This year, for the first time leading up to Christmas, my sisters, Mom and I have been reading through an advent study together. The Lord has been teaching me so much through it and has really used it to prepare my heart for Christmas more than any other year. It will definitely be one of our new-found Christmas traditions!
If I am being honest, it can be so difficult for me during this fun and magical season not to become wrapped up in all of the fun holiday traditions. The Lord has really used this advent study to refocus my heart on the gift He sent to this earth many years ago and the hope, peace, joy, and love we now have because of Jesus.
One of the Names of Jesus that I have been clinging to over these last few weeks, as I’ve been doing this Advent Study, is Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). I want you to think back to a time you felt at peace… the memory that comes to my mind is a vacation my husband and I took a few summers back. We were laying on the beach in the warm, summer sun listening to the waves crash. The wind was blowing just right so that you weren’t too cold or too hot. I remember being completely relaxed and all my worries drifted away… until I got off the beach, then they all came flooding back. :) The feeling that I felt was temporary peace, which was really just a distraction that helped me ignore what was really going on deep inside of me. The truth is: peace is not a feeling, it’s a Person, the Person of Jesus.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way”
2 Thessalonians 3:16
Pray to truly know and experience the “Prince of Peace”.
There is no experience that this life has to offer that can bring us true peace apart from Jesus.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
There are also many things we face in this life that make peace seem impossible. Broken relationships, sin that we can’t seem to overcome, the unwanted diagnosis, loss, loved ones following the ways of this world, unresolved conflict, hurt. The Bible says we can have peace when we face all of these things too.
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Many times the peace that I am seeking is a solution to my problems or a change in my circumstances. True peace is a choice, a choice to rely on Jesus to quiet our heart in the midst of the storm. Not when the storm is over, but in the midst of it!
“God’s peace is more about the promise of His ultimate victory through Christ. It’s so much bigger than my circumstances. I can have peace in the waiting, knowing that God has already won the victory.” (Advent - LifeWay Women, p. 49)
The kind of peace that God offers doesn’t change with feelings, and isn’t temporary. God is peace, and He is unchanging and unmoving. God has come near to us, by sending us Jesus. His presence is our peace.
A challenging question the Lord has laid on my heart, and one I want you to ask yourself too, is, are you searching for a “feeling” of peace? Are you allowing the excitement and busyness of the Holiday season to temporarily distract you from what’s really going on deep inside of you? Or are you waiting for your circumstances to change before you look for peace? God wants to offer you peace right now, right where you are - no matter what you might be facing, He can and He will offer you peace if you choose to find it in Him.
God, thank You for sending Jesus - The Prince of Peace.
God, thank You that You are peace, and that You offer me peace right now.
Lord, I pray that You would convict me and show me any hidden ways that I am not looking to You to provide me peace. Show me ways I am looking to escape and help me turn back to You.
Lord, help me not to believe the lies of the enemy and fall into his trap of confusion and hopelessness. Help me to give my circumstances to You and have faith that peace is in You.
I thank You that You are peace and that all peace can be found in You. I thank You that peace isn’t a temporary feeling, but an eternal and lasting perspective I can have because of Jesus. I pray that You would help me to give You the hard things that I am walking through, that I would obey You, and through that obedience I would obtain peace. Lord, help me not to look for the temporary peace this world has to offer, help me not to become distracted or fall for the traps set by the enemy. Keep my mind fixed on You, like Your Word says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on You because he trusts You.” (Isaiah 26:3) Thank You, God, for loving me enough and sending me “The Prince of Peace”. In Jesus Name I ask all of these things, Amen.