By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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3 Kinds of Peace God Wants to Give You in 2017

You may have had a good year. You may have had a bad year. But as we come to the end of 2016, you're likely pretty tired. You're worn out physically, mentally and spiritually.

There's hope! God doesn't want you to go through another year without His peace.

As we head into 2017, the Lord specifically wants to give you three different kinds of peace:

1. Peace with God. This is spiritual peace—and it's the most important. It affects everything else. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:18, "All this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation."

God doesn't want us to live disconnected from Him. Peace with God doesn't come from something we do. Peace with God comes from what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. God wants to give you that important peace this Christmas season.

2. Peace within. The Bible has a word for this: emotional peace. It's called the peace of God. When I have peace with God, then I get the peace of God inside me. Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace of God, to which also you are called in one body, rule in your hearts. And be thankful." God wants his peace to rule in our lives.

The Hebrew word for "peace" in the Bible is shalom. You've heard this word. Shalom means more than just ending of hostilities.

In fact, you'll find more than 790 verses about the peace of God in Scripture. For those with a broken heart, God gives us comforting peace. For those with a confused heart, He gives us guiding peace. For those with a shamed heart, He gives us forgiving peace. When we have a worried heart, He gives us confident peace.

He provides peace for every problem.

3. Peace with others. Then the Lord offers relational peace. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:16, "and that He might reconcile both to God into one body through the cross, thereby slaying the enmity." The further we are from God, the more our relationships with others are messed up. If you want to strengthen your relationship with others—like your spouse or your kids—strengthen your relationship with God. It'll pull you together.

The only way to have lasting peace with others is to be united as children of God.

As we sing and talk about peace on earth during the Christmas holidays, know that God wants to give you real and lasting peace in each of these three areas.

Peace isn't an unattainable dream. It's a free gift from God. 

Talk It Over

  • When you look at three kinds of peace described above, which one seems most elusive to you right now?
  • How have you seen your relationship with others improve as your relationship with God has improved?
  • What steps can you take this week to restore a broken relationship in your life? {eoa}

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

For the original article, visit pastorrick.com.

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