The Prince of Peace? Isaiah 9:6
Henry was born in 1807. He married Francis in 1843. They lived in Cambridge Mass and had 5 children.
In 1861 in July Francis died of injuries from burns.
Henry too was burned in his attempt to smother the flames that claimed his wife.
A year later Henry’s oldest child Charles was severely wounded as he served in the army of the Potomac.
It was on Christmas day that H.W. Longfellow penned the words to a poem… Christmas Bells.
Out of his personal tragedy and his personal faith Longfellow has given us a setting most appropriate for Christmas 2018.
Personal tragedies are still occurring in the lives of people, even Christian people.
6 for to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Why are we so deeply entrenched in personal wars of heart and mind? Why is there so much personal tragedy occurring?
H.W. Longfellow could write from the heart because his faith though tested and tried, was deeper and stronger than both his fears and his circumstances.
He could confidently say that the wrong will fail and the right prevail because he knew the prince of peace personally.
Are you allowing him to speak peace to your heart, your daily life and your circumstances?
1. WE CAN EXPERIENCE PEACE WHEN WE KNOW THE PRINCE OF PEACE PERSONALLY.
Longfellow’s faith held him strong in the dark days.
We can experience peace only when Christ is the Lord of our lives.
True peace only comes when we know that our hearts are right with God. Christ is all the things that Isaiah describes him as.
You will never fully realize that until you know him as the Lord of your life.
2. WE CAN EXPERIENCE PEACE WHEN WE REALIZE PEACE IS DEEPER THAN THE ABSENCE OF WAR.
Our nation has never gone to war simply because we have chosen to do so.
Please understand that true peace is deeper than the absence of conflict.
There will never be true peace until Jesus is Lord of the lives of people around the world.
True peace only comes when hearts are right with God.
People who profess Christ as Lord… yet their daily life has no peace.
They are not happy about their circumstances, about their lot in life, their health, their location, their career.
They just exist and long for something other than what they have.
Peace will never come merely by stopping the fighting. Peace will only come when the world knows and serves the Lord.
The greatest gift you could give yourself this Christmas is to let go of all your daily struggles and focus your attention on having daily joy in Christ.
3. WE CAN EXPERIENCE PEACE WHEN WE REALIZE WE ARE NOT IN CHARGE.
We like to think we are in charge of our destiny. The fact is that we are not.
One of the biggest struggles we have in our lives is when we are determined that something ought to be the way we think it ought to be and it is not.
You will experience peace when you realize that Jesus being Lord of your life means he makes the decisions.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
A college professor… “I have been to the bottom of my life. I want you to know it is solid. Christ is my foundation and my strength.”
Because he was not in charge, peace came back to him as it was before.
Some of you are really struggling with the issue of peace in your life. Your daily in and out ordinary life.
Someone here is struggling and at war in your heart over the situation you are presently in.
Christ can give you peace over the situation and the circumstance.
Someone here is struggling with peace at home. Christ can bring peace into that troubled relationship and make things right.
Someone here is struggling to be at peace with yourself. Christ can change the situation in his time and in his way.
Longfellow said it this way: the wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth good will to men.
Isaiah said it this way: and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince Of Peace.
The Prince Of Peace? Absolutely!