December 17, 2012

C is for Christmas - Part 6: Peace

The angels proclaimed 'peace on earth!.' So where is this peace? If Jesus came to bring peace to earth why is the world full of violence and pain?

In the book the authors talk about a poem Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote called 'Christmas Bells' and quote:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play;
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head;
'There is no peace on earth,' I said;
'For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Longfellow had lost his son to the Civil War and wrote this poem to express his feelings. When hate is so strong in the world, where is peace? The authors go on to say:

"Why is there no peace on earth? Because people have rejected Christ and are at war with God.

 'What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?' (James 4:1)

People and nations are at war with one another because they are at war within themselves, and they are at war within themselves because they are at war with God. The heart of every problem is the problem in the heart (see Mark 7:17-23), and the heart is 'deceitful above all things and beyond cure' (Jer. 17:9).

The peace on earth the angels were talking about is found in Jesus and is in the heart of those who trust Him. The author's say here:

"...God's people may enjoy peace on earth because peace is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and if we are prayerful and thankful, the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds (Phil. 4:6-7).

'You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.' (Isa. 26:3)."


This quote from the book, shares the prophecies that Christ will bring peace on earth for good one day:

"And he will be called...Prince of Peace' (Isa. 9:6). One day there shall be peace on earth when Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, returns and reigns in His kingdom. 'Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end' (v.7). One day the Spirit shall be poured out from heaven and the desert will become a fertile field and there will be justice and righteousness on the earth (see Isa. 32:15-16). 'The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest' (vv.17-18). 'They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore' (Mic. 4:3)

Longfellow ends his poem with these lines, lines that show his faith in God, and his hope in Him:

"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep;
'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep!
The wrong shall fail,
The right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Is your hope in Him? Do you have His peace?

Here is a video of Casting Crowns singing Longfellow's beautiful poem:


 Or Click here: Casting Crowns: I heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Click  HERE   for Part 1 of C is for Christmas
Click  HERE   for Part 2 of C is for Christmas: Bethlehem
Click  HERE   for Part 3 of C is for Christmas: Xmas
Click  HERE   for Part 4 of C is for Christmas: The Word
Click  HERE  for Part 5 of C is for Christmas: King


3 comments:

  1. This is one of my favorite Christmas hymns.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

    ReplyDelete
  2. Casting Crowns - My absolutely favorite artists ever! Thanks for sharing & for coming by to UNITE today at Richfaithrising! Have a blessed day! ~ jen

    ReplyDelete
  3. I pray that we would recognize all those places that war within us and ask Jesus to come in to bring His reconciliation and peace.

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments. I try to respond to all of them by the end of the week. : )

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