Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post-Christmas Peace

   In the days leading up to Christmas we read scripture and sing about "peace on earth, goodwill to men", but does all of that seem to fade away when we take down the tree?  The peace of Christmas doesn't have to be packed away with the family decorations until next year. Jesus Christ, the "Prince of Peace" whose birth was prophesied in Isaiah 9:6 didn't come to just give us a fleeting feeling of peace that is based on our own emotions or circumstances.  He came to give a lasting peace to all who place their trust in Him.  He said, 

"I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don't be troubled or afraid."  (John 14:27, NLT)

You might say, "That sounds great, Jesus, but how are you going to give me that kind of peace?"  Well, first you have to trust Him.  You have to believe He is who He says He is--the Son of God, the one who came to forgive your sins and make peace between God and man.  Next, you have to try Him out when you don't feel peaceful or have peace in your life.  When you're worried, afraid, stressed, or anxious, take the prescription for peace given by the apostle Paul:

"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, NLT)

Come on, you've tried to worry and come up with a plan on your own to fix things, why not try praying about it?  You've probably heard the saying, "Let go and let God."  What do you have to lose?  Try it!  Ask Him to give you His peace in exchange for your problems.  The last step to receiving God's peace is to take Him at His word.  You can't say you've "turned everything over to the Lord", but then take it all back into your own hands if He doesn't show you an answer in the next 5 minutes!  Waiting is an integral part of the faith journey.  One of the best love bible passages is:

"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."  (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV)  

If you truly want to experience peace in the days following Christmas and throughout the coming year, trust Jesus, try the Prince of Peace, and take Him at His word to begin to work all things together for your good and His glory.