“Peace! Do not be afraid.” Judges 6:23
At Christmas we celebrate our loved ones with gifts. We consider the recipient and choose carefully something that will have special meaning or significance to them. I love to give gifts that I know someone would love, but that they wouldn’t get for themselves. When God considered us, He chose to send us a gift that we couldn’t give ourselves – the gift of peace. This Advent season we rejoice in His promise of peace in the face of our fears.
One of the biggest barriers to peace is fear. We have all experienced fear of some kind. I have a fear of heights. One of my friends has a fear of crowds, another a fear of tight spaces. Some fears are good for us, like the fear of snakes. Some are common to most of us as in the fear of the dark. For some people fear takes on irrational proportions and becomes an unhealthy psychological problem. We live in a world that breeds fear and causes us to look at others with a question, “Should I be afraid of you?”
There is also fear that invades our minds and hearts – fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear of death. With so much to be afraid of, is there any way to be at peace? Yes, because we have a Prince of Peace and His word to us is “Do not be afraid.”
In fact a search of those words shows at least 76 times in Scripture that we are told “do not be afraid.” God knows us so well. He knows that we will become fearful at times, and He knows we need His peace.
How can we have peace when we are afraid? Psalm 56:3 is the perfect answer: “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose Word I praise, in God I trust, I will not be afraid.” The answer to fear is trust. We can trust God and rest our fears because He is faithful. His Word is filled with His promises, promises that will bring us peace if we will trust in the Promise-maker. We have the promise that He will always be with us, as He told Joshua – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified or discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). We have the promise of His strength – “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). We have the promise of His deliverance – “Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose” (Jeremiah 15:13).
We have the promise if His blessing:
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”
This Advent season hear the angels proclaiming the greatest news man can ever know:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Luke 2:14 (KJV)
Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our peace, I have your promises to bring me peace when I am afraid. Thank you for knowing Your child so well and for giving me the gift of peace. Amen.