One of the most cited Bible verses this time of year is Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” The verse records the message of the angels at the birth of Christ. Our culture emphasizes peace each Christmas, but as Christians we should have peace in our hearts throughout the year.
I have discovered another verse this year from Isaiah. It teaches us how to have peace.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
This verse hits at the heart of what our culture needs to understand about Christmas and Jesus. Peace doesn’t just come through thinking about Jesus “as the reason for the season” or pausing to consider the reality of his birth. But rather peace comes through us keeping our minds “stayed” on Him throughout the year. The Christmas season is a metaphor for many of our lives. We live busy and chaotic lives where the focus is on other things, but somewhere in the midst of the chaos we try to squeeze Jesus into the chaos. We give him his 15 minutes of spotlight and then move right along. That is not how you have the peace of Jesus. This is not why he was born! The peace that Jesus brings is not about political peace, nor even harmony in all of our human relationships, but it is the peace of harmony with our Creator. In order to have the peace of Christ we must stay focused on Christ and have our mind settled on God. Our hope and trust must be in God!
Paul says this “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). Right after this verse he goes on to talk about what we are meditating and thinking about as we live our lives. We need to think on things that are honorable, pure, lovely, and worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8). Our peace is directly connected with what we think about daily.
As you think about peace this Christmas season, let me encourage you to seek to have it all year around. But remember, you obtain it by focusing on Him everyday!