Pursuing Peace in the New Year
A few weeks before Christmas, I began to reflect on my life and what I had accomplished in 2014. I also began to think about what 2015 may hold for me. For the last five years, I have chosen a word to live by for the year. The words I have chosen in past years are follow through, purge, discipline, prepare, and focus.
I have to admit that I’ve not been great at keeping those words in mind throughout the year. In fact, I did not follow through (2014 word) with many of the goals I had set for myself revolving around those words. I read back over those posts, and let me tell you, there were a lot of great goals listed. I really wish I had accomplished even a portion of those goals. But, sadly, I did not.
So this year, I thought about choosing a word that would not only impact my life but the lives of others as well. I don’t want my focus to be just on me and creating a better life for myself. I want to be God’s servant and share with others.
I had a few quiet moments one afternoon where I was able to spend some time with God. I had been feeling stressed over Christmas and was not feeling very peaceful at all. There was a heaviness in my heart that I couldn’t explain. So, during these quiet moments with God, I asked Him to relieve the stress I was feeling and to help me focus on His priorities for my life.
All of a sudden, I thought, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” I don’t know where that thought came from. Well, ok, I’m sure it came from God. But it made me think that I should choose peace as my word for 2015.
Peace would be a logical choice since I blog about pursuing peace, not perfection. I had thought about choosing peace before, however it seemed to obvious and quite frankly, a little broad and boring.
The more I thought about it, though, the more it made sense. So, I began to think about different aspects of peace I could focus on in 2015.
The most important type of peace we could have is the peace we have with God because of Jesus’ sacrifice of dying on the cross. Romans 5:1 has been my favorite verse about this exact type of peace.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Isn’t it amazing that God would send His Son to die for our sins? If we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, then we are saved from God’s wrath. That peace alone should be enough to sustain us through anything.
Ephesians 2:14-18 talks about this same reconciling peace because of Jesus’ sacrifice. However, these verses also remind me that I am not to be hostile to others who may no believe as I do. All we have to do is turn on the news and see so many people being hostile to others because of their different beliefs. That’s not what Jesus wants from us at all. He wants us to love others and by our love they can be attracted to Him.
I love how Philippians 4:6-7 talk about peace.
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.
Did you catch that? When we pour out our troubles to God, His peace will guard our hearts and minds. Isn’t that wonderful! We can go to God with any need we have, big or small, and He will see us through.
So what will focusing on peace look like in my life in 2015?
- I can tell everyone I know about the peace we can have with God because of Jesus’ sacrifice.
- I can be a promoter of peace with those who believe differently than I do.
- When stressful times come (and they will!), I can remain calm and turn everything over to God and let His peace rule my life.
- I can feel at peace in any situation if I remain in constant communication with God through prayer and Bible study.
What about you? Have you chosen a word for 2015? If so, leave me a comment and share what word you have chosen.