Updated: Jan 18
This third week of Advent, we are focusing on peace. Ironically, to have peace we must be focused. We have many things we focus our attention on and yet we often do not feel at peace. The question arises then, what must we be focused on?
We must focus on the promises of God. As we discussed in the previous weeks, we put our hopes in all the wrong things and rather than yielding joy, they yield misery. We are never at peace when we put our hopes and expectations in the shifting sand of the world.
Gods word states clearly that we have access to Him and that He will give us what we ask for in His name, and that we will have peace. Often times though, it feels like God is a liar. We make request after request to God and it seems as though He never gives us what we want. We can get to the point where we decide that God must hate us, that He is playing games with us, that he disapproves of us and that all the promises He made are lies, or that everything is just plain made up. Therefore, it feels like it would be better to live our lives the way we see fit.
Yet if we are honest with ourselves, we know that the way we have always done things leads us into the same miserable places we have always gone. Maybe, just maybe the things we have asked and demanded of God lead us to the same places we always go and that He is not giving us what we ask because they are not what is best for us. While it may seem that God is ignoring us, maybe he is sparing us from an even worse place that we could be in.
And so now we have an opportunity to focus on some of the words that the Prince of Peace spoke that reveal why He came to this world and why we can be at peace in Him.
“Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name […] Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete […] I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:23, 24, 33
We are also shown in Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” Again, as stated previously, the truly agonizing times have the potential to be the best because they force us into a place to see what we have avoided.
This Christmas season, let us do what we may never have done before and get really honest with God. Let us hold Him to the promises He made and plainly ask Him to show us what we need to see that we may not currently be seeing.