The Peace Possibility
The Peace Possibility
Isaiah 26, Philippians 4
Luke 2:13-14: 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”
This passage calls to mind the Charlie Brown Christmas show where Linus tells the Christmas story. Have the stories of Christmas and the appearance of the heavenly host become so familiar to us that we fail to appreciate it? Here we see the connection between Jesus Christ and peace.
In our world, there are throw-away words such as “How are you?” It is said without really wanting a detailed answer. The angels’ words “on earth peace” were not throw-away words but a proclamation of peace because Christ was born. Jesus used the word “peace’ throughout His ministry and Paul started his letters with the word “peace” included.
What is the biggest tension in your life? Is peace even possible in your situation…or even if it got worse?? The answer is a resounding “yes!”
Isaiah 16:1-4: (Song of Praise) In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.2 Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal.
In the midst of the turmoil Israel was going through, Isaiah proclaimed peace. How can that be? Because it can be accomplished when we put trust in God and keep our minds steadfast (fixed) on Him. The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom. It means completeness, soundless, welfare. We are like the Greek culture and put life in compartments such as family, work, church, etc. On the other hand, the Hebrew culture viewed life in completeness. They saw the peace in verse 3 as an overflowing peace in all areas of their life.
Main thought to recall in this sermon: Peace is not found in the absence of problems but rather true peace is found in the presence of God in your life.
Three thoughts to remember about peace:
- The battle for peace begins in the mind. It is a choice to make.
- The mind should be steadfast or fixed. Fully trust God. No Plan B. Philippians 4:8-1: “8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last, you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
- There should be a consistent focus rather than the proficient (skilled) focus. Maintain a schedule in which you spend time in God’s Word every day and in prayer. Acts 16:22-25: 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Even in their imprisonment, Paul & Silas were able to pray and sing praise to God. It was a way of life for them.
We are able to have peace because the Baby came to our world for He is the Prince of Peace.