I hope you all had a great weekend! If you are following along with our Advent Study, today we are reviewing week 2.
And just in case you missed last week’s post:
Advent Bible Study Review Week 1: HOPE
Let’s get started!
This week we talked all about the Prince of Peace and how we can wait for the second Advent with hope and peace.
“No one needs to be convinced of our need for peace. Wars, natural disasters, political unrest, violence, prejudice, famine, and disease plague us, just to name a few headlines. Each of us has inner battles as well. We’re fighting chaos of different kinds internally–sins, temptations, fears. The world can seem very dark.” (p.39)
This bible study was written last year, but how true is that quote today? 2020 has definitely not been a year of peace for many.
Day one, Peace with God, reminds us that at the beginning of time there was peace. Peace meant being near to God. God walked with His people in the garden and all was as it was meant to be.
But as we talked about last week in Genesis 3, “peace with God and unrestricted access to His presence were interrupted when Adam and Eve sinned and were sent away from the garden of Eden.” (p.43)
And today, we are in that same place they were. We are also separated from God because of sin and do not have peace with Him. Romans 3:23 says that we’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And in Romans 6:23 it says, that the the wages, the punishment or right payment of sin is death. But God’s gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus. God made a way for His people to be near to him again and experience the peace that only He can give.
Before Jesus came to earth, God met with His people through a High Priest. “Sin was confessed and sacrifices were made. God sought to give his people peace with Him as they trusted Him to keep His promise to send a Messiah. The Messiah would make all things right again and restore peace throughout the earth.” (p.44)
Because Jesus came to earth and died for our sins, we have direct access to God’s presence and the peace that He gives. If you’ve received Christ as your Savior, you have peace with God. And that peace isn’t the peace that the world gives. It’s God’s peace, His presence in our lives. His peace doesn’t change with our feelings and circumstances, it isn’t temporary. “God is peace, and He is unchanging and unmoving.” (p.46)
Day two, Peace in God, reminds us that even in hard times, we can have peace in God. Walking through tragedy and disappointing seasons of life, it can be hard to feel God’s peace.
Have you found yourself holding your breath or pushing through hard seasons without peace? How would your circumstances or day-to-day living look different if you were experiencing the peace of God?
God promises peace to us all throughout the pages of scriptures. When we can’t feel God’s peace, it’s important to go to His word and remind ourselves of His promise.
Romans 5:1 says,
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Because God sent His son to earth and He died and rose again, we have been justified, declared righteous in His sight when we place our faith in Jesus. We belong to Him. We are His. And because we are His children, we can have peace no matter what trials come our way.
God’s promise of peace is for all of those who have placed their faith in Jesus. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with our situation and feel like His promise isn’t meant for us.
“When I doubt God’s promise of peace, I know it’s because I’m trying to walk through a situation in my own strength. And if I’m honest, the “peace” I often seek is a solution to my difficult circumstances, not a quiet heart in the midst of the storm. But 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 waiting, knowing that God already has the victory.”
John 16:33 reminds us that we will have trouble and suffering, but we can have peace because He has conquered the world.
Christ conquered death. He has victory over all those things that worry us. He is in control, and He is working for our good. Romans 8:28 reminds us of this promise.
How do we embrace the promise of peace in God? By fully trusting in God. By being completely dependent on Him to provide for us and walk through this crazy life with us.
Isaiah 26:3 says,
You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you.
We must surrender to Him. Give Him all of our worries and pain. Throughout the Bible it reminds us to bring our cares to Him because He cares for us. His Word tells us to present our requests in prayer with thanksgiving and to pray constantly.
There is nothing too big or too small to bring to Jesus. He wants us to boldly bring our requests to Him. Our doubts and fears don’t scare Him. He can handle our pain, our burdens, frustrations and hardships. We are messy and difficult, but He can handle all of it.
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 your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7)
This season and every season, bring all of your worries to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to help you trust in Him and experience the peace He promises throughout His Word.
Day three, Peace on Earth, We read the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. You can read it in Luke 1:5-25. Zechariah was well along his years as the bible says. He was a priest married to Elizabeth and they didn’t have children. The Angel appears and tells Zechariah that his prayers have been heard and his wife was going to have a son and he would be named John. “God broke His silence with news that He was paving a way for all of His people to have peace earth and peace with Him” (p.52)
Luke 1:26-38 tells us of the Angel, Gabriel appearing to Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was young, probably between twelve and fourteen. The Angel tells her to not be afraid and that she is highly favored. He tells her that she will conceive and bear a son and He will be named Jesus.
There are so many lessons in this passage, we could unpack so many things but the one main thing I took from this is that nothing is impossible for God. And that Mary was willing to allow God’s will to be fulfilled through Her.
The Angel also appears to Joseph and tells him what’s going on. He tells him to not be afraid, this all seems crazy but Mary is pregnant by the Holy Spirit and she is going to give birth to a son named Jesus who is going to save people from their sins. His name will be Immanuel which means God with us.
“All of these angelic messages boil down to this: The great Rescuer, the One who will save people from their sins? He is now with us. The silence is broken! Peace has arrived!” (p.54)
Just as God used the Angel to break the silence, He wants us to do the same. He wants us to share the Good News with those around us.
How can we break our silence and share the news about our great Rescuer with those who don’t know Him?
Day four, Peace, God’s Gift to You, reminds us that God’s peace is given to us. It’s not something we have to try to attain or achieve, it’s a gift. Peace is one of the fruits of the spirit. It’s given to us when we trust Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and receive His Holy Spirit. “One of the manifestations of the Spirit in us is peace (Gal.5:22-23). (p.57)
John 14:27 says,
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
God doesn’t give as the world gives. All of those things that we are looking to to fill our needs and our void they return to us empty. God’s word will never return void. It will always accomplish what God desires. His promises are not empty promises.
Whatever you are going through, whatever is keeping you up at night, take it to Jesus. Trust in Him. Ask God to overwhelm you with His peace today. It’s His gift to you.
Day five, Becoming a Peacemaker, reminds us that Jesus came to earth to bring peace to a chaotic world. He gave us peace with God and peace with others through the Father.
“Jesus doesn’t just give peace; He is peace. It’s because He shed His blood on the cross that we can be at peace with God.” (p.60)
God gives us His peace so that we can have peace with ourselves, but also with others. I wrote about experiencing the peace within us a couple of years ago. You can read the post, here.
I love the way pg. 60 says, that “being a peacemaker doesn’t mean being a doormat and steering clear of conflict. A peacemaker is someone who is actively seeking to reconcile people to God and to one another. Peacemakers show grace and look for goodness. When they walk into a room they bring with them the sense of calmness, love, mercy, wisdom and patient. Peacemakers glorify God and exemplify His character. They mediate disputes, improve understanding, and seek reconciliation. Peacemakers bring unity:”
Colossians 3:15 says,
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Now that will preach!
We are all different. We will disagree with each other and that is totally OK to do respectfully. But as followers of Christ, we shouldn’t let those differences in opinions cause us to sin. A verse that I remind my kids of a lot, but also remind myself of is Romans 12:18 which says, that “if possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Paul is telling us if possible and as far as it depends on us, we have the responsibility to live at peace with everyone. Peace isn’t always possible. We can choose to live at peace with someone, but if they do not want to do the same, unity is not possible. And the Bible says that’s ok. I believe that’s when boundaries come in. But that’s a lesson for another day.
Because of the sacrifice of our Savior, we are a new creation in Christ and no longer are we separated from God. His peace is given freely to us and we can be at peace with ourselves and those around us.
How can you be a peacemaker in your world today?
This was such a good week. So needed for me as I found myself being overwhelmed with the busyness of the season and asking for peace on the daily.
I hope that you were encouraged this week. If you have any questions or anything you want to discuss, feel free to comment below or shoot me a text/email like some of you have done!
Thank you for joining me! I hope you have the BEST day. May you feel His peace all day!