Advent 2017: Joy to the World: Day 13

All Nations Shall Find Peace


Today's Text: Micah 4:1-7, Psalm 46:4-11, Isaiah 53:4-12

Scripture Reading: Micah 4:1-7, Psalm 46:4-11, Isaiah 53:4-12

It was December 1914, and World War I was just beginning to shake the globe to its core. Both Allied and German forces had already dug and settled into their frozen trenches on the Western Front—their circumstances and surroundings were fraught with anything but “peace on earth” and “goodwill toward men.”

Yet, on Christmas Day, as the sun rose on the battlefield, hope rose with it. A few brave German soldiers crested the trenches they’d fought from hours earlier and crossed into enemy territory shouting Christmas greetings. In response, British and German soldiers met in “No Man’s Land.” They shook hands, sang Christmas carols, played soccer, and exchanged small gifts of comfort. An unofficial Christmas truce declared, weapons were temporarily laid down, symbolically traded in for goodwill and human dignity. As the sun set on Christmas night, soldiers retreated back to their trenches and the horrific fighting continued. It was a wonder not been repeated in any conflict since.

Though WWI officially ended four years after that Christmas miracle, the battle wages on. Geopolitical conflict is a constant. Threats are never ending. Wars rage in our hearts, in our homes, and around the globe. Because of this, the words of the prophet Micah feel like a fairytale—sweet but out of reach:

They will beat their swords into plows
and their spears into pruning knives.
Nation will not take up the sword against nation,
and they will never again train for war.
But each person will sit under his grapevine
and under his fig tree
with no one to frighten him.
- Micah 4:3-4

When those first soldiers started singing in 1914, the others must have thought it was a trick. They couldn’t fathom an end to the fighting, even for a single day. As we sit in the trenches, we feel the same jaded weariness. We cannot imagine an end to the suffering, the wars, the death, and the heartache. Yet, I am confident that as soldiers looked across the battlefield that Christmas, they didn’t want to see carnage. Neither do we. At least for a moment, we want to forget the war and consider all that is merry and bright.

These dueling mindsets—our hopelessness that the fighting will end and our longing to lay our weapons down all together—are reconciled through Christ. There is only joy for the world because of the war Jesus fought and won on our behalf.

For a moment, don’t look away. Don’t search for something warm and fuzzy. Listen closely.

But he was pierced because of our rebellion,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on him,
and we are healed by his wounds.
- Isaiah 53:5

At the cross, Jesus entered the war to end all wars. His was not a quiet sit-in or a peaceful protest. It was a battle to the death. Like a soldier who goes to war for the good of his country, Jesus surrendered Himself, warred against sin, and won.

The ceasefire promised in Scripture is not a fairytale. It’s not a bedtime story incapable of granting us more than temporary comfort. The peace treaty has been signed in blood, secured by the Savior who arrived as a baby in a manger. This war will not rage forever. Because of Jesus, one day there will be no more enemy lines to cross.


Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

  • Isaiah 53:4–12
    4 mSurely he has borne our griefs

    and carried our sorrows;

    yet we esteemed him stricken,

    nsmitten by God, and afflicted.

    5 oBut he was pierced for our transgressions;

    he was crushed for our iniquities;

    upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

    pand with his wounds we are healed.

    6 qAll we like sheep have gone astray;

    we have turned—every one—to his own way;

    rand the Lord has laid on him

    the iniquity of us all.

    7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

    syet he opened not his mouth;

    tlike a ulamb that is led to the slaughter,

    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

    so he opened not his mouth.

    8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;

    and as for his generation, vwho considered

    that he was cut off out of the land of the living,

    stricken for the transgression of my people?

    9 And they made his grave with the wicked

    wand with a rich man in his death,

    although xhe had done no violence,

    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

    10 Yet yit was the will of the Lord to crush him;

    he has put him to grief;7

    zwhen his soul makes8 an offering for guilt,

    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;

    athe will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

    11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see9 and be satisfied;

    by his knowledge shall bthe righteous one, my servant,

    cmake many to be accounted righteous,

    dand he shall bear their iniquities.

    12 eTherefore I will divide him a portion with the many,10

    fand he shall divide the spoil with the strong,11

    because he poured out his soul to death

    and was numbered with the transgressors;

    gyet he bore the sin of many,

    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

  • Christina Berger

    Finally catching up and wish I would have read this last week. So very good! Hope and peace❤️

  • Carrie JoHarnishfeger

    When it seems like day after day the world is being destroyed by violence, battling political parties, and unrest, I cling to this promise of the peace of Jesus! Such powerful and hope-filled verses.

  • Peace! what a wonderful promise, especially now when it seems all we see is war torn cities, people fleeing their homes and all they know to escape genocide and the world seems void of peace. We have this promise of peace between nations from God! Peace because even while we stumbled blindly in darkness, God was planning to bring us back to Him.
    A friend shared this verse at church and passed around what is now a paper weight that sits in his office but was once a part of a weapon of mass destruction, melted down and stamped with the MCC (Mennonite central commitee) logo. I held in my hand, weighed it, flipped, it felt it it was harmless now, just for holding papers in place, usually papers about peace and yet the original purpose f the metal used to make it was death.

  • Brandy Wallner

    This is SO good and so needed. Thanks to pointing us towards HOPE.

  • Amen and Amen.
    Be still and know that I am God

  • I’m a few days behind…and this morning I am still processing our sermon from church yesterday… this devotional kind of goes along with it…very very powerful! If u can find the time, here is the link:

  • Thank you, Jesus, for your perfect peace!

  • Oh my gosh!! Everything about this! Exactly what I needed to hear, keep on, persevere, run the race! Thank you Jesus! You are worthy of all honor, glory and praise!

  • Thank you Jesus..

  • Bri Totman

    Powerful message. Thanks, Erin!

  • Eleanor Porter

    My favorite devotional yet. A great reminder of the hope we have in Jesus-hope that reaches in to places of apathy and disenchantment. Only He could bring light into that darkness.

  • Megan Cavanaugh

    This was a great read, the power of Christ lives always especially on Christmas Day ❤️

  • I love the emphasis that our peace was paid for. It was purchased in blood. Whenever I feel like I am getting lost on all that is going on in the world I can remember that I can have peace, right here, right now – because that is one of the benefits of what Jesus did when He died for us. And I don’t want to waste it and not use it. I want to fully use everything He’s given me and so I will choose to have peace. And when the world is weary I will run to the arms of my Comforter who is the only one can truly gift that to me. Thankful for this reminder! Love SRT!

  • One of my best friends is always so fraught in fear and despair over everything that is wrong or going wrong in our world. I pray for her heart to be opened to the calling of Jesus as only He can give her the comfort and hope that she seeks.

  • MacKenzie Spycher

    That is an incredible story. I’m having a hard time comprehending Isaiah 53 and the sorrow yet hope it carries.

  • Amen.

  • Kristi Veis

    Punishment for our peace was on him….Why do we not remember that we can rest in this amazing peace at any time? At all times? My prayer today is to sit in this peace and not punish myself for all that’s falling apart before my eyes and let Jesus fight the war raging on which he has already overcome!

  • I love this story. I read it to my 7 year old boy, who loves American history. Oh for the day when our weapons are turned into plowshares.

  • Loving this verse this morning. Reminds me that we can always take comfort in the Lord despite what is going on in our lives and in the world.

  • Cecelia Enns Schulz

    Beautiful! Our peace treaty signed with blood. But, oh! It’s finished! Amen

  • Carrie Rogers


  • Alyssa Galios

    Such senseless fighting/tearing/hurtful things are thrown around all over the place. Online, across schoolyards, and in our homes. The ONLY true solace offered is the ONE that’s been given to us. Sign, sealed and delivered, but laying unwrapped under our trees. “He has come that we may have life and have it abundantly” and, oh, how I look forward to the PEACEFUL abundant.

  • So glad that our Jesus entered the war to end all wars. I can’t imagine life without HIM. Life here has been so hard I’m grateful for those moments of peace and joy that only Jesus can bring.

  • Oh Kathy… As a high school teacher would you please pray for my son, Caleb. I did not go to college or have very little college and finals are next week as well. He struggles in math and ironically in Spanish. You as a teacher please pray for the students who are struggling. And I’ll be praying that your classroom gets all situated. Thank you for being a great example to those students you just never know what you’re going through.

  • Crystal Mendez

    “Because of Jesus, one day there will be no more enemy lines to cross.” Amen!

  • Things get amplified during the holiday season, expectations of oneself and others soar…oh Lord, I am declaring peace over our hearts, minds and bodies. Not everything will go smoothly BUT God…

  • I couldn’t get through this without crying, beautifully written! The world’s aching for peace, the kind of peace only Jesus brings. Thankful for God today for His wonderful gift of salvation so we can have peace in our hearts as we wait for the eternal peace Christ will bring when He comes again.

  • I could not make it without the peace Jesus gives. Praise God!

  • Karen From Virginia

    Happy Friday! I rejoice in the hope of my savior. He came and was willing to die for rebellious one. I never want that story to grow old. Or take it for granted. I also look at it is it time of hope, because Jesus has more for us than we could ever imagine

  • “The peace treaty has been signed in blood, and secured by a Savior who arrived as a baby in a manger. This war will not rage forever. Because of Jesus, there will no more be enemy lines to cross.” May we live today, tomorrow, next week under the realization that in Jesus, there are no more enemy lines to cross…Everyone is our neighbor we are called to love and serve, even, especially those we disagree with…

    • Melinda

      A beautiful and timely challenge, that such peace can and should be realized even now, by God’s grace, through you and through me….

    • LT


    • Jaime


    • Jaime

      “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
      ‭‭John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  • Churchmouse

    Peace on earth. Peace within. All struggles ceased. Weapons down. Hard. To. Imagine. BUT GOD…

  • I love the imagery of Micah 4:4, “But each person will sit under his grapevine and under his fig tree with no one to frighten him. For the mouth of the Lord of Armies has spoken.” I teach high school art. We have two more days of class – today and Monday – and then we have two days of finals. Plus, we are about to move into a brand new building so we are not just finishing projects, we are also packing up my classroom. Needless to say it is not just chaotic, it is like chaos on crack! Yesterday when I got home all I wanted to do was to sit and be still and be quiet – which I did. But, I did it knowing that in the morning I was going to have to get up and face the creative chaos that is my art room right now. All of that to say, I found so much comfort, peace and joy in this verse. We have peace with God through Jesus. It is ours for eternity. But, sometimes the peace of God eludes us. Things are busy, hectic, chaotic, especially during the holidays. There is such comfort knowing that because the Lord of Armies has spoken, one day we will experience the peace of God continually. Thank You, Jesus
    Be blessed, sisters.

    • Lindsey

      Kathy, your post made me laugh. I can just imagine the “Chaos on crack” of not only holiday craziness but on top of that, packing up a classroom. Will you be in your new building and classroom after the new year? Praying that you will find God’s peace in the chaos.

      • Kathy

        Students come back to school on Jan. 8 and we’re going to use them to move. I can’t wait! My new art room is wonderful!

    • Mari

      I sent you a message below

  • Amanda Mata

    Isaiah 11
    Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
    by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.

    Thank You, Lord.

  • Kelsey Bender

    Psalm 46:5 really resonates with me. Not only is it difficult to see the world in the way that it is, but in my own life, I find myself in difficult situations and question my faith and myself. I work in behavioral health and as much as I love my job, I can feel myself taking a toll on my body and emotions and I’ve asked God if I’m strong enough for this. For with the courage of God, anything is possible. I do my work, not because it is easy, but because it helps others be more at peace with themselves.

    • Tina

      Kelsey Bender. I Thank God for you!
      Your job is not an easy one, but you do it to the best of your ability and mist importantly in love.. God is with you and He will give you the strength and wisdom to see it through.
      God bless you with His peace and love for all you do. Sending hugs your way with prayers.. x

    • Amanda Mata

      Kelsey I can’t imagine how hard that has to be at times. No doubt God is using you mightily to help people- thank you for all you do. Lifting you up in prayer this morning, sister.

    • Karen From Virginia

      Praying for you Kelsey. I too work in mental health. I’m a counselor and become weary. Please take care of yourself. Be intentional to give your people to the Lord and go find some rest. Something to laugh at and live your life. The Lord will teach you what you need to do to rest and play so that you can be restored to help those in your path. I have learned over the years that it is priority take care of myself through my own devotion to the Lord, exercise, other fun outlets that help me be restored. Don’t think it’s not important or frivolous. Self-care is a priority and that is what kept me going these many years. Wishing youThe best rest and joy in your life.

      • Jeanna

        Thank you, Karen, as you too work on the front lines. Thank you for your willingness to see through the lense of grace, and for sharing God’s love to the “broken”.

    • Crystal Mendez

      Thank you for the work you do, Kelsey. Your diligent work does not go unseen by the Lord. He sees you, and He loves you deeply. May you be strengthened in your innermost being as you continue your work of helping others have better, more whole lives!

    • Cynthia

      Kelsey, my daughter is in behavioral care as well. She is aware of her need for self care and makes it a priority. Jesus took the time to get away with His Father in prayer. Remember you are not alone in your work! May God bless you as you bring care and comfort to the hurting!

    • Jennifer

      I also resonate with that psalm. I work as a hospital chaplain, and know the work you do is not easy. God called us to go outside the city gate where things are messy and difficult (Hebrews 11), and we cannot do it without God and our own systems of support. Praying you have folks to come alongside you and lift you up, and remind you that what you’re doing is a gift to all of us ♡

    • Jeanna

      Thank you, Kelsey, for your willingness to work on the front lines. May His grace restore you each and every day.

  • Rebecca Leek

    That story of the soldiers in No Man’s Land in WW1 1913 is amazing. It is evidence that world peace is possible! I still find it heartbreaking that Jesus was crushed for our forgiveness of sins.

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