Promises abound. Hope fills my heart with a renewed sense of purpose. An expectant outlook marks the first few days of the new year. I embrace peaceful beginnings as I slide into the new year knowing chaos may steal the calm at any given moment.
Peace transcends all understanding when we add God to the mix. When life becomes confusing and overwhelming, we, as believers, find peace through our relationship with Jesus. It’s simply a gift that Jesus extends to us as a by product of our faith.
During the month of December, I began a Bible study on Romans 8 by Trillia J. Newbell, called If God is For Us. As a good Bible teacher, Ms. Newbell provides opportunities to dig into the backstory before diving deeper into Romans 8. The journey took me through a brief tour of Chapters 1-7 in Romans. As I began to read Romans 5, I discovered a beauty and depth in the message that I think is perfect for the beginning of a new year.
I believe this little foray into God’s Word could veer in so many different directions and I am trusting God to lead the way. Let’s spend a minute reading the words that Paul penned in Romans 5:1-5.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5 NIV
I added emphasis to words and phrases as a way to point out some themes that I might touch on in the next few weeks. Today I want to wrap my head and heart around peace.
I love cracking open a new book or the thrill of a blank journal welcoming that first word or thought. I also find the beginning of a new year stretches before me with possibility, purpose, and potential. This year I want to add peaceful beginnings to the list.
Paul takes the time to highlight the peace we gain from a relationship in faith with Jesus. It is these words that caught my attention as I read Romans 5. If Jesus brings peace and I desire a deeper relationship with Him, then 2019 does not need to derail from the possibility of chaos. Do you agree?
But as with anything there will be moments of tension. A fight between feeling secure in Christ while being pulled by the world. Or when our peace is threatened by a sense of overwhelm, fear, or dread. There is beauty as the days unfold, especially ones that feel as if we are on the battlefield. We need only call upon Jesus.
This year as we seek peace daily, will you join me in choosing Jesus? What will it look like to know we don’t need to remain in a place of tension?
My pledge in this New Year.
I will hold onto peaceful beginnings by:
Beginning my day with Jesus. This daily practice has never led me astray and provides a focus to keep me on the right track.
Making a choice to choose peace over messy and Jesus over worldly influences.
Singing praise and gratitude over the gift of a new day.
Giving myself grace on the days that go nothing like I expect. God already knew they would happen and still His new mercies abound.Peace transcends all understanding when we add God to the mix. #sabbathofferings #Romans5 Click To Tweet
Let’s look forward to this New Year of peaceful beginnings by allowing God’s presence to fill every minute. The gift of Jesus is better than anything the world promotes.
**Help me spread the word! The Tell His Story linkup starts up again this Tuesday, January 8. Hope to see you all there.
If God is For Us is available now on Amazon. This study is unique in that it offers a hybrid combination of devotional and Bible study all in one. The easy style of Ms. Newbell’s stories and depth of her questions provide opportunities for connection to your own life as well as lots to ponder.
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