Are You Hungry for Peaceful Holidays?
How often do you see the words, “Thanksgiving” and “Peace” used together?
PEACE!?!? Are you kidding me? I have a turkey to prepare and roast, stuffing to make from scratch, eight pies, mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner salad, dinner rolls, and a cranberry salad ain’t nobody gonna eat. Who in the world has time for peace during Thanksgiving? Oh, and don’t forget the in-laws are coming to town with their politics in-tow and ready to antagonize me with the latest election results. Peace? Who has time for peace? And did I mention we’re divided on the Cowboys game? There won’t be anything peaceful in this house during those 4 quarters. Lord, please don’t allow this game to go into overtime. I don’t care who wins, just end it. Peace? Who has any chance at peace this Thanksgiving?
Does this person’s response to peace and thanksgiving resemble anyone you know? Does any of this even look like peace OR thanksgiving?
I know, using the words “peace” and “thanksgiving” in the title of an article the day before Thanksgiving is almost the very definition of clickbait.
But, ask yourself why you clicked this time. Was it to get some quick-fix tips to help you get through this brief holiday? Was it so that you could see if anyone could relate to your struggle this week?
Well, I hate to tell you this, but you’ll get no quick satisfaction here. But maybe, as we enter the gateway of Thanksgiving into the Advent Season, maybe you’ll find some useful tools here for lasting peace.
Psalms of Peace
This past year, the Bible Study To GO! column has been primarily focused on the Psalms. If you’re an avid reader of the Psalms, I don’t have to tell you how often you encounter the words “thanks,” “thankfulness,” or “thanksgiving.” It’s a lot, especially if you equate those words with “give praise,” “make a joyful noise,” etc.
Two words I hear a lot together are “Psalms” and “Peace.” Time and time again, I hear people talk about being at peace while they read the Psalms. The real question is, “Why do they find peace in the Psalms?” Well, the Psalms take your focus away from you and place the focus on God, the Father of Peace. Jesus has another name – Prince of Peace.
Is that a quick fix? Well, in description it is – but in practice it is not.
It would be easy for me to simply recommend that you spend 15 minutes at the start of each day reading the Psalms. I’m sorry, but it isn’t always that simple, because God is not a “reading-operated vending machine” for dispensing peace. We don’t get to go before God in a rage, grab our Bibles and demand that God provide peace – just because we slowed down to the speed limit and dedicated a few moments to the Psalms. In His sovereignty, God determines the when and where. That said, if in your rage you sense a need to open the Psalms, that is very likely God calling you and it’s a good idea to dig in.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Do I have anything concrete to offer you? Yes. I do.
I’d like to offer you a free study on the will of God entitled, “Finding Peace in the Will of God.” This study visits six aspects associated with the will of God in Scripture. The third day zeros in on “thanksgiving.”
So much of our lack of peace can be attributed to a struggle of wills between our own personal will and God’s will. Do you lack peace? It may be time to spend some time reconciling your willfulness with God’s will for you.
Again, this won’t be a quick fix. It will do you no good to jump into day three without starting at the beginning. Also, stopping at day three and not going any further will do you no good.
God’s will gets a bum rap because we so often see it as being in opposition to us, but really, you’ll discover that God’s will isn’t against you. Instead, God’s will is for you.
So, team, it’s time to dig in.
God bless, and Happy Thanksgiving!