More than 25 centuries ago, the prophet Isaiah hailed the coming Christ as “The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). On the night of His birth the angels sang, “On earth peace, good will toward men…” (Luke 2:14). Yet since that night, centuries of strife and bloodshed have followed one another. Has the promise failed? Did something go wrong?
Why is peace so elusive? Why is there so little peace in the world?
Most People Don’t Really Want Peace. They just want an occasional armistice so they can take a short vacation from their wars! The truth is that we don’t really want peace, because then we would have to forgive those who have wronged us, bury our grudges and love our enemies! “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1). Would the duplication of my own heart in the hearts of all men bring peace or war? Am I myself a center of peace or discord? What bitterness and resentments do I nurse in my heart? It all moves out from individuals to nations. Jesus‟ formula for peace is really very simple: Love, Forgiveness, Sacrifice, Suffering… Our problem is finding the will to pay the price.
Most People Don’t Want the Prince. Christ was not the emissary or advocate of peace, He is the Prince! One to be obeyed! Real peace comes only through Him! Not through treaties, negotiations or a change of government. Peace is a gift which comes only when we kneel at the cross! Our trouble is we want the Peace without the Prince. Neither men or nations will have Him to rule over them and that is the world’s (or people’s) fundamental problem. The One Who called Himself “the way” didn’t allow any other way and if we refuse to have the Prince, there will be no peace!
Most People Don’t Want Peace on the Prince’s Terms. Jesus demands surrender! Obedience! We must submit to the rule of the Prince. The word of God is a Gospel of Peace (Romans 10:15). But the gospel must be obeyed before the peace comes (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
During World War II, J.R. Baxter wrote, “When so many are fighting battles all over the globe, we think more keenly that Christ came to bring peace and good will to men. That we do not have this peace and good will is the fault of man. We have not, as peoples of the world, lived according to His teaching. When we fail to follow God, we suffer.”
Where the reign of Christ is present, peace follows:
Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin;
The blood of Jesus whispers: peace within.
~ BOBBY DOCKERY, Fayetteville, Ark