Advent Week 2: God’s Sustaining Peace

December 10th, 2014 | Reflection

Looking at world events, it is very easy to feel fear or anxiety. 

During Advent, we remember that not only does God bring us peace, but also that Jesus is the peace of God.   God’s peace is His sustaining comfort through the trials of life.

Paul, the writer of much of the New Testament, understood that in the midst of difficult circumstances in life, when we engage in conversation with God, the peace of God becomes the filter through which we experience life (Philippians 4:7).

The world often defines peace as tolerance or unity.  We long for Jesus to be the cultural peace in our world.  Yet Jesus says that His message will cause division (Luke 12:51).  The truth Jesus declares is the message of peace with God.  Reconciliation with God is the peace we deeply long for. This reconciliation came in the form of Jesus.  Peace came in declaring truth that set us free. 

Peace is one of those things we long for both internally and externally.  So often we long to experience peace with God in the internal wrestling of our guilt and shame. We also wait and long for God’s perfect peace in the circumstances of our life.

God’s peace, His Shalom as expressed in scripture, is peace that comes to all things both internal and external and brings wholeness.  God’s Shalom is His sustaining presence in our current circumstance.  God’s peace enables us to navigate life when, in His mercy and grace, He meets us exactly where we are and brings the truth of who we are and the truth of who He is.   

In the midst of riots and unrest, we find ourselves where Jesus foretold:  “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars.  See that you are not frightened”  (Matthew 24:4-8).  The temptation in these times is to look everywhere else but to Jesus.  Even in this passage, Jesus is giving the warning so that when it comes we would not turn our eyes from Him. 

In John 16:33, knowing difficult times are ahead Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

So in this Advent season as we wait again for Him who is peace and as we look for Him in our lives.  I leave you with this blessing:

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.”  — 2 Thessalonians 3:16