Monday, December 18, 2017

Joy and Peace for Each and Every Day

Joy and peace have been dominant Christmas themes ever since angels came to dramatically announce Jesus’ birth. But God wants joy and peace to be dominant themes of our lives each and every day. That’s why the Apostle Paul wrote, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).

Paul’s blessing makes it clear how joy and peace can be everyday experiences in our lives. Paul essentially explains that “believing” is the tap handle we can turn for joy and peace to flow in our lives! But precisely what are we to believe? There are obviously many false and harmful beliefs that don’t result in joy and peace! The context makes it clear in Romans 15:8-12 that Paul is writing about believing and hoping in Jesus. “...In Him shall the Gentiles hope” (Romans 15:12).

These verses in Romans 15 highlight that Jesus, whom those angels excitedly announced, is the inexhaustible source of true joy and peace for those who believe in Him. But another biblical writer has a very helpful way of explaining how God wants our beliefs to be aimed: “...he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). In other words, we’re called to believe very specifically that, no matter
what the circumstances, God is who He says He is, and that all His promises of blessings and rewards for us are true.

The Christmas message is not lost in all this. Jesus came in that manger scene and ministered in this world to reveal who God is and how much He loves us. We’re told that Jesus is “the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3). So this Christmas, whatever circumstances you may be facing, reach for that tap handle of believing that God is exactly who He has revealed Himself to be, and that all His promises are true for you. And abound in an enduring hope in He who “has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11)!

© 2017 by Ken Peters

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