We continue our discussion of Advent and the themes related to the four different Sundays. On this upcoming second Sunday of Advent, we focus on peace.

Peace is very difficult to find in our world, as well as our in own lives. We look around the globe and see nations constantly at war with one another, and even when there not open hostility, there are threats, dangers and intimidation. In many places, peace is precariously balanced like a walker on a tightrope, seemingly ready to fall off into fighting at any moment.

There are few things we desire more for our home life than peace, but it is often unattainable. Our home and work lives can be afflicted with discord, jealousies, petty arguments and outright conflict. As these issues rage, we often find our inner peace destroyed. In some ways, we are at war with ourselves, trying desperately to find small moments of peace and comfort in a turbulent world.

The birth of Jesus, the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), brings peace into many of these situations. Jesus knows the turmoil we often go through and helps us in our time of need. When He was with his disciples in a boat and a storm came up, the disciples were terrified that they would drown. They woke the sleeping Jesus, who rebuked the wind and sea by saying, “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:39). In His first meeting with the disciples after the resurrection, Jesus knew His disciples would be frightened and confused. Upon greeting them, He said two different times, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19, 21).

We may still face difficulties and problems in life, but our faith in Jesus gives us peace in knowing that He is in control. This gives us strength and confidence, and a quietness in our spirits. “Peace I leave you,” He told his disciples. “My peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubles and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). Even in circumstance that can cause great fear, we have a peace from Jesus that gives us courage.

In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 minds in Christ Jesus.” The peace we find in Jesus “transcends all understanding,” meaning the world, and specifically non-believers, simply can’t understand it. They can’t understand how a Christian can go to the funeral of a loved one, in the midst of grief and sorrow, and find not only comfort but even joy. Believers in Christ have peace knowing that even though their loved one is physically gone, that person is in the loving presence of God in heaven. “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

Our world is sinful, broken and passing away right before our eyes (1 John 2:17), but those who come to faith in Jesus will find a peace the world cannot understand; a peace for this life and for the life to come.

Next week, we will continue our Advent discussion by looking at joy.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let me know. Pastor Brad Schultz, Zion Evangelical Church, bschultz27@gmail.com