Day Four - Finding Peace in the Midst
21 DAY CHALLENGE - THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS
By CINDY PARMLEY SMITH
The Holiday Season is upon us. It seems that each year the stores and the media start rolling out Christmas merchandise and shows earlier and earlier.
We start preparing and shopping earlier and with greater expectations of this year being the perfect Holiday Season ever!
We set ourselves goals and make lists all in the hope of giving our families the best of everything wanting to create those perfect memories that our families will carry with them.
This is something I am sure we have all struggled with and this year we desire something different. Last year I did not really think about renewing my mind and I ran to so many other things in the hope of finding peace in the midst of all the craziness.
This year I want His peace to be what drives everything I do.
In John 14:27 He tells us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
We sing about “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night” but run around listening to lies instead of seeking His peace.
What are some lies that we believe will give us this peace we long for:
• These cookies will make me feel better, they will take the edge off!
• Watching this Christmas movie is all I need to recharge my batteries.
• I have so much to do to make this the perfect Christmas I cannot take time out to spend with the Lord! He understands.
I will tell you what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt: I need time alone with the Lord, renewing my mind.
All throughout the year, I have been renewing my mind about food, anxiety, caring for my Mom, and helping my girls transition into adulthood. Christmas is not really that different. My desire is to go through this season focused on the things that are truly important and I will need to make time with the Lord a priority.
We can either have true peace in Christ or a counterfeit peace chasing after the lies we tell ourselves.
One of the tools we learned about in Renewing the Mind 101 is writing and repeating Affirmations. An affirmation is defined as the act of affirming or asserting as true. Using affirmations in response to our time with the Lord will help combat the lies.
“We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4b-5).
When we affirm what the Lord tells us we are saying it is true and we are turning our minds and hearts to the truth.
Using the passage in John here is an affirmation I wrote. (It will be helpful to say this affirmation throughout this season to keep my mind focused on the peace that the Lord gives.)
Affirmation: My heart is not troubled or afraid as I rest in the peace Jesus gives. It is not the peace that the world tries to offer. Spending time with Jesus makes me secure in His peace and my heart and mind is guarded. I am able to see lies and choose to demolish them because of the peace that comes from being with Jesus.
I encourage you to try writing an affirmation. It will give you something to repeat to yourself when you can feel the lies trying to sway you to chase after the fake peace the world offers. Please feel free to share your affirmations in the comments to encourage and spur each other on. Below are some verses to ponder and then choose one or all to practice writing affirmations.
Top Tips By Sophia
1 - Focus on the reason for the season
2 - Schedule time with the Lord and you
3 - Renew your mind in preparation for triggers you know may take you off course
4 - Try writing some affirmations to help guard your heart and mind
5 - Engage the Lord in everything you do whether it be shopping, baking, decorating