“May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you” (Jude verse 2, English Standard Version).
The above verse in Jude sounds like a greeting inside a Christmas card. It’s that time of year when warm thoughts and good wishes surround us. After all, at this season we remember the Child who came as the Prince of Peace to a world desperately needing peace. It was true 2000 years ago when the angels announced His coming, and it is still true today.
Jude is a tiny book in the New Testament, only twenty-five verses in all. Yet within this short passage, there is little about peace. Jude paints a dark picture of a world gone awry, forgetful of God’s love. He writes the message as a warning and as a reminder. The world has forgotten its Savior, but there is love and mercy for those who pursue it.
How do we find peace in such dark times? When we read Psalm 29:11, we realize that God is the source of all peace.
“The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.”
Peace does not come through external circumstances. According to Isaiah 32:17-18 peace is the fruit, or outgrowth, of righteousness. Real peace is nothing we can create on our own.
“And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”
In other words, a right relationship with God brings peace into our lives. Living a Spirit-filled life brings inner peace. Inner peace then results in peace in other areas of our lives. The verses in Isaiah speak of quietness, trust, a peaceful habitation, secure dwellings, and quiet resting places.
If we are feeling a lack of peace in our lives, this isn’t something that can be “fixed” simply by a change of circumstances. While a trouble-free life may be desirable, this is not the same as feeling inner peace. Have you ever been in a difficult place and suddenly felt peace wash over you? I have, and the feeling was overwhelming and beyond my comprehension. It’s what Philippians 4:7 describes as “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.”
Most of us have found 2020 to be a difficult year. Family life is different. Church life is different. All areas of our lives may be different. Many are overwhelmed by anxiety and stress. Yet despite all that comes our way—in good times, bad times, at any time—we can enjoy that deep inner peace that comes from God.
“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33, The Message).
Yes, we can be deeply at peace in a chaotic world when we put our trust in the Prince of Peace. That’s His promise, and I’ve found it to be true.
Thank You, Lord, for being the Prince of my peace. When stress and worry try to overwhelm me, I place my trust in You. I remember the many times You brought peace into a difficult situation and know that as long as I stay close to You, Your peace will flood my life.