“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14 (NLT)
This Christmas season I am following a scripture writing plan that involves writing out a few verses of the Christmas story each day. It has been great to be able to have these small moments each day to study and reflect on the real reason for all the hustle and bustle of this season.
Today’s scripture writing included Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” As I wrote out those words my mind was wandering but as I finished the sentence everything screeched to a halt. Wait, what did that just say? “Peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
In my mind, let there be peace on earth has always meant peace all over the earth, to everyone. But that’s not what it says. It says, peace on earth specifically to those with whom God is pleased.
I did a little research because there are translations (that you may be familiar with) that say something along the lines of “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” (KJV) which seems to include everyone. So which one is it? Apparently, there is a great debate, but most modern scholars believe that the most accurate translation of the ancient Greek texts is peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased (or to whom His favor rests).
You see, until Jesus returns, there will always be injustice, turmoil, sin, and sorrow on this Earth. His birth did not bring an immediate change in the fact that life on earth is anything but peaceful. But His birth did bring a piece of heaven down to earth. Jesus’ birth and later death and resurrection brought us a Savior to rescue and redeem us from the sins of this world. We can now have a personal connection with the Prince of Peace that we might find peace in the midst of the chaos of this world.
Later, when Jesus is nearing His death, He tells His disciples, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27). We are not promised an earth filled with peace or a life filled with peace. We are promised a personal peace that surpasses understanding in the midst of our anything-but-peaceful world.
In Romans 15:13, Paul writes, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Peace doesn’t just happen, peace is the result of trust. It is the result of placing our hope in the only One who holds all the power.
If you are going through a season that feels anything but peaceful, may I point you to God’s promise of peace? In this world, we will have trouble and sorrow and heartache. It will be busy and stressful and chaotic. But when we place our hope, our trust, and create our firm foundation upon Jesus, we can find a peace in the midst of the crazy that surpasses all of our understanding. We can find a confidence to know that even when everything shakes and falls apart, He is with us, He is for us, and we will never, ever be alone.
Glory to God in highest heaven and on earth peace to those who place their trust in Him. Are you trusting in Him my friend?
Today’s Action Step:
Spend a few minutes in prayer asking God to infuse you with His gift of peace. Pray that He would guide you into trusting Him in all areas of your life and placing all of your hope in His glorious power. Take some time to journal out some of the areas of your life in which you are struggling to find peace, surrender them to God, and rest in the knowledge that He is good, He is faithful, and He’s got it covered.
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If you are looking for a way to infuse your everyday with God’s word and presence, I highly recommend the Jesus Calling devotional. Each day has just a short little reading and a few verses to reflect on, but the messages are powerful and uplifting and can be a great source to find God’s peace.
Sometimes, it’s nice to have a visual reminder of our source of peace. I love this beautiful
In Me You May Have Peace – Wooden Plaque from DaySpring.
Do you feel like your life is crazy and hectic and you need a little extra practical direction on how to find peace in the middle of the crazy? Sign up for the Working Mom’s Balance email club to get regular content designed to help you manage it all as well as access to our Free Life Balance Worksheet. Sign up here!