I have been surprised by the large number of hits on my latest post, “The Gift of Peace.” It must have struck a chord with many people, maybe because we have been conditioned to expect—often in vain—an abundance of happy memories, hopes, and dreams to accompany the season. But, peace is not found in memories of the past nor hopes for the future, but in a Person. In the Prince of Peace. In Christ alone. In Immanuel. In God with us. In light of this, I want to share with you the following paragraph I read yesterday in my favorite book about the incarnation—God’s Gift of Christmas—in which John MacArthur reflects upon the Prince of Peace of Isaiah 9:6-7:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders, and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
“In Messiah’s kingdom there are no conflicts because He is the Prince of Peace. He offers peace from God (Romans 1:7) to all who receive His grace. He makes peace with God (Romans 5:1) for those who surrender to Him in faith. And He brings the peace of God (Philippians 4:7) to those who walk with Him. As we hear so often at Christmas, the beginning of His earthly life was heralded by angels who pronounced peace on earth (Luke 2:14). There never really has been peace on earth in the sense we think of it. Wars and rumors of wars have characterized the entire two millennia since that first Christmas, as well as all the time before it. The announcement of peace on earth was a two-pronged proclamation. First, it declared the arrival of the only One who ultimately can bring lasting peace on earth (which He will do when He returns to bring about the final establishment of His earthly kingdom). But more importantly, it was a proclamation that God’s peace is available to men and women. Read the words of Luke 2:14 carefully and note this emphasis: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with WHOM HE IS PLEASED.” God is pleased with the people who yield their lives to Him. “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 147:11 NKJV). When the angels proclaimed peace on earth, they were speaking primarily of a very personal, individual application of God’s peace that grows out of a firsthand knowledge of the Prince of Peace. . . . The prophetic message of Christmas is the good news of God’s answer to all the confusion, chaos, complexities, and conflicts of life. It is the gift of the newborn infant who is also the Father of all eternity. He is an innocent child, yet He is a wise Counselor and mighty King. He is God with us. Immanuel.” (MacArthur, God’s Gift of Christmas, pp. 29-31)
Have you found peace in this Person?