Good afternoon! Our Advent Devotional for today was written by Jake Peterson. Jake is a senior Journalism major from Arroyo Grande, California, which is just south of San Luis Obispo. He transferred to TCU from his local community college in the Fall of 2021 and has been a Young Life college leader at TCU since the Spring semester of 2022. We hope you enjoy today’s devotional.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
What is peace? Peace is not a passive escape, but rather an active guard that protects our hearts and minds in times of need. The peace of God is a fortress for our hearts and minds that protects us from anxieties of this world. It also transcends all understanding, so no matter what you are facing, by His peace you will be protected (Philippians 4:7). This week is very stressful for students at TCU. Finals week comes with immense pressure to perform well on exams and projects. Additionally, we are in the middle of the Holiday season. For many people the Holidays are great for reconnecting with family and a time for celebration, but for many others it brings anxiety, depression, loneliness and triggers old trauma. However, God promises us that His peace guards us from anything and everything that life throws at us. In the middle of our trouble, the peace of God gives us a sound mind so we can navigate whatever we are going through (2 Timothy 1:7).
Isaiah 26:3 calls us to think about God, both who He is and all that He has done, and to trust that He will hold true to all his promises. When we do that, we will be kept at perfect peace. Think about what He did through Jesus Christ. The same God that created the universe and everything in it, loved us enough to come down to Earth as the lowliest human and die the most brutal death no one else could, and rose from the grave to defeat Satan and death to bring us back to Him. Have peace in knowing that same God who is greater than anything you are facing, and is in control of everything, loves you literally to death.
Practically, how do I get this peace? In Philippians 4, the apostle Paul tells us not to be anxious about anything but rather to be thankful. And science agrees. Since the same part of the brain is responsible for triggering anxiety and gratitude responses, many studies have concluded that it is scientifically impossible to be anxious and grateful at the same time. Any time you feel overcome with anxiety, take a moment to think about Jesus and be thankful for all that God has done for you, and His peace will guard you in your time of need.
Let us pray.
Father, thank you for all that you have done for us. Thank you for bringing us back into a relationship with you through the death and resurrection of your son Jesus Christ. In this advent season, help us recognize all that you have done for us bringing everything together through Jesus. Give us your peace in this time to guard our hearts and minds from anything and everything the world may throw at us. Help our thoughts be fixed on you from the moment we rise in the morning until we lay our heads down at night. Let us have peace in knowing that your will is being done. We love you, Lord. In the name of Jesus we pray,