Control what you can. Pray about the rest.
Today was week two of our series Welcome Home: Christmas Edition. Pastor Eli preached a message about the connection that God gives us to our home: Peace.
"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child." Luke 2:4-5 (NIV)
Pastor Eli brought us to the fact that at this time, Mary was nine months pregnant making this trip on the back of a donkey. He talked about how Pastor Kelly, his amazing wife, felt during her pregnancies at this stage. She was tired without the ability to rest, hungry without the ability to ever feel full because of how our bodies change when we are pregnant. However the last point Pastor Kelly told him rang true for everyone: Is this ever going to end? Pastor Eli then asked us the all-time question in life…
“How can we keep going if we don’t know when the suffering will end?”
This thought can be daunting. Pastor Eli went on to ask, How many times do we blame God for the places we are in life when God set us up to be there? Bethlehem was appointed by God to be the place where Mary and Joseph found themselves. Caesar may have issued the decree that brought this family to Bethlehem, but it was God who chose this situation and circumstances for them. This is true for our own lives as well. We have to pray for wisdom to see the reason for the season we're in.
Pastor Eli also asked the important question, “What in our lives have we said ‘This is just how it will always be’?”
Around Christmas time so many people can feel alone. They see peace in others’ lives and they have accepted that that same peace and home is out of their reach.
Depression, anxiety, infertility, and loss are all examples of things we have accepted as out of the range of peace. Pastor Eli made it abundantly clear that God has a different truth: Peace is within our reach, and it can be ours if we accept Jesus into our hearts.
We ended on this verse:
"Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)
This is God’s peace and it's freely given to you, even in the valleys. The truth is that, as long as we think peace is a place, there will be no way home. Peace is a person, and His name is Jesus. You can find peace in Him daily. Pastor Eli lands on this point: We are to control what we can and pray about the rest. Not controlling the things around us, but our spirit within us. It's up to us to choose the fruits of the Spirit. To be joyful in affliction and to look for God's hands in everything.
If you missed us...
Check out the podcast below!
Are you searching for a Christian church in Omaha Nebraska? Our hope is that we could be the home you have been looking for! To learn more about our Omaha church services click here.