PEACE TO THOSE WITH WHOM HE’S PLEASED
- John Piper
“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” —Luke 2:12–14
Peace for whom? There is a somber note sounded in the angels’ praise. Peace among men on whom his favor rests. Peace among men with whom he is pleased. Without faith it is impossible to please God. So Christmas does not bring peace to all.
“This is the judgment,” Jesus said, “that the light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19). Or as the aged Simeon said when he saw the child Jesus, “Behold this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for a sign that is spoken against… that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34–35). O, how many there are who look out on a bleak and chilly Christmas day and see no more than that.
“He came to his own and his own received him not, but to as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, to as many as believed on his name.” It was only to his disciples that Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The people who enjoy the peace of God that surpasses all understanding are those who in everything by prayer and supplication let their requests be made known to God.
The key that unlocks the treasure chest of God’s peace is faith”
Wow. This is most definitely not a very Christmas-y idea. The Bible has many sobering truths to share that I honestly struggle with at times. The idea that Christmas peace is not for everyone is an idea that I would prefer to not think about. (Sometimes the truth can be difficult.)
The bad news is that everyone will not accept the peace that is offered by Christ. The good news is that it is available to everyone. The peace that is brought on by the birth of Christ is available to all. The Bible repeats over and over that anyone can be saved. It says that ANYONE who puts their faith in Christ can have peace with God. Any of us can please God because pleasing God simply begins with putting our faith in Him. No matter how much we have been at odds with God we can have peace with Him through faith in Christ.
So while it may be true that Christmas does not bring peace to all it does have the potential to bring peace to each one of us if we allow it. What will you do with the peace of Christ today?