What’s under your Christmas tree this year? Has hope, peace and love found their way under there? Although circumstances for celebrating may be very different, how can these three qualities find their way under your tree?
Where to find hope?
In the Passion Translation of the Bible, there are 153 references to the word, hope. Hope means to believe, desire or trust. As you look at the birth of Jesus, what hope does that bring you? Read the words from Romans 15: 4-5, TPT to yourself, noting what stands out to you about hope.
“Whatever was written beforehand is meant to instruct us in how to live. The Scriptures impart to us encouragement and inspiration so that we can live in hope and endure all things. Now may God, the source of great endurance and comfort, grace you with unity among yourselves, which flows from your relationship with Jesus, the Anointed One.”
Your relationship with Jesus helps you live in hope. I find that as I look for God’s fingerprints in my life and give what I can’t handle to Him, I can live in hope. I get discouraged and wonder where Jesus is at times, yet I’m the one who moved away, not Him. Prayer is my conversational connection to the hope Jesus provides.
Where to find peace?
Known as the Prince of Peace, Jesus came to bring that gift under the Christmas tree. Hard to imagine how He was going to do that when He was born in a feed trough. Can you imagine how unpeaceful a setting that was?
Your daily life currently fills with noise- news, politics, COVID-19, and a myriad of decisions that impact you and your families. Where do you go to find peace, that essence of quiet and stillness in your soul?
According to the writer of Romans, Paul encourages each of us to keep our eyes on God. Read this verse several times, too. In Romans 15:13, TPT, he writes:
“Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!”
We find peace when we trust in Him. Trust, a tall order sometimes. Trust Him with our finances. Trust Him with our families. Trust Him with our government. Trust Him with our health. Whatever it is that is bringing us angst, we are to trust Him and He will fill us with uncontainable joy and perfect peace.
My pastor’s wife from 35 years ago provided me with this verse. I have returned to it often when I need both hope and peace. I believe the key ingredient to finding peace is trust. For example, when I had to leave my Madison school job because of health issues, I trusted He would lead the way to a different job. He provided a job at DPI. He has always provided the provisions we need at just the right time showing me I can trust Him, which brings me peace.
Where to find love?
The best thing to find under the Christmas tree is your love relationship with God and Jesus. In John 3:1, TPT, He calls us His beloved- someone greatly loved.
“Look with wonder at the depth of the Father’s marvelous love that he has lavished on us! He has called us and made us his very own beloved children.”
Like your own children that you want to lavish love upon, God longs to lavish His love on us. Picture that for a moment. God calling you His beloved.
The first time I had a sense of that, I felt His words over me at a yoga retreat. “Daughter, you are my Beloved.” Whoa, talk about feeling blown away. The instructors were reading from a passage of scripture about the woman who touched Jesus’ hem and was healed. It felt like the words they were reading were just for me. Simply amazing.
What about you?
God sent Jesus to be personal for us. “Immanuel” means God is with us.” I hope you can unwrap all three gifts, hope, peace and love from underneath your Christmas tree this December 25th.
May you have Jesus in your heart, connecting you to God as your Father and the Holy Spirit directing your steps.
I pray His blessings on you.