Note: I am pulling this devotional from the 2013 Advent series because I need this reminder in this season of my life. I hope it blesses you too!
“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 enjoy giving 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.
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 quick and non-exhaustive 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 His promises that He will always be with us – “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); “the LORD your God . . . will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). 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.”
And if all that were not enough, we have this promise from Jesus Himself: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
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)
Read Psalm 29