“Peace on Earth and goodwill to men!” This is a phrase we all know well, and hear around the holidays a lot. And in the world we live in, and after the last few years we’ve all had, we sure could use peace on Earth.
Last week we began the Christmas season by celebrating the first week of Advent, and ushering in the time of eager anticipation of Christmas day and the arrival of the messiah. Last week focused on the idea of Hope and the hope we have in Jesus, this week’s candle represents Peace.
The Bible talks a lot about peace, especially in the gospels around the story of Christmas and Jesus’ birth. He is hailed as the prince of peace, the peace on earth, and so on. So how do we seek out and intentionally walk in His peace during a time where the world feels at odds, and life seems to be spinning faster than ever? The Bible gives us a step-by-step instruction on exactly that.
Philippians 4:5-9 says “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
The Lord tells us exactly how we can dwell in His peace. He tells us to not walk in anxiety, but rather a spirit of thanksgiving. He tells us to think on and walk in things that are from Him and not the world. With all of this instruction, you would think it would be easy to live in peace.
One of the sweetest parts about Christmastime is the moments of pausing and reflection, where we look back on the year and remember all that has happened. We celebrate the good and acknowledge the not-so-good, but typically is done with an attitude of reverence, one of thankfulness. The challenge that the Lord presents us is walking in the spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude all the time. It’s awfully hard to be angry or frustrated when you’re thanking the Lord for all that He’s done in our lives.
So as we continue in this season of Advent, this Christmas season, I want to challenge you and really encourage you to spend time in the Lord’s presence, thanking Him for all He is and all He’s done. Fix your mind and your spirit on Him and let’s abound in the peace only He provides.
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