The Light Shines in the Darkness: Peace

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:4-7

The Lord is at hand. We rejoice because the Lord is at hand. Our anxieties come up, we pray, we give thanks, we rejoice, we let God know what we need and all the while the peace of God never abandons us.

What are the things in life that are making you anxious?

Cast those things on Christ and make a prayer list.

Regardless of the year life will always have anxiety-inducing circumstances. There is nothing we can do to eradicate all the bad in our lives. We can not remove death. There will be times we fail and leave a path of destruction in our wake. There will be times when we ride the wave of destruction left by another.

I have a lot of things I do to try and find peace in my life.

I light candles.

I take a bath.

I sip a whiskey.

I go to sleep.

I diffuse essential oils.

I rub essential oils all over my body.

I try to be the worlds best mom so their is peace with my children.

I break up all the fights between the kids.

I drink all the hot beverages

All of these things are great things.

What do you do to try and create peace in your life?

All of those things I do to try and create peace are good things. The problem is that I’m doing those things and I’m not the bringer of peace. God is the only one who gives us peace. As our verse from Philippians tells us he gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding. It is the peace that does not need candles, or oils, or hot beverages. It is the peace that overcomes us regardless of anxiety-inducing circumstances. It is peace that is greater than our feelings.

We have this peace because of Christ.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:1-5)

Christ has done the work of justifying us. Our relationships with God are secure and we have peace with Him. That is the peace that passes all understanding.

What does that mean for our lives that we have a peace that passes all understanding?

How does the peace of God flow from him and onto our relationships with others?

Remember this Advent season and every season of life that the peace that passes understandings does not come from us or the things we do. The peace that passes all understanding has been established by and is freely given by Jesus.

Activity:

Here is a coloring sheet that compliments the readings for

Additional Readings for the Week

John 16:33

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus tells us that he has overcome the world. He tells us in these verses and at the very beginning of John when he speaks of light and dark.

Read John 16.

In our opening verse for the day, Jesus was telling his disciples this because he knew they would need it. Soon they would not be able to see him. Soon they would not see him walking beside him on the roads. He reassures them and us that while he may not be seen he has overcome the world.

In the opening words of John, he tells us “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Jesus has overcome sin. He has overcome everything that steals peace from our hearts and minds. He knew the sin and suffering it causes our lives would hold. He overcame the sin on our behalf and he is with us in our suffering. He is not a stranger to suffering. He has wept over the death of friends. He knows the pains of hunger and thirst. He has been tempted in every way. He hung on a tree until life left his body. He knows suffering. He knows us. He has overcome our sins and the sins of others. He did not abandon us. His spirit walks with us in our suffering.

What are the things that seem they can not be overcome in your life right now? (Journal them or talk about them as a family)

Who is walking through it all with you?

This week the light is brighter on our candles. The nearer we get to remember the day Christ was born the more candles flicker and the brighter our wreath gets.

The closer we get to the coming of Christ our circumstances may not get any brighter. But we can imagine the light getting brighter at the close of each day, week, month, and year. We have hope in the light of the world. Even in the darkest of nights we look forward to the coming light.

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it!

Isaiah 53

But he was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

Take the time to write out this passage. Highlight the things that Christ does. In a different color highlight what we do.

The light shines in the darkness and has not overcome it.

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