“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So do not be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT
Is it well with your soul?
As the holidays approach there is an emphasis on buying; in fact, there is a highly celebrated day set aside known as Black Friday to promote the unrestrained spending of money on the greatest deals of the year. The anticipation of the day after the Thanksgiving holiday creates a joyful frenzy among most consumers who have prepared dutifully to purchase gifts by any means necessary. Even credit card companies increase credit lines in the fourth quarter of the year to assist with the accumulation of massive debt. We willingly give our monies away as we sacrifice the fruit of our labor in order to experience a period of short-lived happiness.
I do not begrudge the Christmas season; in fact, I have always enjoyed the lights, the decorations, the aromatic pine trees, and the beautiful music that carries me away into a child-like fantasy for a moment in time. It is a wonderful time of the year when most of the country is covered with a beautiful blanket of snow and the warmth of fireplaces, and soft wintry blankets provide comforts like an affectionate, loving mother or grandmother. The overall mood is light-hearted and only the hardest of hearts bear the Scrooge and Grinch dispositions. I have prayed for God to help me to view life through spiritual eyes, and I use my talents to lovingly create handcrafted gifts. I honor God by thanking him for my creativity and also by being a steward of the blessings that I have received.
And as wonderful as this season is, it is also a time of reflection on the hardships that many have endured throughout the year; loss of loved ones, financial crisis, unfulfilled goals, health issues, hunger, homelessness, divorces, severed family ties, and brokenness from the vicissitudes of life. It is a time when emotional depression escalates from the tribulations that have occurred in the preceding months. It is a time when a season based on lavish spending and colorful decorations or gifts will not provide solace to hurting hearts.
When Jesus was on this earth, He was fully aware of the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of others. His disciples formed a strong bond and a child-like dependency on the Savior and became discouraged when He spoke of leaving. In John 14, Jesus prepares the disciples for His ascension and return to His Father in heaven: “No, I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you, verse 18. The promises that Jesus gave to his disciples that He would not leave them as orphans and that His Father would send the Holy Spirit applies to All Believers in Christ, we have 24/7 access to the third person of the Godhead-the Holy Spirit if we only ask in prayer.
It is a normal part of life for a child to believe and rely on what he or she is told by their parents. It is that faith which is simply believing in God, which connects us to our spiritual team; it takes a child-like faith to grasp onto the promises of God without question. You may ask yourself or others, “Who is the Holy Spirit that Jesus referred to in John 14?” Although your question can be answered by others, you must ask for the revelation of the Holy Spirit through prayer. Present your most difficult situation to God in prayer and ask for the comfort of the Holy Spirit; believe and receive the promise of God to never leave you or to forsake you.
Relationships are personal! My relationship with God will differ from your relationship with God; the strength or weakness of your connection with God is based on your level of commitment through faith, trust, and obedience. When we completely put all of our doubts aside and accept God’s Word as the binding truth, then we can obtain complete peace. The peace that Jesus referred to was not based on a life free from trials and tribulations or seasonal holidays that bring short-lived happiness. If you choose to accept God’s plan to have an up-close and personal relationship with your Spiritual team, then the Holy Spirit will fill your mind and your heart, and enjoying God’s peace will become a natural occurrence in your life.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7
Bible Readings: John chapters 14-15
Prayer for today: Dear God, We thank you for our Spiritual team and most of all we thank you for your love, your grace, and your mercies which allow us to be redeemed from our sins. We ask forgiveness of our sins and shortcomings and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness. We ask you to send your Holy Spirit to teach us, to guide us, and to comfort us. Our finite minds are unable to grasp your power that is able to keep us in perfect peace, but in our weakness, we come to you in faith asking for you to reveal to us who you really are. We pray for those who are filled with dismay as we approach this holiday season and we ask you to comfort them. We look forward to Eternal life, a life that will give us perfection that you intended for us to have when you created humanity. We love you, we praise you, and we worship your Holy name. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019