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Christian Living

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Grin and Grow with Kathy 01/13/21

The Good News of Peace

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STORY: Your Peace Story

We all need a little more peace these days. (Who am I kidding? We need a lot more peace!) Because of the gospel gift, we can have our own story of personal peace with Jesus Christ. It is a peace that reflects the peace giver rather than the peace disturbers.

If we think of peace as a journey, just like faith is a journey, perhaps that helps put it into better perspective. There are times when we get a God-sized dose of peace and we know it’s from him. Other times, we allow distractions to interfere with his peace. That’s been happening to me lately and I give myself little reminders to connect with God more when I notice extra stress.

For me, peace began at a time when I needed it most, as a teenager. Confused and conflicted, I searched for something to soothe me. I felt unsettled and disillusioned. I tried to fix my problems with busyness. Until one day, the gospel message made sense. It was as if a lightbulb came on, and spotlighted what I needed to know—what I needed to receive. I had been looking at my problems from the wrong perspective, thinking I could do more or fix something and make things better.

Instead, it was a matter of zeroing out my self-focus and making room for God to fill me. I realized the magnitude of the price Jesus paid to bring me to God—for me to have a place in God’s family. I didn’t need to have it all figured out. I was in God’s hands. I could trust him for the outcome. The process—the journey—was just as important as the destination. I didn’t have to be perfect to find a perfect place with God. A perfect peace. He provides everything I need.

I still struggle with letting myself get too busy. I fight the overs-of-whelming when I have a heavy load with too many projects and too much stress. When I allow myself instead to get overwhelmed by God’s peace, I have enough focus to take on just a few things and do them well. I’ve learned to filter out even the good projects if I know it’s not what God wants me to do. When I allow God to be my day planner, I’m much more at peace.

So, I’ve confessed that one of my weaknesses is trying to fill my peace-sized hole with busy-ness. When longing for peace and not going to God with your burdens and stress, what is your errant remedy?

Being busy all the time only provides a temporary distraction. At bedtime, alone with my pillow, the same old doubts and fears surface if I let them. I call these pillowcase regrets. That’s why going to the source of peace for my remedy is essential.

Sometimes our lack of peace is caused from internal conflict in our hearts. God is the uniter who will put the pieces of our lives back together again. (I can’t help but think of Humpty Dumpty.) How powerful to think that Jesus glues together the broken pieces through peace.

If you’ve experienced love from the Prince of Peace, you have the source of peace indwelling you—making camp in your life. How did receiving the Good News affect the level of peace in your life? What is your own peace story?

STUDY: Jesus is Our Peace

[Faith Brings Joy] Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. (Romans 5:1 NLT)
  • Why do we have peace with God, according to Romans 5:1?
  • Look at the process to peace. Faith brings joy when we are in right standing before the Lord. It is not because of anything we’ve done, but because of what Jesus has done for us.
For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. (Ephesians 2:14 NLT)
  • Who personally delivered peace to us?
  • How is it we can be united in him, no matter our racial or cultural differences?
  • What is the power of peace? It is the fact that Jesus gave his own body on the cross. He was broken so we might be put back together again. And because he was broken on the cross, the walls were broken. He brings people together (by removing the hostility that separates us) and delivers us to the Father. Yes, peace unites.
He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. (Ephesians 2:17 NLT)
  • What is the good news of peace in this passage?
  • Why do you think this says the Gentiles were far from God and the Jews were near?
  • Who does not have access to peace?

STEPS: Take Action Toward Peace

  1. Be on the lookout. Be alert to discover good news around you. Good news and peace go hand in hand. Keep track of good news and pay less attention to bad news. See for yourself what that does for your peace quotient.
  2. Share good news. Once you discover good news, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it with others. The process of sharing good news multiplies the peace factor.
  3. Create good news. Sometimes when it seems like everything is grim around us, it’s up to us to create good news. Be the good news someone else seeks, and see how peace shows up in the midst of it.
  4. Keep good news in proper focus. All good gifts come from God, so be sure it’s obvious to others that God is working in and through you to create a peace-filled bit of good news.

Copyright © 2021 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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