By Robert Wilkerson
The prophet Isaiah foretold the birth of God’s son Jesus Christ many centuries before he was born in the little town of Bethlehem. Isaiah said of Jesus that he would be called “Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father,” and lastly, but certainly not least, “the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
All civilized people long for peace in the world. We long for an end to the horrible maiming, mutilation and death that are an integral part of all wars, and the experiences that twist men’s minds and leave them to be haunted by fearful nightmares. We long for the day to end when our patriotic young people return to their homeland in flag-draped caskets, when we hear taps echoing across lonely cemeteries, and we see tears streaming down the cheeks of young wives, mothers and newly orphaned children.
We long for the day to come when the billions of dollars spent on war can be used to provide health care for all our citizens, food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, and job opportunities for all those willing and able to work.
We long for peace among the various tribes and religions of the earth. We long for a day in which hatred ceases between Jews and Arabs, Moslems and Christians, Protestants and Catholics, blacks and whites. Hatred is not of God and those who hate do not know God (1 John 2:9).
We long for peace in homes the world over, starting in America. Strong nations are built on the foundation of strong homes. We need homes, two-parent homes, in which husbands and wives love and respect each other, and in which children are taught to love God and respect others, not by words alone but by parental example.
We long for peace in the hearts of people all over the world. Some people’s greatest conflict may be within themselves. They feel guilt, fear, conflict and worry. However, they need not feel this way. The Prince of Peace has come and He offers His peace to all. The Hebrew word “peace” in Isaiah 9:6 is the word “shalom.” Shalom means more than just the absence of conflict. It means the rich, harmonious, joyful life of those privileged to live in God’s kingdom. To have Christ is to have peace.
God’s Word tells us that as long as the world stands there shall be wars and rumors of wars. There is little, if anything, an individual can do to change that; however, every human being can enjoy the peace that God gives. It is personal, and it passes all understanding. It is a peace that one can have even in the midst of the storm. Jesus 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).
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics and every area of life.