The Gift of Peace

The Advent Community Journal for “The Gift of Peace” devotional (The Gift of Advent, 33-34).

  • How do you define peace?

  • What Scriptures shape your understanding of peace?

  • What makes it hard to establish lasting peace?

  • If peace is a gift from God, how does that change our pursuit of peace?

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The experience of peace often seems elusive. Despite knowing intellectually that peace comes from God as a Christian, it sometimes doesn’t take very much to lose our sense of peace. We may have just finished a wonderful time of prayer in the Lord. It can feel peaceful just God and us, but suddenly a whining child, an irritable adult, or someone cutting across recklessly as we drive is enough to steal the peace. Ironically, even chasing after peace can become an idol that anything that disrupts it causes us to lose it. At other times it may be self-reliance, reliance on others or simply not receiving the promises in God that steal our peace. Numbers 6:22-27 helps me understand that it is in God’s will that we receive his protection, grace and peace and all we need is to go to him. I would love to know how others in the community stay in the peace of God through their daily lives.

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I think it helps to know that most of us (all of us?) don’t stay in the peace of God throughout our daily lives. Sometimes we pretend that we do, but the reality of our inner lives is often marked by turmoil, anxiety, anger, jealousy, and so on. That’s why the Scriptures speak to us - they’re honest about these struggles!

Noticing how I am actually feeling, and sharing that with God, and trusting that he loves me in those moments, is an encouragement. Does it replace my feelings? No. Does it give me some strength even as I am not where I want to be? Yes, sometimes, it helps me to carry these struggles. Does it sometimes help me to be at peace, and respond to others with kindness? By God’s grace, yes.

I’m also curious to hear how others experience the peace of God!

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That is very helpful. Its comforting to know such struggles are a normal part of life, even Christian life.

Thanks for this honest sharing. I too have noticed that prayer gives strength to move on, despite the uneasy feelings. As a Christian, we can struggle with these feelings but with an assurance that God gets us and with that we gain strength. Also the hope is that as we grow as a Christian, our desires are re-ordered to be more in alignment with God’s will, producing emotional responses that show that we value others as much as ourselves.

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