"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." – Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
As the angels came to welcome the Savior of the world, they said God would receive the glory and peace was available to those in whom God's favor rests. Does this mean God is selective to who he offers peace to?
Remember who the angels are talking to. Their audience is a group of shepherds. Jesus was born in a barn in a feeding trough. There isn't one person who doesn't have access to God's peace.
Why would God offer us peace? We were natural enemies of God. Though we deserve death, he offers us grace and mercy when we don't deserve it.
Acceptance of this free gift is what brings us peace. Peace is not just found at salvation, but it's found as we become aware of who God is. It comes when we don't focus on the circumstances of life that could weigh us down. When we set our eyes on Jesus instead of the world, we can have peace. Knowing he is our provider, protector, deliverer and so much more can bring us peace.
You likely have already read Psalm 23 at some point. But today, take some time to focus on the environments David finds himself in. They will fluctuate from good to bad in this chapter. However, recognize what doesn't change: God's presence.
Written by Aaron Smith, teen program coordinator for Buckner Children and Family Services in Houston.