Lead Pastor Isaac made the following observations on Sunday:
Jesus is the prince of peace. But, let’s consider together the tenuous circumstances that wrought this peace:
- Mary had to embrace the work of God within her even though her swollen belly would’ve cast a shadow of shame over her.
- Joseph had to embrace his fiancé’s shame.
- The baby would be born into a feeding trough.
- Almost immediately, the savior of the world would be a refugee, hiding from his own country’s king. And, he would be taking refuge in Egypt, the historical archetype enemy of God’s people.
The life of Mary and Joseph was anything but easy. One of the greatest missions would come with some big hardships. They would face challenges in order to walk out their calling. Did you catch that?
Our callings can and often do bring challenges.
It’s hard to live our lives differently than those around us. It’s hard to deny our sinful nature and walk out the way of Jesus. It’s hard to say no to our own desires for the desires of the Lord. But when we can embrace weakness, when submitted to Jesus, we truly are embracing peace. Paul speaking to the church in Phillipi gives us encouragement for today.
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.Philippians 4:6–7 (NLT)
Thank Him for all He has done. It’s easy to be caught in a loop of always searching for more. More things. More money. More experiences. Gratitude settles a ravenous heart. Our world has taught us that happiness is on the other side of consumption when in reality happiness is on the other side of gratitude. But let’s not forget that Paul instructs us to ask for what we need. While thankful for what we have, we are invited to petition the Maker of Heaven and Earth. He wants us to pray, to ask, to seek.
Gratitude without the courage to petition leads to stubbornness. Petition without gratitude leads to gluttony.
When you encounter your own weakness in the midst of the hardship of this world the invitation is to pray! Ask! Pray about everything! “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. Jesus has peace as we embrace our own weakness and frailty.
Spend a few moment and thank God for all he has done . . . and ask for anything you might need. Peace is waiting for you.