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God’s Peace that Passes All Understanding

God’s Peace that Passes All Understanding

 Girl being sprayed by a hose

As I write this, it’s the day before Thanksgiving, and this is how I feel right now. The holidays are officially here. Before the first one has even started, I’m working on the next one — running around with a list and checking it twice, trying to find the perfect gifts for loved ones. (Yes, I know about online shopping, but I still like to hand-pick some special gifts!) I’m also taking care of elderly parents and trying to love them well in the midst of everything. I also have to make sure that my own family is happy and taken care of.

So after the madness of shopping and the long grocery lines, I’m sitting in my car in bumper-to-bumper traffic. And right then, in the middle of stand-still traffic… my car idles. It just stops right in the midst of all the chaos. All I can do in this moment is stop and pray for God’s peace that passes all understanding. And it comes to me. I hear the Lord whisper to my heart that His peace is there for me, in this moment and for this entire holiday season.

What does peace look like to you this holiday? Consider these practical ways to find God’s peace that passes all understanding for you and your family!

Angel art

Prepare. Prepare your heart! How do you do that? First, dig out anything that would hinder an intimate relationship with God. Psalm 51:10 says,

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. — NKJV

Many years ago, I taught a group of young children about clutter in their hearts. I used a beautiful bowl, decorated on the inside with bright, beautiful colors, as an example of what our hearts are like. Then we discussed how things like lying, meanness, and jealousy upset God and make our hearts dirty. We wrote down all these things on pieces of paper and then wadded them up and filled the bowl so that we were no longer able to see its beauty. We then talked about how we can “dump” out all the ugliness by asking God to forgive us and create in us ‘clean’ hearts. The simple act of just coming to God on a daily basis and asking Him to wipe away anything that would make our hearts unclean is a great way to prepare ourselves for Advent. Is there anything that you need to ‘dump’ out of your heart before the Lord today? Spend time asking Him to create a clean heart and to renew a steadfast spirit within you. He is faithful to do so always.

Engage with God. 24/7. Not just in the prayer chair or during your 15-minute quiet time. That is all important — please don’t get me wrong. But engage with Him all throughout your day. Talk to Him. Argue with Him. Pray to Him. Surrender to Him. Trust Him. Call upon Him. I love the story in Acts 10 about Cornelius, a Roman army officer who was a devout, God-fearing man and who  prayed regularly to God. Scripture doesn’t tell us how, when, or where he prayed; it just says that he prayed regularly. We can do that too. Let’s engage with God in prayer all day long… in the shower… in the grocery lines… in the standstill traffic. Remember that you can pray to a living God who sees you and knows your every need. Don’t stop engaging with God after your quiet time, but continue throughout the day and even right up until you lay your head down to sleep!

Align your heart. Proverbs 3 teaches us how to align our hearts with God. This scripture starts out by telling us not to forget the things that God has taught us (v. 1, NIV). Then it goes on to tell us to store His commands in our hearts and to never let love and faithfulness leave us (vv. 1, 3). In verse 5, we’re told to

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

 Aligning our hearts in preparation for Jesus means that we remember what God has taught us, we live out love and faithfulness, and we trust God for all things. When we do this, we will know the true reason for the season.

Carve out time to dig into God’s Word. It is so important that we know God’s Word. His Word is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword. It is our powerful weapon that we need to hold on to and speak into every situation of our lives. I know the Bible can be intimidating — it’s a big book, after all! But it is a big book of His promises. If you are just starting out and opening the pages of God’s Word for the first time, I encourage you to carve out regular time to memorize a verse or two. And if you don’t know how or where to start — try the Psalms. Every day I open my Bible to the book of Psalms for that day. For example, today is November 23rd, so I open up to Psalm 23, one that you may be familiar with. And in the midst of all the chaos going on, it brings a calm to my spirit. I find great peace as I read, “The Lord is my shepherd…” That is all I need!

Enjoy. There is so much to enjoy this season. Take a moment to truly enjoy the reason for the season. Jesus is our greatest gift.


Precious Lord, I pray for our world this holiday season. Today, more than ever, we need the peace of Christ to surround us. We need healing in our world. Where anger rages and division runs rampant, we need Your PEACE to flood our hearts. As we scurry around to fill our Christmas stockings, we need You to fill our hearts with Your Word, Your promises, and Your truth. I pray that each and every one of us would open our hearts to receive the greatest gift of all — Jesus — who was born in a manger and now reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Amen.

Written for Devotionals Daily by Anne Neilsen, author of Angels.

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Your Turn

Peace does not come naturally. It’s God’s supernatural gift to us. This season, stop and ask Him – all day long – to show you His love and give you His peace that passes understanding. Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily