As we were chatting yesterday, I mentioned the word "joy" as my go to word in describing what we all ache for in this world. I'm not talking a surface "happy," although I like to be happy. I'm talking a deep seated kind of confident knowing that God is in control, he's with me and He has eternal purpose in all he's doing in, through, and around me. Nothing is wasted, nothing is random, all has meaning and purpose and is culminating in a redeemed eternity that I can not even remotely imagine. That is joy.
Luke says he thinks what I just described is better defined as "peace." That is his go to word.
And in Luke 2, "peace" was the word the angels used to describe what was coming to earth.
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
(Luke 2:14 ESV)
About a month back, I listened to a Christmas sermon by John Piper. I don't remember the exact quote surrounding this verse, but what he said made me draw this little picture in my notes.
What I was trying to illustrate is this:
God gets the glory from people.
People get peace from God.
God knew us giving glory to Him is what He deserved and He knew it would give us joy.
God gave us peace, knowing how desperately we need it.
As I was looking at this rough little sketch after I drew it, I noticed the opened ended part of the "V." The glory we give to God starts with us and goes up to Him. Any glory we give to God has to be just a small part of the total world wide, all of human history wide, glory that has been given to Him or will be given to him from people on this earth. This "glory V" can only get wider and bigger.
And because of who God is, the same is true for what I call the "peace V." He is infinite peace and has infinite peace to give. We are the recipients of that kind of peace. It's like we are under a peace umbrella.
I love my stick people sketch. It reminds me of how loved I am. And I've caught myself saying a shortened version of those two sentences in bold print above to myself over these days reading in Luke 2.
God gets the glory.
I get the peace.