The key to finding peace and joy consists in focusing on who and what is really important in our lives, and expressing gratitude to God for his many gifts that far surpass the deceptive and distracting “wants” of this world.
The experience of the peace and happiness of “God that surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7), attained in freedom and loving obedience, is inseparable from love for the Truth, for Jesus Christ is the “way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6), whose gift of himself to humanity opens the way to the Father and the everlasting kingdom of God.
As a teenager, my best friend had come to visit for about a week. We were enjoying the unusually still evening, sitting on the side of a deserted country road, looking off at the sunset and not saying much. At that moment, something inexplicable happened.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, known as the season of Advent, we will give lots of gifts. Gifts to our co-workers, family, friends and even strangers. Giving freely is something God calls us to do and brings us great joy.
We all have turbulent times in our life where nothing seems to go right. A storm, if you will, of uncertain waves of persecution, loss, or fear labors to topple our boat. Our response to this situation should first and foremost include turning to Jesus Christ.