In a world that can feel filled with hate, self-absorption, and fear, does peace seem far out of reach? In a society of constant change, do you feel uncertain, maybe even anxious? You may be asking, “How can I feel at peace, when everything around me feels like it’s suspended in the air?” or saying, “My life, even those in it, seem so out of control!” Something the LORD kept bringing before me last week was “Peace is near.” Maybe it doesn’t feel like it, but it’s true! Think about when someone says something to you that hurts…someone you love very much, and you know they love you; it may not feel like they love you, but you know they do! Just because peace may not feel near, doesn’t mean it isn’t.
Peace isn’t something we can muster up ourselves, though; it’s only possible through the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22), and the Spirit of God is accessible to us through the person of Jesus Christ.
“Because the Child is born to us, and the Son is given to us, and His authority was on His shoulder, and His Name was called The Wonder and The Counselor, God, the Mighty Man of Eternity, the Prince of Peace [and The Father of Eternity]. To increase His dominion and His peace, there is no end, on the throne of David and upon His kingdom, that He shall establish it, and He shall sustain it in judgment and in righteousness from now and unto eternity. The zeal of LORD JEHOVAH of Hosts does this.”Isaiah 9:6-7 ABPE
I know this is a passage we hear a lot at Christmas, but it’s SO applicable now!! Christ Jesus, the Messiah, is on His throne! He has the responsibility of ruling and IS the Ruler Who brings Peace from War, which is, actually, His title as the Messiah. A lot of times, “peace from war” is read as wars between nations, but I’m convinced this includes the wars in the spiritual realm, which impact souls and are displayed through various wars and times of peace with each other.
The abundance of Christ’s control and peace has no end, and neither does His kingdom. These verses above tell us that He’s the King of His kingdom, and He supports that with judgment and righteousness. Since Christ IS the Judge (James 5:9, 2 Corinthians 5:10) and IS righteous (1 Corinthians 1:30), He upholds His kingdom with all that He IS…with WHO He is! In fact, what gets lost in the translation, at the end of Verse 7, is the LORD does all this through “Ithiel,” which translates “With me is God” (Jesus)!!
“’Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).”Matthew 1:23 ESV
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”Isaiah 41:10 ESV
“The LORD your God is in your midst, A Warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with joy; He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins], He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.“Zephaniah 3:17 AB
I don’t know about you, but focusing on the truth that the King, Christ the Messiah, warrior, Ruler, Judge, our Righteousness, is near…with me…strengthens me greatly, and any circumstance shrinks to its appropriate size next to Him. He can conquer anything He chooses or use it for what He purposes in His kingdom!
“For God shows no partiality.”Romans 2:11 ESV
“Let your reasonableness be known to all men; the LORD [is] near;”Philippians 4:5 LSV
If God is near us…within us (which He is, if you’re a believer in Christ Jesus), then He shows Himself through us when we show His character to others. Fairness and impartiality, which is what Philippians 4:5 translates as “reasonableness” or “gentleness,” is part of God’s character, and He wants us to show it to all mankind. For me, it hits home a bit more when I hear “fairness” and “impartiality.” These are words that are talked about these days, but not really lived out well (the Spirit is telling me myself is included!). Think about how many wars between people could be defeated through peace, shown through fairness and impartiality.
“The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.”Philippians 4:9 AB
What Paul was getting at, here, is that we’re able to show the God of peace to others in everything (what we teach, give, say, and do). It’s up to others to take the strong initiative to receive it, Paul says, but we can surely recognize His presence within us, allow His character to infuse us and our responses, and, therefore, show Him to all mankind through how we live.
This God of peace is the God Who joins; that’s what “peace” means here. He ties pieces and parts together into a whole! Is that like salve on your soul today?
His peace is near; the God Who joins and makes things whole is with you! Rest there with me!