal:

“He was despised and rejected by mankind,
   a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
   he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (NIV, Isaiah 53:3).

In my moment of despair, I realized that Jesus knew exactly how I felt because he had experienced the same thing. He not only knows me, he knows what I’m going through. When it feels like no one understands, Jesus does.

The difference, though, is that while we try to avoid such things, Jesus took them on himself by choice.

“Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted.
But 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” (NIV, Isaiah 53:4-5).

Jesus would have never known our pain unless he chose to take it on himself. He took on our pain, our suffering, our transgressions, our iniquities, in order for us to have his peace.

Take a moment and reflect on what is robbing you of peace today. Whether it is coming from other people or from our own actions, Jesus is offering you his peace. He knows you and understands how you feel. Thank him today for willingly taking on our pain and suffering so that we might know him and his peace.


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