This photo is from our family holiday to New Zealand in 2014. This was the first time we had traveled together outside of Australia, and I have to say it was one of the most awesome two weeks of our lives. After years of savings, we had the privilege to explore the south island and take in all of its beauty and wonder.

I couldn’t help but feel a sense of peace and I had to stop and thank God for this amazing gift he had given us.

At times I feel like peace is something we talk a lot about and yet find it difficult to obtain. It’s almost like it’s liquid. It’s hard to grasp hold of and it seems to just slip through our fingers right at the time we seem to have found it.

Our holiday in NZ brought peace for us, but it was short lived. It was wonderful and exciting and refreshing, but it wasn’t a peace that would live on in our hearts once we returned to our normal daily life. The kind of deep seated peace that we all long for can’t be found in holidays (although rest is of extreme importance to us and is not only mandated by God but demonstrated by God himself), it can’t be found in new things. It can’t be found with retirement and it can’t be found in lunches and dinners.

How do we find this peace? It’s probably not where we’re looking. Jesus had a different idea of peace to what we often look for. His idea of peace centered around restoring us to God’s original design for humankind. His desire was a perfect love relationship with us. Unfortunately we broke it. That must have been devastating to God. Amazingly though, he lovingly restored it.

Peace that sits well with my soul is the peace that is obtained through loving God with all of me. When I love God in that way, it doesn’t matter what happens in my life. Trials and temptations can be considered in light of the peace that surpasses all understanding. (Phil 4:7)

This Sunday, is week two of Advent. Advent is a time we remember the fulfilled promise of God’s arrival on earth, and as a result of that, we faithfully and expectantly look forward to the yet-to-be-filled promise of his second coming. Our Hope in Jesus; In what he has done, and what he has promised to do. Let’s live our lives like that – overflowing with expectant hope. We’re Advent people!

Pastor Nathan