So much volatility and uncertainty. From the transition in the White House, to the pandemic, and everything in between. Many are hurting, walking in fear, broken, and on edge. The holiday season is upon us, and when you consider all of the uncertain pressures, one could see how for some this may not feel like a joyous season. The good news? Since the pandemic began, Google has reported an over 60 percent increase in searches concern salvation, peace, and other things pertaining to our faith. The good news is that now is a wonderful time to share the Good News!
Advent is the time where for a 4-week period we celebrate before Christmas. The word advent means “arrival” as well as “an appearing or coming into place,” and revolves around four themes: Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope. To paint an illustration, I often picture a Christmas tree, with all the trimmings and four special boxes underneath. Each box is labeled with one of the four themes on the top as a message to say the most important gifts are the ones that Jesus gives.
We have hope in the future because of His birth. His arrival not only ushered in an opportunity for our salvation but secures a place for us in eternity. His gift of love is a love that world had never experienced, one that showed true sacrifice and generosity. The gift of joy is experienced with his presence. The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 16 that in His presence, there is fullness of joy! Finally, there is my favorite, the gift of peace. The gift of peace is one that He told us of in John 14:27 “27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.” I love this peace because Isaiah 9 lets us know that He is the Prince of peace and assures us in chapter 26 that if we keep our minds stayed on Him, He will keep us in PERFECT peace! In the midst of all this uncertainty, PEACE is available for us all through Jesus!
In conclusion, the 4 gifts of joy, peace, love, and hope are gifts that are valuable for us right now. To the person that is consumed with worry and overwhelmed with anxiety, I leave you the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4, “6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays feel free to send any prayer requests.