March 5, 2018 – Luke 2
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14
The presence of Jesus brings us peace in the MIDST of circumstances.
Most of us consider peace as the absence of unpleasant circumstances. Just think of parents who hunger for peace from the houseful of screaming kids. Or the manager that is looking for some peace from all the day’s problems. Or maybe the patient who can’t find peace with the news of returning cancer.
But Jesus doesn’t separate peace from circumstances. In fact, peace is finding rest in the MIDST of the circumstances.
That’s why the angels can announce peace to shepherds who are surrounded by noise & burdens, living in a country ruled by Roman paganism, and in short order facing the death of their baby boys. Peace is not the absence of problems for these people, it’s more the courage to move through the problems knowing God is still there.
That’s why Peter can sing songs in a Roman jail, and stand before the Sanhedrin with boldness to proclaim the salvation of Jesus against threats of stoning.
That’s why Paul can go through flogging, stoning, persecution & pain, and still be ready to pick himself off the ground and travel to the next city to preach the Gospel.
That’s why great hymn writers can bless us with amazing songs over the ages, pronouncing hope and grace after facing terrible pain or grief. It’s why missionaries lay down their lives in foreign countries, some facing prison, some even martyred, only to see their family or friends pick up the cause of their mission.
And it’s why you can continue to have hope in your circumstances – no matter how enduring or painful they are, because Jesus’ peace is not killed or eliminated by unpleasant circumstances. In fact, it is stronger than our circumstances. Jesus brings peace that outlasts our circumstances. And He saw fit to let it rest on you and me!
We are a blessed generation, because we live in that generation of favor. His favor is not about bank accounts or material blessing. His favor is about peace. We have His Peace to overcome our circumstances. And that peace is what allows you to shout “Glory to God in the Highest”, no matter what struggles you face.
Watch for it! You will see the ‘Peace which Passes All Understanding’ show up in the midst of circumstances. You will hear it in the sounds of worship that come from people who have endured great difficulty. You will discover true peace – not in the sheltered life, but in the overcoming life.
And when you do, remember to Give God the Glory! You’ve found His Peace!