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Peace on Earth: Being Peacemakers in Volatile Times

“If God be our God, He will give us peace in trouble. When there is a storm without, He will make peace within. The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.” – Thomas Watson

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7, NIV)

Many historical accounts suggest that the “Christmas Truce of 1914” began with British, Belgian, and French soldiers singing “Silent Night” from the trenches on a cold Christmas Eve during World War I. Hearing the singing, their German enemies laid down their rifles, stepped out of the trenches and joined them on the battlefield, not to fight, but to join their singing. Eventually the two opposing militaries began to mingle. Over the course of the next few days, together they sang more carols, exchanged gifts, showed off pictures of their families, and even kicked the soccer ball around. The peaceful interaction, involving about 100,000 troops, was a welcome break from the soldiers’ daily reality of war. In an account recorded by Time magazine, Graham Williams of the Fifth London Brigade described the event like this:

“First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up O Come, All Ye Faithful the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Lards Adeste Fideles. And I thought, ‘Well, this is really a most extraordinary thing—two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.’”


“The peaceful interaction, involving about 100,000 troops, was a welcome break from the soldiers’ daily reality of war.”


I showed a YouTube video recounting the truce to one of my daughters. When it had finished, she asked, “Did they go back to fighting?” I said, “Yes.” To which she aptly asked, “Why?” Good question. Most accounts indicate the truce lasted until New Year’s Day, although in some areas the fighting resumed earlier than that. However, it is amazing that the truce happened at all. In the middle of an intense war, enemies who only days before had been firing at one another shared a moment of human connection.

The story of the Christmas Truce resonates so deeply because it taps into the almost-universally held desire for peace. The image of enemy soldiers dropping their weapons and singing in unison points to greater possibilities for this fractured world.

Upon Jesus’ birth, the heavenly host announced: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14, emphasis added). Seven hundred years before this, Isaiah prophesied, “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. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7a, emphasis added).


Peace on Earth: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”


Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and His arrival meant peace to those who were favored by God. So, if Jesus, the Prince of Peace, established a peaceful kingdom, why does there continue to be such a lack of peace?

One word: Satan.

Paul penned these words: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:11-12).

Until Jesus returns and God makes everything right in the new heaven and earth, the devil will continue to create conflict, deceive humanity, and generate turmoil. On this side of eternity, we will continue to witness wars and chaos because of the evil forces continuing to wreak havoc on our world. Satan is ultimately the culprit of the lack of peace in our world.


Peace on Earth: “Until Jesus returns and God makes everything right in the new heaven and earth, the devil will continue to create conflict, deceive humanity, and generate turmoil.”


Jesus was well aware of Satan’s schemes. While encouraging the disciples to conduct His mission even while facing hostility, He said, “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” (John 14:27). He later said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus knew the disciples would experience trouble in this world, but He gave them His peace to sustain them amid the world’s troubles.

Two truths are evident here:

  1. Jesus’ peace is our peace.
  2. Satan continues to cause trouble.

Whenever Christians are present, so is the peace of Christ. Wherever you go, Jesus’ peace is with you. This is a life-changing truth. Satan’s aim is to harm you, but with the Overcomer’s peace within you, you can remain steadfast, courageous, and hopeful. And, each of us should strive to impress on others that peace is truly attainable in this troubled world through Jesus Christ.

We may not have much control over the world’s ongoing wars and political strife, but what we can do is be peacemakers wherever God puts us today.


Peace on Earth: “We may not have much control over the world’s ongoing wars and political strife, but what we can do is be peacemakers wherever God puts us today.”


Here are seven ways you can allow Jesus’ peace to grow and work within you:

  • Ask God each day to give you the peace of Christ
  • Daily surrender to God so that the Holy Spirit can produce the fruit of peace within you
  • Refuse to gossip or use hurtful speech about others
  • Forgive people and seek reconciliation with those with whom you have conflict
  • Resist the temptation to argue, grumble, and complain
  • Cast your anxieties on God
  • Refuse to take revenge on someone who wrongs you

Making the world a more peaceful place starts with you. Let His peace be your peace.

God, thank you for making your peace a reality for me through Jesus Christ. By the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance, help me to be a peacemaker in this world. As I navigate this world full of trouble and strife, help me remain steadfast and courageous for you. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Excerpted from Rob Long, O Come Let Us Adore Him: 31 Christmas Devotionals to Find Meaning in the Manger.

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