Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Prince of Peace

“Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

I am thankful for my friends. You constantly amaze me with the grace and fortitude you exude in the midst of some horrific life experiences. How do you do it?

My faith tells me there is only one answer—“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Romans 5:1 (italics mine)

We have peace. Present tense. Reality. Really? How do I access that reality in the midst of my life?

Isaiah 54:13 is the scripture God led me to pray for our second child while he was still in my womb. “All your sons will be taught by the Lord; and great shall be your children’s peace”. NIV   For over 30 years this scripture has led my prayers for our son Jeff. The word peace is sometimes translated prosperity—great shall be your children’s prosperity. That embarrassed me as I tend to think of prosperity as material goods. But that is not a correct interpretation here. Prosperity is used because of all the blessings none is more desirable than peace. A person at peace is a prosperous person indeed.

God is faithful. In the midst of some difficult life challenges, Jeff is a prosperous man—a man of peace. I’ve noticed three qualities in Jeff’s life that allow peace to describe him.

  • Jeff walks with God. He trusts the truth that God is sovereign and rests in that. Isaiah 32:17 says, “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness quietness and trust forever”.
  • “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 4:5, 6, and 7. Jeff is a pray-er. More importantly, The Lord is near! I think it’s the combination of those two realities that allows peace to characterize Jeff’s life.
  • Peace is a choice. I can rebel against my circumstances or I can greet them with thanksgiving and as a gift from the heart of my good Shepherd, the Prince of Peace. “give thanks IN all circumstances,” I Thessalonians 5:18.
As I pondered this post the story of Horatio Spafford came to mind. He is the one who penned the words of the familiar hymn It is well with my soul. You might want to watch this short video here.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you”
Isaiah 26:3

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