Words have meaning but words attached to people we love have even more meaning. When we think of Christmas there are many words that come to mind like, Peace, Joy, Love or Hope. When the Bible speaks about these things it has them in the context of God and who He is and because of that these words have more meaning than we apply to them.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
1) Hope is in Jesus Christ
Christmas is a time of anticipation because we long to see the gifts under the tree or the family members that are coming into town and so every day the anticipation of Christmas day grows stronger.
1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
In the Old Testament they had Hope that the Messiah would come and we have Hope that He will come again. Hope is rooted in Jesus Christ. It is not some wish that we want to come true it is based on the historical work of Jesus Christ who came, who died, and who rose again and promised He will come back one day. Hope is not wishful thinking it is Hope in the one who did what He said He would do and it is the anticipation of the promises that are yet to come.
“We have hope in the future because of what Christ had done in the past and is doing in the present” John Macarthur
2) Peace in this Life
Peace: the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
Most people view peace as being a state of mind that is restful but in the Bible it means being at peace with God. Most people think that they are good with God because they are trying really hard and God will overlook any mistakes they have made. Romans 5 shows us that God viewed us as enemies and that status can only change if we accept the free gift of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for our sins.
Imagine taking a test that you knowing you already passed or a job interview in which you already have the job. Our peace comes not from having everything go our way but from the fact that we will stand before God knowing that Jesus Christ has already done everything for us to be approved by God. Many people think that they are already at peace with God but according to the Bible you will not have peace if you do not accept Jesus Christ.
True peace comes from God alone not from this world or any of the promises it may have. Jesus never promised that this life would give you no troubles or sorrows.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Peace with God will be experienced when we pass from this life to eternity. When the Angels declared “Peace on Earth” (Luke 2:14) they were declaring that God’s peace will be experienced by all who put their trust in Jesus Christ. When we take the words that God has said to us out of context of the relationship we can have with Jesus Christ we miss their true meaning.
Joy: the cause or occasion of Joy
Our Joy is because God in the flesh has come to save us.
Jude 24-25 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time[a] and now and forever. Amen.
Our Joy comes from knowing that we are presented as if we were perfect before God. Hope, Peace and Joy have more meaning because of the eternal nature of Christ. The words of Christmas always have more meaning when applied to Christ than they will when we use them in the context of this world. Because they are tied to Jesus’ eternal nature then they will last forever. If you are searching for Peace, Joy, hope and peace you may be trying to find it in the wrong place instead of with Jesus.