Joy. Peace. Hope. Love. Faith
These four words fill Christmas cards. Are found on wrapping paper and gift bags. Written in seasonal party invites. Etched into pretty glass ornaments. Sung in Christmas carols.
The four words of the She Who Honors gift series this Christmas season. Last week we gave the gift of joy. Let’s give the gift of peace this week.
A deep conversation between me and my middle school aged daughter happened last Saturday. When she is in her mood of reflection, I’m all ears, because it is a sweet time of bonding.
She talked about how this year she is being more herself at school. She said she is happier and letting her fun side shine. She asked her friend, who is a boy, - I don’t want to call him a boyfriend yet – if he liked her fun side or her depressed, self - conscious side. He said he likes her fun side.
I told her daddy and I see how you are maturing and are happier, too. We are happy for her. I’m excited she has the confidence in her truth and letting it shine. We pray for our daughter’s continually.
My daughter goes to an annual fall retreat for middle school kids consisting of the Alliance churches in western PA. It’s a crazy fun weekend at a camp. Full of worship, games, learning more about Jesus, small groups and friends. She has a great time there.
This year’s retreat was felt differently by her. She experienced the presence of God there. Her spirit is alive. She cried tears of joy. She prays more. Jesus is her satisfaction. She speaks of the weekend often. She is filled with His peace.
I am overjoyed with her experiencing God’s presence. Receiving the Spirit of peace into her heart.
There is another reason to her peace and happiness. God put it in my mind while I prepared to write this post.
The absence of two negative “friends” from her life.
Last school year she came home many times in a state of agitation. She spoke of the one friend who sucked the life out of her. The other friend at school seemed to always be sad.
I gave her advice on what to say or not say. Try to stay away from her. Tell her no. And other tips. My daughter cried on occasion from some of the girls’ insecurities and antics she pulled her into. The toxic energy from this “friend” actually distressed my daughters’ spirit!
This school year the two “friends” went to other schools. Now, my daughter has fun with her other friends. It’s not always perfect but the toxic spirit of the other two are gone. God answered my prayer for her! Her peace is not interrupted.
Peace is precious. I love the feeling of peace. When I’m at peace my breathing is slow, my heart is calm, my joy is increased, I feel good!
You know who give us peace. Jesus! Peace came to us after Jesus birth. He is the Prince of peace!
“Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14(NLT)
“… with whom God is pleased.” Look at this part. Many of the cards, songs, wrapping paper, etc. leave this part out. God is pleased by those who have faith in Jesus. “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Peace comes to those who have faith in Jesus. Jesus came into this world bearing many gifts for the undeserving world. Peace and joy are two of the ultimate gifts!
Tons of scripture tell of Jesus and peace.
“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.” John 14:27 (NIV)
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
“And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” Isaiah 9:6e – 7b (NIV)
Peace is another fruit of the Spirit. A tasty fruit for us to bear and give to others. When our spirit is at peace we think clearer and others around us can feel it. Peace in our hearts from Jesus improves our quality of life.
Be mindful of who you spend your time around. Others without peace in their hearts can agitate your spirit and cause unrest. I seen it happen to my daughter. It’s happens to me when I’m around anxious people. It is not a good feeling. We can be around them giving them small doses of peace.
Like joy we can’t give peace if we don’t have the Spirit of peace. Peace comes by trusting and believing in Jesus as our Lord and savior. Remember He is the Prince of peace!
Let’s give the gift of peace. Pray for God to impress on your heart someone who needs to hear the good news of Jesus this Christmas. Invite them to church, your Christmas party, bring them some Christmas cookies. Let them see and experience the peace Jesus brings that is found in you.
Joy. Peace. These aren’t just cute words of the Christmas season. Joy and peace are gifts from Jesus.
How will you give the gift of peace this Christmas? Leave a comment or two!
Thank you for reading. Please share, like, comment and follow me on social media. Be a part of the faith – filled peace giving squad of She Who Honors!
Give the gift of peace to the middle school girl in your life with a WORTH MORE THAN DIAMONDS booklet! She’ll learn about Jesus’ love for her.
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Christina Leeman MPH, CHES, writer and health educator, emboldens women to be the She Who Honors God with her all - body, thoughts, words, actions.
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