Thankful: God is our peace

For (God) is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. He did this so that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. When the Messiah came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. The whole building, being put together by Him, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord. You also are being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.

– Ephesians 2:14-22

Today I am thankful that God is our peace.

Our nation echoes the pain of hostility, violence, and prejudice. We mistreat others, and build walls to shut out what we don’t understand. We don’t talk—we fight. Sin runs rampant in the streets. Families struggle without hope. We judge first, and only seek reconciliation when forced. We harbor hate in our hearts and justify it. We cry out for peace, yet expect others to make the first move.

Peace isn’t won, and peace isn’t earned. Peace can only be found in Christ.

Jesus is the One who can tear down dividing walls of hostility. He alone can bring people together and reconcile them through the cross, putting to death the sin that separates them from God and each other. When Jesus came, He proclaimed the Good News of peace. He showed us the way each one could be made right with God, and be joined together as brothers and sisters in His family.

God calls us to be peacemakers. Jesus said, “The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God.” As followers of Christ, we must join His ministry of reconciliation. God longs for all people to be made new in Him, to find peace by accepting Jesus’s sacrifice. He gave His Only Begotten Son so that the hostility of sin would be destroyed. We are not to be strangers, but believers being built up together for God’s dwelling place.

As the church, we must put on the shoes of the Gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). We need to overflow suffering neighborhoods with gracious service, listen to and tangibly show love to people who are hurting, reach out and protect those who cannot defend themselves, and urgently pray for God to draw hearts to the cross.

God, help me to see others the way You do. Search my heart and expose any hostilities that may linger there. Compel me to share the Gospel of peace, and be a peacemaker. Give me the courage to serve and love like Christ. You are my peace.

Thankful: God makes all things new

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.

Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:
Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.

Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.”

– Revelation 21:1-5a

Today, I am thankful that God makes all things new.

There will be a day when all that we have suffered, all the mistakes and failures, every hurt we’ve endured and inflicted, all the tears and grief, and all the destruction and sin around us will pass away. God will recreate what is worn out, torn, broken and stained. He will right every wrong. He will heal every wound. God will come and establish His Kingdom in a new heaven and new earth. He will reign supreme, over all and for always.

God will live with us. We will be His people, and He will be our God. He will personally take our faces in His hands, and lovingly wipe away every tear. Death will not exist – it has been defeated and banished! Grief, crying and pain will not be found. Our old lives of sin will be finished—gone.

We will be made new.

God speaks through Isaiah, “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)

Just as God will restore Israel one day, He longs to reconcile our hearts now. He sees our brokenness. He knows we are weary of trying to do life on our own. He feels our pain and wants to fill our emptiness. He stands ready, with arms outstretched, offering us the forgiveness and freedom we crave.

Will we let Him hold us? Will we give in and accept His embrace?

When we submit to God, and trust Him for salvation, He will remake us.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

– 2 Corinthians 5:17