Ok, we’re into the second week of Advent where the focus is on peace. Where are you in your holiday process?
Here’s my checklist:
- Decorations – done
- Listening to Christmas music – always
- Christmas Letter – written, edited, printed, mailing in process
- Gifts – about halfway finished, none wrapped
- Baking – not yet started
- Sanity intact – so far, so good
- Hopeful for a wonderful holiday – Yes
- Peace abiding in my heart – ummm…need to work on that one!
When I think about true peace, I am reminded of the passage in John where Jesus is breaking bread with the disciples in the Upper Room. Jesus is talking to them about what is about to happen, and that He will soon have to leave them.
He knows what is coming and the pain and agony He is about to face, but He calmly reminds the disciples not to be troubled or afraid. He tells them that He is giving them a gift – peace. And not the peace that the world gives, but the kind of peace that only He can give.
I want that kind of peace. The peace that remains unshaken even when facing the unknown, like the disciples were given. And the peace that stands strong when facing an unavoidable sacrifice, like Jesus had.
We can have that kind of peace. Want to know why? Because God promised us a peace that passes understanding many times in the Bible. The immovable peace that can abide in our hearts amid an uncertain future. There are things we can do to usher in that indescribable peace.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
This is a common passage of scripture. You may even have it memorized. But we often miss the specific steps we are to follow in order to receive His peace.
- Don’t worry. Easier said than done, right? I invite you to try this the next time a certain concern comes into your mind, place it into one of two categories: Things I can control or things I can’t control. If you can control it, then make a plan to resolve it. If it’s something you can’t control, move on to the next step.
- Pray about it. Tell God what you need.
- Then thank Him for all He has done (including the peace He is giving you).
I believe that if we will do what God says in Philippians 4:6, we will begin to experience God’s peace described in verse 7 – the kind that can’t be explained.
So, as you continue working on your Christmas checklist, I hope you will join me in praying for the Peace of Christ to rule in our hearts this Advent season.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 NIV
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