In the classic question of do you want to know the good news or bad news, I tend to want to know the good news. In fact, if you tell me the bad news, I’ll probably try find a way to see how it will work out for the good. So when Jesus decides to drop a bomb like He does in John 16:33, I don’t always know what to do with it. How do you handle news from the One who knows exactly how history will unfold, that your life story is guaranteed chapters of tears, hardship, and heartache?
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. -John 16:33 (NIV)
This Christmas season I’m learning again that the “peace on earth” we sing about won’t have anything to do the with all the chaos surrounding me... and often inside of me. Jesus makes it clear that He didn’t come to earth that Christmas night so He could make things easier, He came to make them better... and that better has everything to do with our hearts finding forgiveness and rest in the One who promises to carry the weight of the world on His shoulders. Isaiah, the same prophet who predicted the birth of Jesus hundreds of years before that night in Bethlehem promises that, “You will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
The secret to the peace we’re all chasing after has nothing to do with the perfectly quiet home, the job uncertainty removed, the diagnosis reversed, or the conflict resolved... it’s has everything to do with trusting that the baby who was born on Christmas wants to wondrously flood our hearts with Himself... the “Prince of Peace.”