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Continuing on with Ann Voskamp’s June Joy Dare – day 4 is 3 gifts found in Christ. There are so many! But these are my favourites.

Peace
Yep – it’s my favourite Bible passage again!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

I love the idea of my heart and mind being guarded by the peace of God. The world around us is constantly striving to make us anxious – You need more money! You’re going to miss out! You need to be thinner! You need to be smarter! You need to get ahead! You need to win! – but God promises peace in Jesus if we just talk to him, which is all prayer is. This also reminds me of that great old hymn, What a friend we have in Jesus:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Why don’t we sing that these days? I’m going to schedule it at church soon, I think…

Identity
One of the things that I was so grateful for when I was in the depths of my depression was being able to cling to who I am in Christ – I am a precious child of God, loved by Jesus so much that he died on the cross for me. Even in the darkest night, even when the gremlins are telling me otherwise, knowing my true identity is the tiny spark of light that keeps me going. I like what Rick Warren says about this:

You are defined by God and God alone. He identifies you as his own (2 Corinthians 1:22).

The thing is, if you don’t know who you are, then you’re vulnerable to other people telling you who you are. But the concrete, solid, gospel truth is that you are who God says you are, and no one else has a vote in the matter.

Assurance

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

Hallelujah!