Advent Day 20 – The Gift of Peace

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.”

Numbers 6:24-26

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


Where is all this “Peace on Earth?”

Photo from

Photo from


The news shows and magazines are all doing their year-end reviews, looking over the storylines and headlines of the past 12 months.  While there are a few bright spots, there is mostly tragedy, war, poverty, abuse, addiction, hate, hunger, greed, protests, sorrow and hopelessness.  It’s as if the world has forgotten the greeting of the angel: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14).  Where is this “peace on earth?”  Where is this “goodwill?” 

I believe the answer to these questions, in fact to answer to all our questions about the state of the world can be answered in the first words of this verse:  “Glory to God in the highest.”  When we fail to give God the glory He deserves, we are plunged into darkness and our own human depravity takes over.  But if we glorify God, we can see and receive the Light of Life and our hearts are made right.  We do not declare His glory to feed His ego, we do so to redirect and refocus our own minds and hearts on the reason for our existence – to love God and receive His love.  There will never be real peace on earth until there is peace between God and man.  That is why we just celebrated Christmas, because God made peace possible when He sent His Son to earth. 
My friends, always pray for peace on earth, but remember that the true hope of peace is not through a political process or humanitarian effort or positive thinking.  It is only found in  a relationship with God through Jesus Christ – one person at a time, one life at a time, one heart at a time.

Advent 2015 – Day 10 – Peace on Earth?

advent2a“And in this place I will grant peace,” Haggai 2:9

Will there ever be peace on earth?

In 1955 Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller crafted these words in a lovely song: “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”[1]  It is a popular Christmas song and a reminder to us all that we must choose to live and act in peace with one another.  But I beg to differ, just a bit, with the message of this song.  Peace doesn’t begin with you and me.  Peace begins with Jesus Christ.

Peace on earth must start with peace between God and man.  But we are sinful people; and God is holy.  How can there ever be peace between us?  God, in His great merciful love made peace possible.  Romans 5:1 tells us “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Peace with God comes through Christ’s sacrifice.  Jesus took every sin you and I will ever commit, and died on the cross to pay the price that we might have peace with our Creator.  “Every possible sin that could ever separate us from God – every wrong we did, ever good we failed to do, every thought, word, or deed that ‘fell short of the glory of God’—has been ‘set aside and ‘nailed to the cross’ (Colossians 2:14).[2]

When you and I are at peace with our Creator, we will have peace in our homes and communities and throughout the world.  Jesus more than made a way for peace; He is the way of peace.  By His sacrifice, we can have peace with God.  Through Jesus Christ we can finally have peace on earth.


[1] Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller, Let There be Peace on Earth, (New  York, Charles Hansen Music Company, 1971)

[2] Gregory A. Boyd and Paul R. Eddy, Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology, Second Ed., Grand Rapids, Baker, 2009), 129.