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Where is the peace?

Light suddenly flooded the night sky, and an angel appeared, startling the shepherds with the announcement of a Savior. Then, the heavens abounded with more angelic beings praising God and proclaiming peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

We read this account, but when we view the world today, the question arises: where is the peace? The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is the most significant armed conflict in Europe since W.W. II. Since its start, 22,000 people have been reported dead, and still no sign of peace.

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has been described as the deadliest attack against Jews since the Holocaust. Thousands of people were killed on both sides, not to mention those wounded or misplaced from their homes. Where is the peace here?

According to the Geneva Academy (Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights), one hundred and thirteen armed conflicts are raging in our world right now. These include civil wars, drug wars, and terrorist-led assaults.

On a smaller scale, murder, violence, kidnappings, and rape are in the local and national news every day. Where is the peace and goodwill the angels announced? Was it only for Bethlehem then, or was it for us today?

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lost his first wife after a miscarriage. His second wife, whom he loved deeply, died in a tragic fire. This fire resulted in Henry receiving massive facial burns, leaving significant scars on his face. He lived through the Civil War, in which one of his sons received a severe injury.

Then, on Christmas day, 1863, this widowed father wrote a poem expressing his dismal state. The fighting, injustice, and suffering he saw threatened to rob him of all hope. Then he penned these words, which became a meaningful Christmas carol.

“I heard the bells on Christmas day, their old familiar carols play. And wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth goodwill to men! Then from each accursed mouth the cannon thundered in the South, And the sound the carols drowned of peace on earth, goodwill to men! It was as if an earthquake rent the hearthstones of a continent, And made forlorn the thousands born of peace on earth, goodwill 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 goodwill to men! Then peeled the bells more loud and deep, “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.” The wrong will fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, goodwill to men!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow found hope amid despair when he remembered God was still in control.

Jesus was born in a manger not to end wars and conflicts among men, although this will one day take place, but for a greater, more powerful purpose: to become the bridge of love between sinful men and a holy God. He came to be the sinless, perfect blood sacrifice for the remission of our sins.

The declaration made by the angel so long ago carried a divine truth beyond what the shepherds could comprehend. It transcended through time and came to you and me today. "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (Romans 5:1KJV). We can have eternal peace because of the goodwill of God the Father.

But that declared peace goes a step further. It speaks not only of peace with God but of the divine peace within a human heart. It expresses an indescribable calm when the surroundings and circumstances are in chaos when bombs are going off and lives are in danger, when you lose your job, and the doctor's report is not what you had hoped. It is an unexplainable confidence, although the future appears bleak and hopeless.

The peace those angelic beings announced to the shepherds over 2,000 years ago lies in knowing God's unconditional love for you, and He is in complete control of everything. It grows out of an intimate relationship with the Sovereign Ruler of the universe and knowing He cares about you. He made this promise, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27 KJV).

The baby, announced by a heavenly host, was and is the Prince of Peace--the only source of heart peace available to men. God the Father made a final effort to show you and me how much we are loved by creating a way for us to experience supernatural, unexplainable peace and abolish the enmity between man and Himself (Ephesians 2:14-18).

The wars may rage, injustice may persist, and Satan with his angels may continue to create havoc, but because of that babe in the manger, Jesus Christ, we can experience perfect peace. 

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 18:33 KJV). 

God's peace is available for you, and today would be the perfect time to accept this wonderful gift of love.  








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