Read Isaiah 26
Focus on verse 3
Stress, chaos, and conflict – these could all be antonyms of peace. In controlled amounts they can actually be a catalyst to inspire healthy growth, an overdose, or prolonged exposure can have deadly results. Peace is a term that has many facets causing it to be easily misunderstood. Most often we consider peace to be the opposite of war or conflict. While this is clearly an accurate definition, it is also possible to find peace in the midst of war and conflict.
When Christ was born the angel’s announcement to the shepherds was “Peace on earth and good will toward men” (Luke 2:14) yet Christ also is recorded to have stated that He came “not to bring peace but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34) While this may appear to be a glaring contradiction, it really is not. Christ is the only true source of peace, and we can only truly find peace when we find Christ. It is also true, however, that when we choose Christ; we are making a choice that divides – like a sword. This choice cuts us off from the darkness and sin that formerly controlled our lives. It forces us to choose between darkness and light, between truth and deception. In some cases this causes sharp division within the human relationships around us. Some of the people we are close to will not understand the choice we have made and it will actually cause conflict in our relationships. So you see, in bringing peace to our souls by restoring our relationship to God, Christ separates us from our allegiance to sin. Christ defeated the power of death so that we could live in peace forever.
Ironically: in order to live in peace we are called to join Christ in declaring war on sin and deception.