JOY AND PEACE
JOY AND PEACE
by Jeremy McMorris
I recently read the following article written by my friend, Sarah Farmer:
"Mommy, are you happy?" my daughter asked me this as I was putting her to bed the other night. If I were to ask you "Are you happy?" my guess is that most of us would say, "Yes." Yet, we live stressed out, overwhelmed, and burdened. Our verbal assent doesn't match with our attitudes, complaints, facial expressions, and our heart rate!
What, in our minds, would it take for us to be happy? I think sometimes we are deceived into thinking that itʼs an improvement to our crazy lives; to disobedient, screaming children; to the laundry; to our living condition; to our work schedule.
The amazing thing to me is that God says that joy and peace are not things that we can “will” into existence or change by our circumstances. These are gifts, and not just one-time gifts. Paul prays that believers "would have joy and peace in believing” (Rom 15:13). Continually believing. We can't will ourselves into joy and peace; we must pour out our hearts to God, believe that He is the only Joy-giver and wait for the beyond-comprehension joy and peace that pours over us!
This time of year we see the words “joy” and “peace” everywhere--on church bulletins, postcards, store windows, puffy-painted granny sweatshirts, even TV commercials; and yet our world knows little of the joy and peace it speaks of and longs for. We think that if we can end wars we’ll have peace, or if everyone gets what’s on their Christmas list, they’ll have joy. This seems to be the theme of most of the Christmas songs on the radio, but would these things really bring joy and peace? The Scripture makes clear that these things won’t bring peace, and that in fact the Christian can have joy and peace in the midst of a world at war, and with none of the material things we think we “need.” Our joy and peace come from Christ and His gospel. We can have peace in Christ (Heb. 13:5) and joy in His Gospel (Gal. 5:22).
So, may your Christmas be filled with true joy and peace, and may those who watch you see that it comes from your “believing” in Christ and His Gospel.