Peace is not the easiest state to achieve. At times we find ourselves caught in stressful and even painful situations that rid us of hope, compassion, or maybe even faith, and the Bible indicates that one reason Jesus came to this earth was to provide peace. In Isaiah 9:6, we read,
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.
Here, Isaiah refers to Jesus as the “Prince of Peace.” This title is comforting. This title is soothing. This title is perfect for a world that is constantly experiencing conflict. Though it is important to know who is the “Prince of Peace,” what most of us want to know is how He can bring peace to our lives.
First, Jesus offers peace by forgiving your past.
In Luke 7, we read about a woman with a very sordid past. The text identifies her as a “sinner” (7:37), and indicates that she had a well-known sordid reputation. Jesus would later say that her sins were “many” (7:47). Somewhere, somehow she had heard about Jesus, and, now, she so desperately needed to see Jesus that she had no problem interrupting a dinner party at somebody else’s house.
The dinner was in the house of a Pharisee named Simon, and, when she entered the room, I believe an audible gasp came from the self-righteous guests. Everyone present in that house knew who she was and knew the sins she had committed. They even wondered why Jesus would let someone as sinful as her come in contact with someone as pure as Himself. Ignoring their judgmental stares, she made her way to Jesus and knelt at His feet, where she then washed, kissed, and anointed them with expensive ointment. Jesus’ response to this woman was much different than His dinner guests. He looked at her and said, “Your sins are forgiven” (7:48), then used this moment as an opportunity to educate those present on forgiveness. As this scene comes to an end, Jesus spoke to the woman and said, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (7:50), and my guess is that she did.
You may be just like this woman with a closet full of skeletons searching for a chance to start over. Maybe you have done some things in your past that you think are unforgivable. Maybe you are consumed with guilt or haunted by your failures. Regardless of who you are or what you have done, it is the Prince of Peace who offers you forgiveness. Remember, He’s the One who said to the crowd that crucified Him, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), and, through repentance and baptism, we can receive that same forgiveness (Acts 2:38).
Second, Jesus offers peace by calming your storms.
In Mark 4, Jesus was aboard a boat with His disciples when they encountered a fierce storm. This storm was so severe that it endangered the boat and the lives of the passengers on board. While the seas churned, the winds howled, and the waves crashed against the bow, Jesus slept below deck. Eventually, His disciples awoke Him with the words, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing” (4:38). It was then that He “rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!'” (4:39). Instantaneously, the winds died down, the sea calmed, and that storm that terrified the disciples was no more. Then Jesus said to those shaken men, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (4:40).
You may be just like these disciples, caught in the middle of a storm from which you see no way out. Maybe it’s the storm of a financial crisis that has left you uncertain about the future, a wound inflicted by someone in your past that lingers with you, or an addictive practice that you cannot seem to overcome. Regardless of what storm you face, it is the Prince of Peace who offers you safety. It is the Prince of Peace who said, “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 14:27).
As we conclude our examination of ways in which the Prince of Peace brings peace, consider for a moment the first words that Jesus spoke to His disciples after His resurrection. When He appeared to them in that upper room for the first time, they were terrified, yet again, and Jesus stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). That is what Jesus wants every soul to experience—the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). Will you let Him bring peace to your life today?