Finding peace in God’s presence
by Karen Blanchard
SHELBY TOWNSHIP, MI – We are now in the middle of the holiday season. When kids think about Christmastime, they think of presents, time out of school, and all the fun things they get to do. There is a wonder that comes along with Christmas. As adults, we may feel that way some, but oftentimes the holidays can bring anxiety.
We start creating lists, right?
Lists of items we have to bake.
Lists of presents we need to buy.
Lists of the parties or events that we have to attend.
We feel pressure to find time to fit holiday obligations into our already busy schedules. The pressure leads to feelings of being overwhelmed, which then robs us of our peace.
One of my favorite verses during the holiday season is Isaiah 9:6…
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Jesus is our Prince of Peace. He is where we get our peace from. When we are in a busy season of life, such as the holiday season, it is so easy to rush through our time with God and move on to the tasks of the day. However, when we do this, we will not be filled with all we need to handle the situations we will face. This holiday season, I want to encourage you to find time to REST in Christ. This isn’t the type of rest we typically think of such as a nap, a massage, or lounging on the couch watching a Hallmark Christmas movie or a sports game. No, this type of rest is for our souls.
Psalm 61:2 says, My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.
The following acrostic is a great way to remember how to REST in Christ.
R – Resist the desire to be in control.
Trust that God is working in your life and surrender your plans to him.
Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. – Proverbs 28:26
E- Escape to a quiet place to be alone with God.
Jesus modeled this to us several times in the Bible. After a long day of ministry, Jesus told his disciples they needed to get away to a quiet place.
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:30 - 31
S – Sit, be still, and listen to God’s voice.
Once you have found that place to escape, now it is time to be quiet, sit before the Lord, and listen for his voice.
“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
T – Talk to God.
After you have escaped to a quiet place and taken time to be still and listen, then God wants you to talk to Him. In this place, I am not referring to praying down a long list of prayer requests, even though you should do that. This is the time where you pour out your heart to God. Share with him the things you are struggling with as well as your desires and your dreams.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
When you take the time to REST in Christ, the overwhelmed feelings that you were carrying are then transferred to Him. In return, God will give you the peace your soul craves. Nothing else in the world can do this! It is only when you spend time in God’s presence that you find his peace. How would your attitude change this holiday season if you built in time to REST in Christ? It makes all the difference!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen is married to Scott Blanchard, pastor of Lakepointe Church, and moved from Florida to Michigan in the summer of 2009 to plant Lakepointe Church in Shelby Township. She enjoys mentoring and discipling women and also leads women’s life groups through her church. She is passionate about helping women find their purpose in who God created them to be. She is on staff at Lakepointe Church and loves being part of what God is doing in the Metro Detroit area!