“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11
“God can work peace through us only if He has worked peace in us…Those who are in the best of circumstances but without God can never find peace, but those in the worst of circumstances but with God need never lack peace.” John MacArthur
- This time of year always warrants a warm cup of cocoa! Make your morning cup special with extra marshmallows and cozy up with your slippers, a pen, your journal and Bible.
- Take out your journal and record these Scriptures: Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 4:3, Colossians 3:15, 2 Thessalonians 3:16, Titus 3:2, Hebrews 12:14, and James 3:17-18.
Peace At Christmas
I am sitting here enjoying the warmth of my fuzzy socks and the quietness of my house at this hour. I just love the scent of pine needles, cookies baking, and the minty taste of candy canes. I can almost smell Christmas just thinking about it! Currently, the children are not arguing, the laundry has ceased to beckon me, and I am at peace in my corner of the world. But the question is this: can we truly have peace at Christmas time?
Like many of you, Christmas is a joyous season for my family! We celebrate Christ’s birth along with traditions such as baking, decorating, singing, and gift-giving. I realize, however, that Christmas can be stressful and even a time of sadness. Perhaps you have experienced the loss of a loved one or have memories of a sorrowful Christmas past. I will admit, commercialism is a culprit that has undoubtedly robbed me of the true joy of Christmas. Perhaps you carry stress because you aren’t financially able to buy what you would like to. Comparison is also a huge joy stealer. Having a busy calendar can add undue pressure. Visiting family might be emotionally challenging. Sometimes, it’s just difficult to get in the spirit of Christmas because we unknowingly hide unforgiveness in our hearts. Even as children of God, we can all benefit from more of God’s peace during the holidays!
To combat the peace-stealing enemy of our lives, we need to examine our hearts in these areas and ask the Lord to guard our hearts and our minds and to reclaim Jesus as Lord of our lives. In fact, Philippians 4:7 says exactly that: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Read John MacArthur’s quote at the top of the page again. God can work peace through us only if He has worked peace in us. Romans 5:1 points out that it is through Jesus that we gain this peace with the Father: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Most likely, we know someone—perhaps a family member or neighbor—who has not yet experienced the peace of God. This person simply cannot get excited about a Babe in a manger because he or she fails to see the miracle in God’s gift of His one and only Son. We need to openly share the Good News that Jesus did come to give us His shalom (peace) as a free gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes on
that Holy night! As followers of Christ, we should be as peaceable as the Prince of Peace! I believe it will be easier to share the Savior’s love if we are purposeful peacemakers during the hustle and bustle of the holidays!
Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Christmas is also the perfect time to take inventory in our relationships and ask ourselves if we have peace in our hearts concerning those who have offended us. Do you have a friend or family member who sends your guard up when you think of him or her as you immediately recount an injustice that has happened? If so, then you might not recognize that you are holding a grudge against another. God desires for us to live at peace. Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” If God can make peace with you, then He can help us make peace with others.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Do you have a lack of peace in your own life?
- Have you ever asked Jesus to come live in your heart? Do you need to refresh your walk with the Lord?
- Simply ask Him to forgive you for not putting Him first in your life. I believe He will reveal Himself more to you when you spend more time with Him.
It is the Holy Spirit in us who enables the process of reconciliation. Ask the Lord to give you the ability to be humble as well as revelation regarding whom you might need to forgive. God wants us to love our neighbors, forgive those who trespass us, and live in harmony with each other. Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”
Ask the Lord to give you the courage to speak the Gospel to those who may be lacking peace right now.
Seek out that family member, friend, or neighbor you need to make amends with. It might not be easy or even comfortable to pursue someone to discuss the past or to release a harbored hurt. Arrange a visit or call them to clear the air. Simply say that you’re sorry and that you want to start off the new year with a clean slate. When we ask the Lord for help in humility, we are rarely threatened or embarrassed because of His love working through us. Rest assured that the same Spirit of God that birthed the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, can birth peace between you and the person whom you seek.
“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.” (Romans 15:13)