“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
–Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

Have  you ever received a gift that was meant in fun, which also made you think? Well, that’s just what happened to me on Christmas Eve. I unwrapped a new pair of soft slippers, and I soon found that there were bear claws made of felt on the toes.

I loved growling while walking around in my new slippers at first, but then my thoughts turned to my walk with Christ. Since our walk with Him is so important, I thought that the new year would be a perfect time to discuss it with you.

In the Bible, the word “walk” is a metaphor which describes the way in which we conduct our lives as Christians. If you know Jesus, your walk with Him should be one of rest and peace.

I am not saying that there won’t be storms in life. I have had some major upheavals myself, and I’m sure you have as well. Jesus said the rain falls on the just and the unjust, but if I draw on His peace, I can experience calm while everything around me seems to be falling apart. This only happens, however, when I keep my focus  on Him.

Knowing that my faith is  in a God who will never leave me or forsake me provides an anchor for me to cling to during my life. If you don’t know Christ today, why not give your life to Him and experience His rest and peace for yourself? The peace I have described above can only come from having peace with God.

If you have yielded to Him, the next reason you can have peace is because the true believer is clothed in the righteousness of Christ. If that concept sounds like a lot of fancy mumbo-jumbo to you, then let me explain what I mean.

Just as you might cover yourself with a physical robe, the Bible says that God has chosen to forgive all those who come to Him, bowing to Him as Lord. It also says that once you call upon Him for salvation, you are robed in His righteousness.

Just as you would delete a file from a computer, God’s Word says that He casts your sin into the sea of forgetfulness. And just like that blank computer screen, the record of our sins and shortcomings is totally gone. We can have peace and rest with God, because we don’t have to listen to Satan throwing all of our past mistakes in our faces. Since we have gone to the cross, Satan’s accusations fall on deaf ears. We are free because of Christ’s sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection.

Unfortunately, when many people think of Christian service, words like “duty” and “obligation” come to mind. But this is another of Satan’s lies. Far from being a duty, any service for Christ should be a response to His love. The Bible says that we love Him because He first loved us.

Picture having a pitcher of water and an empty glass in front of you. As you are pouring water into the glass something distracts you, and you pour in more than the glass can hold, you stop too late, and the glass overflows onto the counter.

The water represents Christ’s ever-flowing love, while the counter is the world. As we go out into our hurting world in the name of Jesus, we should be like that overflowing glass, which can only give because of what Christ has given to us. Again, our gifts to the world are given not in our own strength. They are given as a response to Jesus’ love for us.

Whatever you might be going through right now, you can have the peace of knowing that God is going through it with you; the rest that comes from the knowledge that you are clothed in His righteousness; and the real joy of services performed in response to Christ’s love. The Bible promises that God is working out every hardship for good to those who have chosen to walk with Him, and while life can be a real battle, it also says that those who know Him know the one who is more than a conqueror.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.