It is foretold that Messiah will be Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end…”
We believe Jesus fulfills the prophecies concerning Messiah. What about him being the Prince of Peace?
At Jesus’ birth the angels proclaimed: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14, NIV)
Has Jesus brought us peace? There appears to be a glaring contradiction, even in what Jesus said about himself.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34).
“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. rom now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.” (Luke 12:51-52)
Certainly, in our world this is the case, isn’t it? Families are divided over politics and religion. Christians are disregarded, disrespected, or hated when they follow Jesus’ actual teaching. So, how is he the Prince of Peace? Let’s look further at what He said to his students.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33, NIV84)
The Peace is In Christ.
In the world we will have trouble. As we observed a moment ago, following Jesus may increase the trouble you face in the world. Notice, the angels proclaimed that peace would come “to those on whom his favor rests.” The secret to Jesus’ peace is to put faith in his unmerited favor or grace, and trust Him to take care of you. When He is genuinely your Lord, then He is in control. Nothing will happen in your life that your Lord is incapable of handling, and giving you the wisdom, courage and perseverance to go through. In the passage surrounding this verse Jesus has promised to send the Holy Spirit to stay with his disciples. In fact, he promised the Holy Spirit would live inside them! When you have the presence of God within, you have the power of God to go through any circumstance with peace and confidence.
This isn’t to say you will be able to control all of your circumstances. In fact, the need to control everything will rob you of peace.
You cannot control everything but you can control yourself!
Ever feel like you’re out of control… and you just can’t seem to get it back.
Good news for believers is that self-control is a direct result of being indwelt & empowered by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
Realize you cannot control other people, but you can control your reaction to them.
Realize you cannot be in control of the world and many of your circumstances, but you can determine how you will respond and act.
You cannot control everything but you can pray to the God who created the heavens and the earth.
The world is fallen and many people are in rebellion, so a lot of bad things are happening. Maybe you’re afraid something bad will happen to you! Rest assured God is on his throne in heaven and is in ultimate control.
“The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19)
Invite the LORD into your current situation and intercede for others, even if don’t believe or trust Jesus.
God changes things when we pray & trust him to work.
First and foremost God changes me when I pray. He gives me peace when I pray.
“Be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayer and petition with Thanksgiving make your requests known to God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Jesus promised that if we believe when we pray we can move mountains. So, yes, God can and sometimes will change circumstances when we pray. But we must trust him to move.
The peace of Christ is not freedom from conflict;
at least, not coming from others. Certainly, you and I as followers of Jesus are not to be staring fights with people over our opinions or the faith. We are taught to “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV84)
We are taught to “speak the truth in love,” (Eph. 4:15),
which doesn’t mean to add, “but I love you,” as a tagline to your diatribe against someone’s lifestyle or opinion.
The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say, the conviction about when and how to say them, and anointing to make you effective (Mark 13:11, John 14:26, 20:22, 1 John 2:20 & 27)
The peace of Christ is not the absence of challenges
As long as you’re in the world, you will face trouble. There will be obstacles. There will be trials. Jesus will not remove all your struggles because you need to overcome them by relying on His Spirit in order to become more like your Lord.
We are promised that God will make everything work out for our good and his glory!
“All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)
We have to go through the difficulty and overcome to become. God’s primary goal is to make you like Jesus, friend.
“For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (and sisters) (Romans 8:29).
Those of us who practice weightlifting know that through resistance we become stronger.
You will be tempted. Instead of crying for the Lord to take the temptation away, learn to rely on him and resist!
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to people. God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear, but will with the temptation provide the way of escape so that you may endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
We are promised total victory when we fight the good fight of faith.
“If God is for us who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31)
“But in all these things we are overwhelmingly conqueror through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37)
The Peace of Christ means I have nothing to fear and no reason to be troubled
“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)
The world offers superficial answers, outright lies and temporary solutions to help you with fear, stress, anger and other emotional challenges.
Let me be clear:
Panic is Satanic.
God doesn’t inspire panic or the kind of terror that leads you to cower and run away. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but that is deep reverence not terror.
Faith brings the presence of God. Satan is the one who thrives on fear and drives you to panic. Panic means you feel vulnerable and without the ability to control some real or imagined circumstance. Admit you have not control, then. Give control to Jesus. TRUST the LORD! Pray. Sing songs of praise. Get on your face and worship the Living and True God.
Confusion comes from the Father of Lies
If you’re confused, it is not God. The spirit of confusion comes from the Father of Lies. “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21). God has made himself clear in his Word. He has a purpose for you. First of all, to make you like His Son Jesus. Are you completely committed to Jesus? If not, that is the real source of your confusion. God wants to reveal specific direction for your life. How will you know what it is? Commit yourself completely to Christ. Align your will with God’s. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Seek his kingdom above your ambition or profit. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33).
You’ll know what to do when you’re willing to do God’s will no matter the cost. “If anyone is willing to do His will that person will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own” (John 7:17).
Depression is of the devil.
Depression may result from frustration and internal anger over your circumstances or relationships.
It may be a response to loss. Ultimately depression is a lack of hope. The devil has told you that you’re unworthy of God and His love. OR he has made you believe that you deserve better. Either way, tell the truth to yourself, and to God. You ARE unworthy, whether you think so or not. None of us deserve God’s love. None of us has earned the right to be forgiven. None of us have lived a perfect life.
God offers grace to the undeserving
Grace is unmerited favor. God chooses to look your way, listen to and answer your prayers. Why? Because of What Jesus did on the cross to buy your forgiveness. Once you admit you’re unworthy, you’re in the perfect position to receive God’s love. He chooses to love you. It is in his nature.
Hope is renewed when we find and put our faith in God’s promises
God has offered us many promises in which to place our hope.
Let me remind you of the promise I believe God offered us last week Lifewell
“As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” (Zechariah 9:11–12, NIV84)
It is because of the blood of Jesus that God offers this, not because we deserve it.
You have been set free of your depression, your panic attacks, your fear. That is the promise. Believe and it will be!
Whatever the devil has stolen, God will restore two-fold or more! That is the promise. Believe it and receive it.
There are many more promises I believe God has made to me for this church. As you are willing to receive them, I will continue to deliver them.
But don’t wait for me. Search the Scriptures. Put your hope in God’s promises. Put your trust in Jesus. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Be at peace!