Learn Self Care & Foster Gratitude
Our greatest example of a peacemaker is Jesus. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Jesus comes and gives everything, just like my mom did for my aunt.
The world is desperate for peace. Peace is something we've been seeking forever, really, and we have tried all kinds of things. People have devoted their entire lives to seeking peace, beautiful people who we celebrate because they gave their lives for peace. We know...
As free and grateful people, we can say, “God, thank you for all you’ve given me. Now I offer myself to you fully, to transform me, so that I can be a world-changing child of God, not conformed to the world but transformed by you.”
This is rich with what we need today, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks.” Today we’re going to look closely at the “rejoice” and “pray” parts. Rejoice. Paul understood joy is the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. He even says it’s one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Joy is infused with hope.
God desires for you and I to give thanks no matter what’s going on in our lives, because it’s good for us. God knows this is what we need to do. Gratitude isn’t just about feeling good. Gratitude doesn’t mean we have to be happy. But gratitude leads us to joy. It elevates us, at least for a moment, from the things of this earth into the heavenly realm.
Jesus calls us to live outside of what the world calls happiness and, instead, embrace his definition and source of happiness.
We tend to ignore the question of identity, because it can feel uncomfortable or overwhelming, but I think that’s a mistake. I think our identity through Jesus Christ is a great gift and in fact, the Bible tells us we should become what we already are in Christ.
Jesus is willing. He is willing to heal, to renew, to redeem and to make whole. He doesn’t always answer when or how we expect or want, but we must ask boldly and humbly. He will answer, and all along the way, he will love us through whatever challenge we might face.
God loves us as a Father, and models for us good parenting. I know that not everyone reading this is a parent, but everyone has a child or younger person in their life, so I think it’s important that we look to the Word of God for wisdom about these relationships.
Just as Jesus sent his 12 disciples, he is now sending all of his followers to do this work. Jesus is sending you. You have been called to do this work because there is so much still to do. The harvest is still plentiful.
He wants to restore the world through his people. He wants to use us, where we live, work and play, to bring restoration to the world. By loving our neighbor, as Jeremiah 29 commands and as we see throughout the Bible, we bring God’s hope and love to the world, and peace to ourselves.
Clearly, a person sitting in a car stuffed with tickets could say to the officer, “Thanks a lot, but I’m okay,” roll up the window, and drive away with all his tickets. But we know that all that would do is add to the cost and put off his arrest. Eventually, the cost has to be paid. It’s either going to be paid by us or it’s going to be paid by God.