Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

The last few years I have had a word of the year.  I pray about this word and allow God to speak to me about what that word should be.  The first year I did this, my word was Thrive, last year was pisteuo (which is Greek for faith, believe, trust), and this year was peace.  Each year as I look back on the year I see that God demonstrated that word in my life in ways that I didn’t expect.  Of course, some of those lessons were extremely difficult.  This year looking at peace scared me a little bit, because I knew how hard faith, believe, trust was!  But God is faithful and gives us exactly what we need, when we need it.  Yes, it was painful, but it was good. 

The world we live in is scary.  There are wars going on all over the world.  Look at everything going on in our own country.  Riots, school shootings, threats, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, sex trafficking … the list goes on.  Anxiety is at an all time high!  We could use some peace in our world.

Part of the reason that the people of Israel didn’t accept Jesus as the Messiah was because they expected Him to bring political harmony and physical safety.  They didn’t want a peaceful ruler.  That is not the kind of peace that is referred to here.  This is not a lack of conflict or hostility.  It is not being free from internal and external strife. 

The idea of this word is that it is a sense of totality or completeness, success, fulfillment, wholeness, harmony, security, and well being.  We need to remember that God is in control even when it doesn’t look like it!  There is a popular song out right now that talks about many of the names of God.  It is a great reminder of the truth of who God is.  If you haven’t heard it, you need to go listen to it.  Some of the lyrics:

You are here, moving in our midst, I worship You
You are here, working in this place, I worship You
You are here, moving in our midst, I worship You
You are here, working in this place, I worship You

You are here, touching every heart, I worship You
You are here, healing every heart, I worship You, Jesus
You are here turning lives around, I worship You
You are here, mending every heart, I worship You

Waymaker, Michael W. Smith

That describes the things that He is doing.  This is an idea of what that peace is actually referring to.  The biggest thing that Jesus did was that He is the reason that we can live at peace with God.  It is a peace that changes us from enemies of God to children of God.

that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:19

It involves a peace in life’s trials:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

Peace in life’s maturing process:

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.

1 Thessalonians 5:23a

Peace in life’s victories:

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Romans 16:20

Peace in life’s relationships:

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:3

Peace in life’s witness:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

Jesus restores broken relationships:

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Ephesians 2:14-18

One Scripture that I love that has to do with peace reminds us that it is beyond understanding.  As I look back on the lessons that God taught me this year, He has definitely given me a peace that goes beyond our ability to understand.  In situations that I should be out of control, He gave me peace.  Of course, that peace only comes when I keep my eyes on Him!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

As we head into the celebration of Jesus’ birth, keep your eyes on Him.  Don’t get distracted by the waves and storms going on around you.  He WILL be your Prince of Peace.

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