I’ve seen lots of posts about the holidays being a busy time, and truthfully the holidays can be a very taxing time for people. From thinking about what gifts to buy, holiday dinners, and for some the burdens of family drama. Today I wanted to talk about some ways I’ve found that help me maintain my peace and joy in life. I won’t say I’ve arrived at perfection because these are all things I have to continually practice. I’m more than happy to keep allowing the Holy Spirit to help me grow in the things of God. I have 4 topics for you today that will help you maintain peace and joy, during the holidays and in your life!
Topic 1: Keep Your Eyes on Jesus: Walk By Faith Not By Sight
We should keep our eyes on Jesus and walk by faith and not by sight. To illustrate this, imagine that God told you that by this time next year you will be flying planes. It’s true because God said it. But what a lot of us do, and I’ve been guilty of is this: we start looking at where we are now that contributes to a doubtful case toward the word God gave you.
You start looking at the natural part of things that says you don’t know any pilots. You don’t even own a plane. You aren’t enrolled in school. How much will the training cost? All those things start flooding your mind to get you to doubt that God will even do what He said He would. We take the decree in our own hands, and start trying to complete the task in our own strength. We take our eyes off of faith and enter into works.
So now that we have stepped out of faith, we’ve stepped into anxiety, worry, toil, and more. We have stepped into peace and joy killers. In order to keep them we should keep our eyes on Jesus. Jesus is the one who has already equipped you to do the work He wants you to do. The one who watches over His word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). The one who works in you to will and work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). And the one whose word is powerful enough to perform what it has been sent out to do, including make you into a pilot!
Topic 2: Take Every Thought Captive to the Obedience of Christ
Take every thought captive that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5) and bring it to the obedience of Christ. When those doubtful thoughts try to influence your thinking about God, you cast it down immediately. Cast it down by the truth of God’s word. Remember what He said about you. Remember what He said in the Bible, and cast down the doubt and the thoughts that try to get you to worry about all the what-ifs of life. This relates to keeping your peace and joy because our emotions lie to us and God’s word says that those who keep their mind on God will be kept in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
So maintain your peace and joy by taking dominion over your emotions by studying the Word of God!
Topic 3: Change Your Focus To The Positive
Topic 3 is to consistently recalibrate your focus to the positive things going on in your life and concerning people. We need to exercise forgiveness and only magnify the good things. This is by far one of the biggest things that helps me maintain peace and joy, and it really comes down to letting things go.
Philippians 4:8 tells us to dwell on those things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, if there is any excellence and anything worthy of praise. Although this is something I intentionally have to practice, it’s definitely a game changer when it comes to keeping my peace and joy. When I decide to do it, I don’t get all bogged down by the things that could seem heavy in life. Staying focused on the good makes less room in our minds for those things that seem not to be.
Topic 4: Trust God
Lastly, trusting God in everything we do is going to bring the optimal peace and joy to our lives. I say this because it really takes the pressure off of us to have to know every detail and plan about our lives. It puts our trust in God to perform what He said He would do. It’s okay not to know what every step of the way will look like. There’s comfort in knowing that the loving God who created all things has everything under control. If there’s something you need to know He will tell you!
As the type of person that naturally plans things, I did have difficulty in learning how to do this. I’m learning that sometimes God doesn’t show us some things in life because if He did, it wouldn’t require faith to get there. If nothing required faith, then how would we grow in our faith. We cannot lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) because His thoughts and ways are truly above ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Trust Him to bring to pass all the good things He’s showed you about your life. Trust Him even when things don’t make sense, and when you don’t understand.
These are some of the skills that help me keep going when I feel like I’m getting slow or heavy because of having the wrong focus in life. During this holiday season don’t get bogged down by the wrong things. Keep your focus on Jesus and on obeying His word. Through us maintaining our peace and joy we stay light, and able to keep going on in our walk of faith! You got this through the power the Holy Spirit within you!