Romans 8:31-39 - "What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.." (NLT)
Lesson From Scripture: Joseph in Matthew 1
Matthew tells us of how an angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would give birth to the baby Jesus. A virgin birth. Yet, she was engaged to Joseph, who had a hard time believing that she had not been unfaithful to him. He had planned to break off the engagement quietly so that she would not face stoning by the villagers. However, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to confirm that, in fact, Mary's pregnancy was given to her by the Lord. Joseph was given peace of mind by God so he could be an earthly father and good husband to Jesus and Mary.
When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant by the Lord, Joseph had a crisis of faith. He became restless and lost a sense of peace. However, upon the words of the angel, Joseph felt a God-given peace about his situation. He was able to focus on the importance of raising God's son, and he could begin preparing himself for what God had in store for him.
Being at peace and giving God's peace is another fruit of the Spirit. Have you ever been around someone who seems so at peace with who he or she is and what he or she believes? The peace is contagious. It is a fruit given by the Spirit, because it tends to grow all around you. When you are sound in your faith, when you know God loves you and will provide for then you find peace in your life.
Getting to a place of peace is not always easy. There are a lot of things that stand in the way of peace. Christian teens today are faced with message after message that they are not good enough. "Be a better athlete." "Look like this model in 30 days!" "Get rid of acne with this product." "Wear these jeans and people will love you more." "If you date this guy, you'll be popular." All of these messages take your focus from God and place it on yourself. Suddenly you don't seem good enough. However, peace comes when you realize, as it states in Romans 8, that God made you and loves you...just as you are.
In your prayers this week ask God to give you a peace about your life and yourself. Ask him to provide you with this fruit of the Spirit so that you can be a beacon of peace to others around you. Discover the things that get in the way of you loving yourself and allowing God to love you, and ask the Lord to help you accept those things.