Think of someone you know that never seems to get flustered. No matter what hurricane of life is howling around them, they seem to stay cool as a cucumber! Does their example leave you longing to have more peace in your life?
Christmas is coming, a time for us to celebrate the coming of Jesus, our Prince of Peace. Many years before He was born, Isaiah prophesied about his coming: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 NLT)
Jesus told his disciples, “The peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27) Receiving the gift of peace that Jesus offers requires trusting him with our everything. If we don’t trust him, our fears can get the best of us. Living in fear is not a peaceful place to be! Are we willing to trust him even when things don’t go the way we want them to? Or when they actually go very wrong?
I’ve got enough years behind me and enough wisdom highlights in my hair to agree with James, who wrote, “Your life is like the morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” (James 4:14) We feel like this life will last forever! And if we hit a terribly tough patch of it, we think we’ll never get out into green pastures again!! But life and time pass by, and things change. We begin to realize how temporary this existence and its circumstances really are.
Life passes much too quickly to dwell on worries, fears, and troubles. The more we focus on them, the larger they become in our minds, and the stronger a hold they develop on our hearts. When we choose to focus on God and his graceful blessings in our lives instead, the troubles, fears and worries lose their power over us. We can learn to have peace in the midst of the storm!
What worries and fears do you need to hand over to God in exchange for a peaceful heart and life?
When we have peace within, it’s much easier to have peace in our relationships with others. If we’re trusting God with our everything, there’s no need to fight with our brothers and sisters for anything. God’s got the best plan in mind! If that plan involves our loss, then so be it. His plan does not always involve our personal comfort. It’s much bigger than that!
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15)
As we submit to Christ’s peace in our hearts, it grows outward and brings peace to our relationships with our brothers and sisters.
“Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11) As we choose to live in peace and harmony with our brothers and sisters, God provides us with more inner peace. And guess what…that inner peace translates to an easier time living in peace with others. That’s a pretty cool peace cycle, wouldn’t you say?
Have you been holding on to anger or bitterness over what someone else has said or done? It’s time to forgive them, as Christ has forgiven you. Submit to the peace of Christ, and let him help you heal what needs to be mended.
Originally posted December 2018