“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given… and His name will be called… Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…” (Isa. 9:6-7a, NKJV).
Having enjoyed this Scripture every year at Christmastime, your mind may protest a bit to see only one of the beautiful titles given Jesus in this passage. I did that on purpose. I want to especially zero in today on His name, Prince of Peace.
As I was listening to my favorite Christmas album a few hours ago, “Silent Night” came on. I was swept up in the music, and is His custom, Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart. His stirrings came through the lyrics, “Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright… sleep in heavenly peace…”
Indeed, for the few souls that beheld it, that night in Bethlehem must have been filled with the most glorious peace imaginable. What a sacred moment, as the heavens opened and multitudes of angels burst out in uncontainable, overwhelmingly beautiful tones of exultation! The shepherds’ hearts must have nearly burst with the celestial euphoria flowing into and through their beings.
What Holy Spirit was pointing out to me was that, no shadow of threatening darkness was able to taint that rapturous moment. Not even the unimaginably excruciating genocide that was to take place in that very town, within the context of our beloved Christmas narration. In the same location where incalculable angelic hosts filled the night with wonder, blood was to be spilt not long afterwards. The same mothers that listened to the thrilling tidings the shepherds came running to share, would soon be weeping in agony for their dead babies.
And yet, none of that pain, none of that anguish tainted that Silent, Holy Night. The infant Jesus was not lying in the manger restless, fussy, and disturbed in spirit by what the adversary was plotting. On the contrary, I believe that the manifest presence of God in that stable powerfully penetrated and saturated every living soul present, spilling out in unspeakable overflow. We think upon that night with the same awe coursing through our spirits that overcame the shepherds called in to witness the majesty. That Night only represents ecstatic joy and exquisite peace.
There is a lesson in this for us. To a world rocked by turmoil, God is announcing good news of great joy. The Prince of Peace rules gloriously in the midst of the blackest night. When He reigns in our lives, there is no end to the increase of His peace within us. The longer we truly walk with Him, the more deeply we enter into His peace.
That first Christmas night in Bethlehem had absolutely no bleak shadow hovering over it. In the same way, God intends to empower us to live out our lives entirely free from any overshadowing gloom – no matter what may be transpiring around us or attempting to threaten our future. When we abide in the shelter of His presence, we receive the grace to remain free from fear’s slavery. The Father’s heart is that we would have no dread of evil. He gives us the power to live every day protected by supernatural peace and abiding joy, unafraid of what is to come.
“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned” (Matt. 4:16, NKJV).