Echoes From the Campfire

He had noted that some people who railed at the law’s interference in their own affairs were mightily pleased for it to show up when trouble arose.”
              –Elmer Kelton  (The Buckskin Line)

    “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
              –John 16:33 (NKJV)
This is the Christmas season and the world is in turmoil; the nation is confused and is full of chaos.  Where is the peace?  I thought that Christmas was to be a time of peace.  What does it say in Luke?

         “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
                  –Luke 2:14 (KJV)

I think that part of the problem is that we have a misconception of peace.  Our perception is only partially correct.  Peace is not necessarily about the absence of trials and conflicts.  For to have true peace there must be justice.  If you have followed the character of Miles Forrest over the years you would know that he struggles with his duties on this earth of “bringing peace.”  To have peace there must be justice.  When there is safety in a town there is law and order.
    I came across the following in my reading.  It is worth sharing and worth contemplating.

         “The peace of God is transformative.  It changes us from those who would use oppressive power to a people who nurture and tend.  The peace of Christ moves us into new places.  This holy peace requires that we change and move, not stay stagnant.
          Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the trust that God can transform conflict into reconciliation.  Peace is not calm because the disparate voices are silenced, but the courage to stand within the waters of righteous anger, hear the wails of suffering, and work for change.  Peace is crossing from the bank of oppression to the side of justice, and having the faith to walk in the shifting sands and strong currents that would make us turn back, except that God call us to the side of love…every single time.”
                   –Laurie Brock (Living Well Through Advent)

    The verse in Luke might indicate that peace is for everyone, but in studying the Scriptures we know that is not true.  There is peace available for everyone, but some will fall under the displeasure of God and receive His wrath instead.

         “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”  (NASB)

         “Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor].”  (AMPC)

To receive this peace is to recognize Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace.  We must first be at peace with God before we can be at peace with our fellow man.  Peace comes through a walk of faith–knowing that God is in charge and we can rest in Him and be at peace.  Justice is there for Christ paid the sentence for sin.  Man can have peace even though the world and the nation is in turmoil.  Turn to Christ, walk in His Word, trust in the heavenly Father.  Isn’t it ironic that to have true peace you must go to the Cross?