About the author: Mike Ellis and his wife Beth have been members of ZPC since 2001. They have two grown children, Victoria and Josh. Mike leads a recruiting company and is a ZPC Deacon.
About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals where we are exploring traditional Advent themes of hope, joy, peace, and love. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc advent to 39970. Advent booklets are also available at the ZPC Welcome Center. We welcome your comments and questions each day.
TODAY'S SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:5-20
He gave us his one and only son!
What could give us more peace? Our God can do anything!
Most of us spend time throughout the week lifting prayers up to God, adding prayers to prayer lists, and asking others to pray for us; but when God handles these things, we are often shocked and don’t thank him. I hate when I do that. In our Bible passage today, we see the priest Zechariah going through the motions and an angel appears – telling him something most amazing and remarkable. But what does he do? He doubts. This could have been one of the most awe-inspiring moments filled with total joy and peace…and he doubts!
Two thousand years later we still find ourselves acting like Zechariah – walking with God but doubting; thinking he has bigger problems to solve than ours, that he won’t show up, and worse yet, that we shouldn’t even bother to ask. The thing is he does want to hear from us. He does care and he does show up.
Have you ever caught yourself thinking these things?
- God, I know you can do it, but I’m not going to plan on it.
- Odds are good, but for some reason I’m not betting on God.
- God can create the universe, but not help me and my measly little prayers.
Why? Three reasons for me: busyness, lack of heavenly focus, and too much me focus.
Why is it I’ve seen God and his handy work in life, time and time again through the ups and downs, but it is hard for me to trust and believe him. Through all my life’s journeys, I have noticed two things have happened. First, God has answered my prayers (sometimes as requested and sometimes with a totally different outcome). Secondly, God has brought me peace during this journey. Sometimes at the very moment I ask and other times only after enough time had passed for me to see his plan. Peace is God’s gift to us.
For me “peace training” includes daily quiet time, scripture reading, and talking to God honestly. This is helping to replace my doubt so that I’m more inline with God – trusting, obeying, believing, and less “startled and gripped with fear.”
Sometime today, this hour, this minute, or this second – draw in a deep breath – exhale and know that God has ____ (fill in the blank with your doubt and anxiety) covered and trust in the power of Jesus. Trust in the presence of God, his power and peace, this day and all the days forward.
Lord our Father,
You are mighty and awesome. Forgive me of all my non-peace filled moments, actions, and thoughts. Thank you, Lord, for giving us Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Help me during this crazy time of the year to remember it’s all about YOU and embrace your awesome peace.