“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
As we think about the Christmas season and remember the birth of our savior Jesus Christ, I imagine that one of the first verses that comes to mind is this verse above from the prophet Isaiah. It is filled with beautiful imagery of what the Lord will be called and tells us roughly 700 years before Christ’s birth that the Almighty God will humble himself and become a child (Let that sink in… How awesome and trustworthy are the promises of God found in his Word!)
Taking a moment to think about the names of God, I want to dwell upon the last name Isaiah gives Jesus, the “Prince of Peace”. As we think about Jesus, we quickly think about him being a “Wonderful Counselor”, a “Mighty God”, and the “Everlasting Father”, but I wonder how often we think about him being the “Prince of Peace”. What does it mean when Isaiah says he is the “Prince of Peace”, and how does this truth apply to our everyday life of following Christ?
To answer this question, it’s important to understand first and foremost that in our sinful state we are enemies of God, at war against his purposes and will, and are clearly not at peace with him (Romans 8:7, Colossians 1:21). Peace with God cannot be attained by us or anything we seek to do, but instead is a gift of God and given to us from Jesus. By repenting from our sin and by faith trusting in Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the Cross, we are justified before God by his grace. Paul tells us in Romans 5:1, our justification through faith (salvation) brings the benefits of peace with God.
Because of this, those of faith are no longer enemies of God, at war with Him and unable to submit to Him; they are instead transformed by the indwelling Spirit to worship Him, glorify Him, and treasure Him. God no longer sees us as enemies to receive His wrath, but instead as His children: children who are forgiven, loved, righteous (because of Christ) and future heirs in His heavenly kingdom forever.
Further, this peace is an everlasting peace that is promised to us through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Galatians 5 tells us that a fruit of the Spirit is “peace”, meaning that as we walk with the Spirit of God, He will provide us with perfect peace. This is not earthly peace, but supernatural peace that transcends all earthly understanding and can only come from God Himself (Philippians 4:7).
So, as you consider the birth of our Lord this Christmas season, remember that no matter what hardship or trial you are going through, whatever challenge or deep emotional pain you are enduring, you have a mighty God of Peace. He has accomplished it all in reconciling you to God (1 Peter 3:18). He is the Almighty (Hebrews 1). He has loved you with a deeper love than you can imagine (Ephesian 1:4-5), and He can bring you the supernatural peace that comes through trusting in His great love and promises (John 14).
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)
Jason Troxell, Elder