Happy 2012! Christmas morning has come and gone, and now we rise to the dawn of a new beginning. Hope fills our hearts as we look to the potential of the year ahead, yet the uncertainty of its future reigns in our expectation to cautious optimism. We can’t allow ourselves to expect too much. Experience has left us a little gun-shy.
Dear one, when Jesus is the source of our hope, we can always expect greatness. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5, NIV 1984) Let us look to the Lord of Glory with unguarded expectation and allow Him to surpass our wildest dreams! (1 Corinthians 2:9)
We have reached the final week of our Christmas series exploring the four Names of God associated with Jesus’ coming from His prophetic birth announcement in Isaiah 9:6. Let’s review the entire verse and view it in context with verse 7.
“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7
Notice that the first thing we are told about this child to be born is that government will be on his shoulders. Our ability to experience Jesus by every one of these names will be directly linked to our choice to allow Him to rule.
Jesus came to lead His people to glory. We become His as we acknowledge His deity and His sacrifice, repent of our sin, and make a decision to follow Jesus to a new life. The moment that we put our faith in Jesus, surrendering our lives to His leadership, we are sealed as His own by the Holy Spirit—our Wonderful Counselor, the power of Mighty God comes to rest within us, and we become eternal sons (and daughters) of glory, belonging forever to the Everlasting Father. And . . .
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Romans 5:1-2
Jesus becomes our Prince of Peace as our broken relationship with Holy God is restored, our sins are forgiven, and we enter the realm of divine fellowship with our Creator. And still, He offers more! As we allow the Prince of Peace to rule and reign within our hearts, trusting Him through our obedience, some wonderful fruit begin to emerge in our lives.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Trusting Jesus to lead allows God to FILL us with joy, peace, and hope! Beloved, your heart is not meant to remain empty. Allow God, through the gift of His Son, to flood it with joy . . . to set it at rest with His peace . . . to heal the ache of disappointment with renewed hope and glorious life(Proverbs 13:12)!
Proverbs 14:30 teaches that, “A heart at peace gives life to the body.” The absence of peace robs us of our ability to find joy in what we have. We will not be content, even when love abounds, prosperity comes, and life is kind. The sin nature within us will always crave more and will send us in pursuit of it, even if it costs us the blessings we already have.
In Christ, our souls have the ability to finally find rest and end our destructive cycles. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jesus has given us His peace. So, how do we claim it? Isaiah 9:7 holds the key. The increase of His peace accompanies the increase of His government. The more we yield to the authority and leadership of the Holy Spirit, the more peace will abound. And as peace abounds, so will the life that springs from it (Proverbs 14:30). As we trust Jesus through our obedience, allowing Him to take His rightful place on the throne of our lives, joy, peace, and hope will follow in our wake.
“Peace on earth” must begin within the hearts of individuals. The kingdom of heaven is coming; in fact, it’s already here. It’s within all who have confessed Jesus as Lord. Remember,
“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:7
Until He returns to claim His kingdom, we are His ambassadors of peace. May we humbly surrender our wills to His authority, that His glory may be revealed!
“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” Job 22:21