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The Advent of Peace

Advent 2021 1020x482

The Advent of Peace | Psalm 103:11-14 and John 14:27

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.  – Psalm 103:11-14

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 14:27
 

Psalm 103:8-14 features a declaration of the love that God has for His people. This text shows us the height and depth of God's love and mercy. As those who are in Christ, we can read these words with full confidence, knowing that this is how God treats and views us. He really has forgiven us completely, no longer counting our sins against us. He really does have compassion for us, knowing our weakness and our dependent nature. In these verses, we see the beating heart of a merciful, wonderful, glorious God that surpasses anything we could imagine. In John 14:27, God in the flesh makes another beautiful declaration to his disciples: He gives peace and does not give like the world.

Simply put, this means that Jesus does not give with a mixed-motives, strings attached, fingers crossed, what's-in-it-for-me, type of thinking. The world gives with a self- interest, yet Jesus gives Himself with our interest, and the glory of God, in mind. Jesus does not give conditionally, expecting us to meet His standard in order for us to have peace. Instead, Jesus, the same God who is praised for dealing with us so gently and sweetly in Psalm 103, tells His scared and burdened disciples that He gives them peace, and He does not give it as the world does. Rather, He gives it freely. As a compassionate father loves to rescue his weak and burdened children, Jesus gives peace to His disciples in the midst of their fears.

Leading to His death and resurrection, Jesus tells His disciples that He will return. But before that, He says, "my peace I give to you." Today, as we wait for Christ's return, this applies to us as well, knowing that Christ has made us at peace with the Father. He gives us His peace; a peace of the soul which knows the work is finished and that we are truly loved, welcomed, and adopted as children of God. A peace that never has to fear over our status, worry about our place in the family, or run away from our Father in shame. All of this is true for you today, if you are in Christ.

So, this week, resist the temptation to belittle God's grace by rejecting the peace He offers. Instead, accept God on His own terms and embrace His goodness: He is merciful, and He has brought us peace. This is a peace He has freely given, and He has no desire to take it away. Instead, He wants this peace to rule our hearts and overflow into life-giving fruit for others, all of which results from the Spirit's work in our life.

Today, remember that you have peace in Christ, and He will never take that away. Rest in Him and find peace in His promises.