Q: Everyone talks about peace and goodwill at Christmas, but it doesn’t seem to me that peace is any closer now than when Jesus was born. Will it ever happen? — D. McD.
A: You’re right; peace is just as elusive today as it was when Jesus was born over 2,000 years ago. In fact, historians tell us that more people have been killed in wars during the last 100 years than in all the previous centuries put together.
What is the problem? Why can’t we seem to get along? Is it because of economic conflict, or injustice, or racial prejudice, or any other social or political issue? These are real, and any one of them may become a spark that sets off the fires of war. But the ultimate cause is much deeper than these.
Tragically, the deeper cause of the conflicts that tear us apart is the human heart — the wars that rage within us. Greed, revenge, hatred, anger, jealousy, pride — these and a host of other emotions rage within us, and if unchecked, they lead eventually to conflict and war. The Bible says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1).
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On that first Christmas night, the angels announced the birth of God’s own Son, the Prince of Peace. They declared, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). And when we open our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ, he gives us peace — peace with God, peace in our hearts, and peace with others. And some day he will come again in glory, and his peace will rule over all. But in the meantime, give your life to Christ and discover the joy of his peace today.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit www.billygraham.org.