ADVENT CONNECTIONS 2014: Week Two

Advent 2 candlesPeace

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

As we light the Second Advent Candle, we are reminded that Jesus is our Prince of Peace. He came so we might know peace:  peace with God and the peace of God.

 Before Jesus’ birth, we were separated from God, unable to enter into His holy presence and at enmity with Him.  However, Jesus’ death on the cross put an end to this separation and offered peace with God for all who believe (Romans 5:1).  What great news!  As believers, we are reconciled to God through Jesus and united with Him forever in peace.  However, our Prince of Peace didn’t stop at just offering us peace with God; He also offers us the peace of God, a peace that “transcends all understanding.”  However, in really difficult or challenging circumstances, peace may not be our first emotional response.  We are all familiar with the battle for peace.  We may face health issues, marital struggles, financial difficulties, unemployment, loss of a loved one, conflict with a friend, rebellious children or just the busyness of life.  In these stressful situations, instead of walking in peace, it is easy to come unglued.

So how do we have peace in these seasons, when life is hard or so busy there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done?  For me, the answer is found in Philippians 4:4-9.  The first thing I’m reminded to do in verse 4 is “Rejoice in the Lord always”; to focus on Him and worship Him rather than dwelling on my circumstances.  This may mean turning on a worship CD and praising Him in song.  It may be a time of quiet prayer where I thank God for His love, faithfulness and goodness.  It may simply be opening His Word and spending time in His presence.  Whatever it is, the important thing is to shift my focus from the negative situation I’m facing to my Prince of Peace.

These verses also remind me:

  1. To give my trouble to God in prayer, to lay my burden at His feet and leave it there (verse 6)

  2. To take my negative thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ; to think on those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (verse 8)
  3. And to continue to serve others and do the good works that He has called me to do (verse 9)

When I do these things, I know “the peace of God which transcends all understanding” and my Prince of Peace walks with me.

Listen and reflect on the peace that Jesus brought to the grieving heart of Horatio Spafford as he penned the words to the familiar hymn, It Is Well with My Soul.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, our Prince of Peace, it is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of this season and to lose the peace and serenity you came to give.  It’s also too easy to allow the trials of this life to rob us of peace and joy.  Help us to remember to walk through these seasons of life with You, to keep our focus on You, to worship You, to praise You, to spend time with You and to trust Your plan and purpose for our lives.  Help us to be led by Your peace at all times so our lives reflect You, our Prince of Peace.

 Contributed by Debbie Thul

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