DAY 1: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…but is it?

“And the peace of God will guard, not may guard, or might guard our hearts and minds.”

Ahhhhhh November and December, the last 2 months of the year.  What usually comes to mind when we think about these months is of course Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We think of food, family, traditions. Games around the table, eating waaay to much, resting, and then doing it all again. Kids praying for a snowstorm so they can have a snow day and to make sure Santa can come.   We buy new Christmas outfits (usually matching) so the proverbial Christmas photo can be taken with the session usually ending with “Just take the picture, it will be fine!”.  We make sure all the presents are wrapped, the house is clean, cook the holiday meal, go to church, race back home to make sure the house didn’t burn down.  All this and keep our normal schedules.

So, with all this going on, how in the world can we make it the Most Wonderful Time of the Year? That is what we are going to explore in the coming weeks.  We will peer into the Word of God and see how we can maintain calm in the midst of chaos, deal with the crazy schedules and relatives, keep our peace and at the end we can say “This has been the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”  With God, ALL things are possible!  So, let’s do this!

Do you know that there are over 365 different names in the bible for God? Wow, thanks God!  That means that He has given us 1 name for every day of the year and then some!  Whatever name we need Him to be for us, He already is!  We can call on Him (Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”)  We can ask Him to specifically be that name for us. He wants to help us, to tell us secrets and strategies to navigate the holiday season.

One of His names is Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) says, “And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

If there was ever a season that we needed Him to be that for us it is during these 2 months. Let’s look at who God is as Prince of Peace and how He can be that for us.

Isaiah 26:3 (AMP- Amplified Bible) says, “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind (both its inclination and its character) is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

How awesome that God says that if we focus on Him, lean on Him, and hope confidently in Him, He will guard us and keep us in perfect and constant peace?  That’s good news! Perfect peace?  Wow, who doesn’t want that during the holidays? I’ll take a full portion of that please and a side to go with it!

John 14:27 says,Peace I leave with you; My (own) peace I now give and give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. And then in the AMP version is says (Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.). Ouch, that pretty much sums it up.  We are not to allow ourselves to be agitated, disturbed, fearful, intimidated, cowardly or unsettled.  We are to stand on the rock and not be moved by anything, only be moved by the Word of God!

John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have (perfect) peace and confidence.  In the world you will have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer (take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted). For I have overcome the world.  (I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.) There’s that perfect peace again and he adds confidence in this verse.   Jesus goes on the say that in the world we WILL have trials, distress, frustration, UGH, BUT… be of good cheer!  It says we can take the good news to the bank. We are to be certain, undaunted about this for Jesus has overcome the world for us.  I love that it says that He has deprived it of power to harm us. We must believe He is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do.  We can have perfect peace in Him as we confidently trust in Him through the trials.

Ephesians 2:14 says, “For He (Himself) is our Peace (our bond of unity and harmony). Amplified Bible says Jesus is saying I am your Peace, that is my Name.  Only with Him is there unity and harmony.  We are not supposed to try to do it on our own.

I love Philippians 4:6-7, it says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Notice it says do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but in everything, and that means EVERYTHING, talk to God, tell hm what’s going on.  Get it off your chest.  “And the peace of God will guard, not may guard, or might guard our hearts and minds.   It is a promise from God, and we can take it to the bank.  If we call on His name, talk to him about it with a right heart attitude, He will keep us from “stinkin thinkin” and keep us from going down a path we don’t want to go down.   We don’t have to understand it (it transcends all understanding).  We can give Him the anxious thoughts, the stressed out days, the to do lists, our emotions, our frustrations, and know that He will do what He promised.  Our job is to believe He is who He says He is, and He will do what He promised He will do.  This is the first step toward peace for the holidays.

Say this with me:  Father, in the Name of Jesus, I thank you that you are the Prince of Peace.  No matter what is going on around me I choose Your Peace today.  I give you all my anxious thoughts, my emotions, and my agenda.  I lean on You and hope confidently in You. I believe that You are who You say You are and You will do what You said You will do. I declare that this year is going to be the Most Wonderful time of the Year!

Shalom,

Mama Swan