How To Cultivate Peace And Joy This Christmas
For a lot of people, Christmas is one of the most prominent events of the year. Family traditions, glorious dishes, the giving and receiving of gifts and the opportunity to spend time with loved ones. But, for Christians, Christmas takes on a larger meaning. Christmas is a time when we remember and celebrate the miracle of Jesus coming to earth. We remember the incarnation of Jesus and the message of peace He brought on that first Christmas.
The challenge of cultivating peace at Christmas
However, despite the wonderful meaning and message of Christmas, the festive season can still bring challenges. For many people, each Christmas year brings family tension, financial instability, and relationship challenges. Last Christmas, one-third of Americans went into financial debt over the Christmas period, averaging $1,249 each. People often report an increase in arguments and anxiety around Christmas. And on top of that, January is known to be the busiest month for divorces, right after the Christmas period.
However, in the Bible we see that Jesus’ birth was a time of great joy for all involved. We read about an angel who told Mary that the birth of Jesus meant that she was “very favored” by God. We read of shepherds who were told that the birth of Jesus was the good news of “great joy.” And we read about how the Magi were “overjoyed” when they saw the star that led them to Jesus.
Christmas should be a time of peace and joy for all of us. So in the midst of this year’s busy festive season, how do we remember the true meaning of Jesus’ coming to earth? How can we really cultivate peace and joy this Christmas?
One of the most important ways to cultivate peace and joy this Christmas is to remember the reason for the Christmas season. Miss why you celebrate Christmas. Remember all about Jesus’ birth and earthly life, and what it means to you.
One of the biblical titles for Jesus is “Prince of Peace,” which we find in Isaiah 9:6. Jesus is the Messiah who brings peace to everyone He meets. Jesus is our Prince of Peace. His essence is the nature of peace and joy. Regardless of our experiences of Christmas over the years, good or bad, Christmas should be a time to remind us of the coming of the Messiah: the Lord of Peace, the source of all true joy.
This Christmas, choose to remember the reason of the season. Remember that Jesus came to bring peace, not conflict. He came to bring joy, not pain. Jesus came to earth bringing freedom, forgiveness and reconciliation to all that He encountered. And He gives you that peace and joy today. Often, cultivating peace and joy is simply choosing to give upembers and remember all that Jesus accomplished 2000 years ago.
Another way to cultivate peace and joy this Christmas is to simply slow down. The fast pace of the holidays can be a challenge, and busyness can often prevent us from thinking deeply about the true meaning of Christmas.
Jesus himself set a fine example of choosing to slow down during busy times. In Luke 5:16, we read that Jesus “often withdrew to solitary places and prayed.” Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus’ habit of taking time to slow down and be with God. He understands how important it is to step out from the busyness of life to get some perspective, pray, and simply get from God. This Christmas, look for opportunities to slow down. Find times when you can retreat to be alone, think clearly, and refocus on what Christmas is all about.
Rest In God
Finally, resting in the presence of God can be a wonderful tool for cultivating peace and joy this Christmas, for it is in the presence of God that we experience peace. true peace and joy. We can’t create it with human power and we don’t have to strive to achieve it. It comes from God and God alone.
As we read in Galatians 5:22, joy and peace are the fruit of the Spirit of God. They are not qualities that we can develop on our own. The peace and joy we can experience this Christmas comes only from our intimacy with Him.
This is good news. That means we don’t have to toil with our own strength in our efforts to create eternal peace and joy. But that means we have a responsibility to rest in the Lord. If you feel anxious or stressed this Christmas, rest in peace in the Lord. Rest in His presence and receive the supernatural peace and life-changing joy He gives you today. The Christmas story reminds us that Jesus did all the work. He came to earth to save us. We just need to accept what He has done and rest in the peace and joy He has promised us.
Know True Peace At Christmas
This Christmas, consider how you can seek God’s presence and rest in Him once again. Consider how you can cultivate peace and joy in your life, to fully immerse yourself in the true meaning of Christmas. In the busyness of the holiday season, remember that He promises you a peace that surpasses all understanding and a joy that no circumstance or obstacle can take away. Because of His Son, Jesus, you can cultivate true peace and joy this Christmas.
Nathan Anderson’s photo on Unsplash
Aditya Vyas’s photo on Unsplash
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