Monday, December 19, 2016

Peace, Rather Than Pressure

It’s almost Christmas! Now, maybe some of you are grumbling about that. Don’t stop reading, keep going! This holiday seems to bring out the Scrooge’s and Grinch’s from all around. I understand that because, for many people Christmas is not a pleasant holiday. It causes sadness, stress, and pressure rather than peace. But it doesn’t have to.

At this time of year, there is so much going on that it’s easy to forget about peace. Many people are experiencing loss, illness, sadness and much more. It’s easy to fall into despair. Yet, it’s when we focus on the Reason we celebrate this time of year that the enemy begins an even bigger assault on all of us in order to take our eyes off Jesus. However, one thing he can’t take from us is our peace.

 Although the devil has come to steal, kill, and destroy, we can be encouraged in knowing we have abundant life in Jesus! After all, this is why He came; to give hope. He came to give peace. He came to literally give His life for us so that we could have an abundant life. Oh, but don’t misunderstand, beautiful ones. That abundant life can begin right here and right now. You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven to enjoy abundance.

Many people today are living in a state of stress, regret, and or depression, anxiety, sadness, illness, and pressure of all kinds because these are the things that are being spoken around them, over them, and into them. Though why focus on all of that? I understand that bad stuff happens, especially around the holidays. It’s not fun. It’s hard. It’s sad. And I’m not diminishing it one iota.

What I’m saying is that even though we go through bad stuff in our lives, we can focus on the peace rather than the pressure. We can focus on Jesus rather than our situation. We can redirect our emotions and instead of asking, “Why now?” we can look at Jesus and ask for wisdom and peace to get through it. He promised.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33 (NLT)

We will have trials and sorrows in this world. Because that’s where the devil is prowling around, looking to cause trouble. However, Jesus said that He overcame the world. He died for our sins in this world. So, nothing we go through is too much for us to handle if we are focused on Jesus, our peace, rather than the pressure we’re going through.

Life is tough. I won’t lie about that. I know. I’ve experienced my share of it. But I don’t have to remain focused on the pressure of the circumstances. I can give them to Jesus, because He said I could. He said you could, too.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ~Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

“I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.” ~Psalm 142:1-2 (NLT)

Knowing Jesus wants us to bring our worries, stress, burdens, heavy loads and our pressure to Him certainly gives hope that we aren’t alone, especially during the holidays. I’m glad I can tell Him everything. I’m also glad He listens. But even more than that, I’m really glad that I can have peace rather than pressure every day. So can you. If you’ll just talk to Him, He’ll bend down and listen to you. That’s a promise.

“Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” ~Psalm 116:2 (NLT)




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