“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Joy and Peace are popular Christmas words. “Peace on earth” spoken by the angels at Jesus’ birth usually gets some extra attention during this season. We see "Joy" on cards and candy and decorations. A few years ago I decided that I wanted to know what these words really mean. This is what I discovered and I can’t imagine a better Christmas message.
Peace- Eirene in Greek
Peace, rest; in contrast with strife; denoting the absence or end of strife. It denotes a state of untroubled, undisturbed, well-being. It may also be when contrasted with strife, such a state of peace is the object of divine promise and is brought about by God’s mercy, granting deliverance and freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as a result of sin.
Joy- from Charis in Greek
Joy, favor, acceptance, grace; a kindness granted or desired, a benefit, thanks gratitude, grace. A favor done without expectation of return; absolute freeness of the loving-kindness of God to men, finding its only motive in the bounty and free-heartedness of the Giver; unearned and unmerited favor.
From The Complete Word Study Dictionary New Testament by Spiros Zodhiates
Peace isn’t just a pat answer from a beauty pageant about the absence of strife and fighting in the world. Joy isn’t just the happy dance when things go our way. These words are wholeness that starts on the inside as we accept God’s Promise and radiates outward as we walk with Him. They are the description of a life facing each day, rest, trial, work, and fun with the certainty of God’s benevolent, free-hearted, and loving Presence.
Grace and Peace to you in 2011!