My one word for 2018 was PEACE.
You can read my post about how I chose that word here.
As a student of peace in 2018, I had times of learning about the concept of peace in the classroom of life and in my private studies. I came to a new understanding of and received peace in ways I’d hoped for and in ways I did’t anticipate. Grace and forgiveness ushered peace into places where I had built walls that were keeping me from being able to find peace.
I was also required to put the concepts I learned into practice in the lab, so to speak. See, 2018 also brought moments of fighting to maintain peace in the face of adversity and conflict. That process of applying the concepts God was teaching me solidified a few truths about peace for me.
As I look back on what I've learned about peace this year, I’m taking three big ideas with me into 2019.
1) Peace is a fruit of the Spirit.
You can't force fruit. You can't fabricate it, you can't manufacture it, and you certainly can't birth it by your own power. And just like plastic lemons in bowl on the counter top, fake fruit is easy to spot.
When I think about faking the fruit of the Spirit, I think of times when I’ve said, “I’m trying to be patient!” I can try all day long, but the fact of the matter is that if I’m in a situation that calls for patience and I am impatient— supernatural patience can’t be manifested by any effort of my own. It comes from Holy Spirit harvesting the fruit of our prior intimacy in that moment and gracing me with what I need in order to Glorify God through in my thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Fruit has to be planted by the Spirit and grow by the Spirit and in due time, fruit is harvested in the Spirit. Fruit also needs soil to grow. Intimacy is fertile soil for the fruit of the Spirit. When I’m not pursuing intimacy with the Jesus, I find my self lacking peace. What I learned this year is that it only takes a moment of intentionally shifting my heart and mind towards His great love for me to bring peace rushing back in.
2) Peace transcends time.
Remembering God’s PAST faithfulness grows my faith, which leads me to hope.
When I look back on all the times God has come to the rescue in times of struggle and turmoil, I'm completely undone by His reliable and steadfast presence and provision. His faithfulness grows and strengthens my faith in who He is. Confidence in God’s character comes with remembering all He has done.
He's NEVER failed me yet. That simple phrase has always been my anthem and the foundation for my hope in Christ.
Hope lets me borrow peace from the FUTURE.
When I find myself in a pit of despair, anxiety, fear, shame, or doubt, I picture myself flipping back through my journal five years from now. I envision myself recalling the hardship of today and being in complete awe of how God came through for me. I can take the peace I know I'll feel in the future and borrow it for today. That is what it looks like to walk in victory on a practical level. I know that in five years I'll look back on Q4 of 2018 and rejoice in His gracious love in the midst of struggle. That gives me peace for today.
3) Peace is transferable.
As Believers we all carry the presence of God with us everywhere we go. The Holy Spirit is continually working in and through us. There are going to be times when God provides just what we need through another Believer. And sometimes you will be the one whose intimacy will bear the fruit of peace on another’s behalf.
Holy Spirit can absolutely allow peace to flow from person to person. You’ve probably experienced this. Is there someone in your life who just chills you out, reassures you, and helps you shift your perspective? That person is carrying the peace of the Holy Spirit and they are transferring that peace to you. That is the present ministry of the Holy Spirit! Jesus working on this earth through us! That is His Kingdom come! Is anyone else excited by that?!
What was your one word for 2018?
What has God revealed to you through the lens of your word over the last 12 months?
Do you have a process for reflecting and evaluating your year?
Guess what! I’m giving you the tool I created for annual reflection and evaluation FOR FREE when you sign up to be email friends!!!
I’ve developed a system with prompts to get you thinking about every area of your life so that you can evaluate for growth, impact, and forward movement— the signs of intentional living. Look for what you can harvest and bring with you into the new year and what needs to be left on the ground so that it can become part of the soil that will grow new, healthier things in your life.
Plug in your email here and I’ll send it right over!
I really hope you take time to reflect and evaluate before you set your sights on 2019. How can we set goals or intentions if we don’t look at what’s working and what’s not working in our lives? Going through a process like this allows us to find more and more reasons to both give God glory and depend on Him more fully.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! I appreciate every single one of you who comes here and reads my words. Throw a comment down there to let me know you were here! MUAH!