"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

Feeling the "spirit" of the holidays yet?  Or is it pressure that you feel.  This time of the year is a mixed bag of emotions for many people.  The tough economy doesn't help matters.  We all have deadlines and commitments, pressures of jobs or joblessness, pressures of family, pressures from media portraying to us the perfect family get-together.  I wonder if that only happens in Hallmark channel movies:-).  Different seasons of life bring different challenges, and those challenges can seem overwhelming.  John Wesley said "Oh what a pearl of great price is the lowest degree of the peace of God."  My friends I want to encourage you to practice prayer this holiday season.  Why?  Because the Bible says that when we pray we get peace. (Philippians 4:6&7)  Not just any peace, but the perfect peace of God, peace that transcends understanding!  Notice that Jesus says that His peace is not like the world's peace.  The world tells us that peace comes through money, material things, position, and pleasure.  God's peace comes through relationship with Him in Jesus.  He is the giver of every good & perfect gift, and peace is a precious possession in this or any day and age.
In both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, peace-- the shalom of God-- is tantamount to salvation.  It means bringing together what was separated, picking up the pieces, healing the wounds, fulfilling the incomplete, and overcoming the forces of fragmentation with forgiving love.  In short, shalom  is the content of the rule of God, the promised goal and hope of every believer.  Brothers and sisters we all struggle in many things, and life can deal some severe blows, but take heart, the Hand of the Lord has not been shortened!  He still delivers, and He still redeems, He is still awesome in strength and power!!  I truly hope and pray that the perfect peace of God fills and controls you this holiday season, that you can overcome the adversity of life through faith, the cleansing faith in the Son of God, who loves you and gave Himself for you.
Prayer for today:  Open my eyes to see You, Lord, open my ears to hear Your call, open my heart to receive Your truth, and show me Your perfect peace, so that I can show the world Your perfect love.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen