Our Bible verse for today: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.” John 14:27 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Jesus brings the peace the world so desperately needs.”
The other day the news reported that President Trump has initiated steps to end the USA’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan. He is determined to get us out of that conflict by the end of his first term. We’re not winning the war and there’s really no prospect of us winning it. After seventeen long years, the Taliban is once again on the rise and Afghanistan is riddled with internal dissent and factions. So we are simply going to withdraw our troops and leave the situation for the Afghans to resolve for themselves.
The end of the war in Afghanistan may end up similar to the end of the war in Vietnam. We will simply leave, and the enemy will have won. It’s not President Trump’s fault. As was true for President Nixon in 1969 with Vietnam, President Trump inherited this mess and is now simply trying to get us out of it.
In the late 1980s the Norwegian Academy of Sciences assembled noted world historians from England, Egypt, Germany, and India to study the history of armed conflict throughout the course of human history. They discovered that since 3600 B.C. (more than 5600 years), the world has known only 292 years of peace. There have been 14,531 wars in which 3,640,000,000 people have been killed (that’s over 3.5 billion). Right now there are over 60 armed conflicts taking place somewhere in the world. Some of them are large, many of them are small, but all of them have resulted in deaths, injuries, and displacement of innocent civilians.
In Isaiah 9:6 the prophet identifies Jesus as “The Prince of Peace”. In John 14:27 Jesus said that one of the reasons He came to earth was to bring us His peace. Then in Galatians 5:22 the Apostle Paul tells us that one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is peace. That means that one of the character traits the Holy Spirit develops and brings out in the life of a maturing Christian is the peace of Jesus. So as a Christian you have the peace of Jesus in you, and flowing out of you.
As we celebrate Christmas this year we need to remember that the world desperately needs the peace that only Jesus can give. As His disciples, we should be sharing the peace of Jesus with a very troubled world. “Peace on earth, good will toward men” is more than just a catchy lyric in a song. It’s a gift that Jesus offers to the world. Are you spreading the peace of Jesus at Christmastime?