… the Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7
We hear a lot about “peace on earth” at Christmas, especially from the chorus of angels in Luke 2:14 who sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” Yet we don’t see peace on earth, even among Christians.
Although Jesus was peaceful, He endured much violence and hatred. He also knew that because we are sinners in a sinful world, we would not live completely peaceful lives either. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His followers, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness … Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me” (Matthew 5:10-11).
The peace that will “guard your heart” is not a peace you can readily see; this peace comes from trusting in Jesus for your salvation from sin. Since Christ has saved us and remains near to us, we can be at peace even during the worst tribulation the world would bring. It is not a peace that comes from a lack of conflict; it is a confidence that Jesus will rescue us no matter how difficult the situation.
Prayer: Dearest King of Kings, born to us a child in Bethlehem to take away the sin of the world, may we ever adore Thee Christ our Lord. Amen.
© 2006 Lutheran Hour Ministries
These devotions have been written by Rev. Paul and Kaye Wolff. Rev. Paul Wolff is a 1996 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He has served as a pastor in the Detroit area for 10 years. He and co-author wife, Kaye, live in Southfield, Michigan.
Kaye Dumas Wolff is Chairperson of the Black Ministry Church Planting Task Force and a Mission Affiliate of LCMS World Missions where she serves as a training facilitator for laity in evangelism and mission work. Kaye serves on the Advisory Council of the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and she is a presenter for Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Equipping to Share Workshop.
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