Monday, Dec. 3 – Cindy Swicegood

3 Dec

Monday, Dec. 3 – PEACE

Today’s Scripture:
Psalm 62:5-8
Romans 15:4-13

“Peace on earth; good will toward men.”  We have heard and sung these words from the 2nd chapter of Luke many times.  We tend to imagine the cessation of all world conflict.  But is that what the angels meant?  When Christ returns He will have the final victory.  Yes.  In the meantime, consider these words of Jesus: “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth?  No, I tell you, but division.”  (Luke 12:51)

What?  The Lord of Peace Himself (2 Thessalonians 3:16) did not come to bring peace?

Let’s look again.  The NIV translation sheds light on the peace we so desperately desire.

The shepherds keeping watch over their flocks at night were probably fairly peaceful on that soon-to-become-awesome evening—until an angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them.  Then, they were terrified! The angel spoke to them.  Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”  (Luke 2:8-14)

On earth, peace to men on whom his favor rests.  That picture is very different from a total absence of world conflict!  The peace is for us—those on whom His favor rests—and God desires for us to have it here and now, regardless of our circumstances.  PRAISE GOD!

How do we receive this peace?  One of the main ways is to put our absolute trust in the One who was born that night.  Romans 15:13 gives a beautiful picture of this.  I love it when Scripture clearly spells out what I should do and what God will do.  God desires to fill us with all joy and peace. Our part is to trust in Him.  The inevitability is that we will overflow with hope—not because we have mustered it up on our own; rather, the power of the Holy Spirit will bring this to fruition.  (Consider the song lyrics, “The same power that conquered the grave lives in me!”  Consider also that peace is a fruit of the Spirit.*)

As many of you know, our family has been in crisis since November 2011.  Our elder daughter was hospitalized three times.  She continues to recover from PTSD and encephalopathy; she remains in bed and unable to walk.  I have had many anxious moments this past year!

However, despite all the outward turmoil in my life, I have continued to have deep in my soul the peace which transcends all understanding—the peace that only Jesus can give. (Philippians 4:7)  I know that whatever happens—whether or not our daughter ever fully recovers—I can overflow with hope.  I can be filled with all joy and peace.  It does not depend on me or my circumstances, but rather, on the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells me.

Christ came down to dwell among us; the Holy Spirit dwells within us.  Seek peace and pursue it. (1 Peter 3:11)

May the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.  (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

*Read the following to discover more ways God nurtures the fruit of peace in our lives:

Philippians 4:4-9

Romans 8:6

Isaiah 26:3

Psalm 119:165

Hebrews 12:11

John 14:27

John 16:33

-CS

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