By Adrian Savedra



Many people spend their entire lives searching for peace in various ways. Some suggest that spending time in nature, eating and exercising right, and doing good deeds will lead to a peaceful life. Others say you must be true to yourself, become a minimalist, or even meditate daily to attain peace. There are no shortage of ways that people have tried to find peace, but in the end they all fall short and leave us wanting more. That’s because it is impossible for us to find peace on our own.

Peace had to find us.
And He did. 

This week of the advent season we celebrate the message of ultimate hope – the only way for us to settle this restlessness in ourselves and to find peace. For that we look to the book of Luke chapter 2 and read about this encounter between angels from heaven and shepherds who were going about their business. Understandably, the shepherds were startled and afraid, so the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” The multitude of angels then praise God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” 

Did you catch that last line? Peace … among those with whom [God] is pleased. You see, we cannot achieve peace on our own. It is given by God as a gift, not obtained by our discipline or effort. And that gift comes in the person of Jesus Christ who is referred to as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9. Jesus Himself says, that it is “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (John 14:27)

The gospel of Mark gives us a great visual example of Jesus giving this peace. In chapter 4, the disciples were in a boat with Jesus as a storm raged around them. The disciples’ fear for their safety was then compounded by their frustration with Jesus when they found Jesus sleeping in the stern of the ship.

Fear for our own wellbeing and frustration with our leaders. Sound familiar to anyone this year?

The disciples woke Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. And they looked at each other and said to one another, “Who is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” The answer: He is the Lord, the Messiah, the Savior, and the only one who is able to give you the peace that you seek.

2020 has been a difficult year in many respects, but even in the midst of uncertainty and turmoil and division, we are given the invitation to know peace. Paul tells us in Philippians 4, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I’ll end with this true story behind the famous poem that later was turned into one of my favorite Christmas songs, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

It was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His wife had died tragically in a fire and his oldest son was in a hospital having been severely injured in battle during the civil war. On Christmas day, 1863, Longfellow — a 57-year-old widowed father of six children — wrote a poem seeking to capture the dynamic and dissonance in his own heart and the world he observed around him. He heard the Christmas bells that December day and the singing of “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14), but he observed the world of injustice and violence that seemed to mock the truthfulness of this optimistic outlook. As he focused on the bells instead of the brokenness, his spirit settled into a confident hope that he penned as follows:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”


Think and pray

We might easily relate to the second-to-last verse of this carol, but it is not the final word! God is sovereign in the universe. He is present in each moment with us. He administers kindness, justice and righteousness on earth. And in Him – only Him – we find peace. 

Jesus, I come to You humbly acknowledging my need for You. The peace that I seek – the peace You created me to need – can only be found in You. Replace my fear with confidence and my striving with peace as I focus on You in this day. Amen.



Adrian Savedra serves as Area Director for CBMC in Oklahoma. Having spent his early career as a head college baseball coach, his passion is helping others grow spiritually and apply the precepts of the bible to every area of their lives. He is active in the teaching ministry of his church and a shepherd to the many men involved with CBMC.