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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I’ll join you in choosing Jesus! I want to seek whole-heartedly how to live not on my own understanding, but to lean into Him who leads me on His pathways.
Choosing Jesus first, second, third and always. Glad we are on this journey together.
I memorized Romans 8 a few years ago, and so I keep circling back to it in order to “keep it.” It’s truly my favorite chapter in the Bible for so many reasons, and I’m sure Trillia’s study is going to be just amazing! Have you checked out her FB reading group?
I imagine memorizing Romans 8 impacted you greatly. It is my favorite too. I am on the launch team for If God is For Us, but I’m not sure what Facebook group you are referring to. I’ll have to do some investigating.
The answer to every question really is, Jesus. Peace begins when we focus on Him and invite Him into our story. To lead us, certainly but also to walk alongside us. Your words direct us back, sweet friend. What a perfect way to begin! Blessings.
Jesus always! Thank you for being here and joining me in this journey of peace. Blessings!
Thank you for pointing us back to the only One who holds out the gift of substantial, never ending peace, Mary.
Praise the Trinity for tending to our every longing.
Everything else fades back into its rightful place …
The thought and reality of how well we are taken care of by our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is amazing to me. We are blessed in this beautiful walk of faith.
I woke up this morning full of tension, but as I read your devotional I was reminded of the importance of focusing on Jesus. It is true that he gives us the incredible gift of peace even (and especially) in the midst of chaos! I’m joining you, Mary, in your pledge for 2019! May our hope increase as we allow His peace to carry us into this new year!
I pray the tension you were feeling lessened as the day went on. Jesus is our peace and it is simply prat of the gift of knowing Him. Blessed to have you along as we seek peace daily.