Saturday, February 6, 2016

I Want That Kind of Peace

Ask a Miss USA contestant what they wish for most and they will eagerly say, "World peace", with a smile that is big as the world. Peace is something we all want, but for some reason we've come to believe that in this world we live in it is unobtainable. 

We search for peace. We look for tranquility and solace. That quiet place where we can escape from the troubles of the world. Maybe shopping for a few hours helps. Fishing the pond and letting our catch go can help quiet us. Sometimes when my Spirit is anxious I feel the need to clean, wash dishes, or do laundry. Going for a walk can clear our mind. All of these things help us, but they can be temporary fixes unless our focus is Jesus. 

Peace comes from that God-spot deep inside of us. That spot no one else can touch. That spot we know is real because we trust in the One who has given us a great hope. A hope that we can believe in because we know His Word is true and His promises forever lasting.

Today we carry such heavy burdens. We can feel all alone in our struggles. It's me and against the world attitude, right? We can feel crushed under all the weight. It's not good for us keep everything hidden inside. That pain needs an escape. If there isn't one we are like a time bomb waiting to implode down upon us. Is peace possible with such troubles upon us? Yes, it is! 

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

"Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

"Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken, says your compassionate Lord." Isaiah 54:10

Having peace isn't based on our circumstances. It is possible to have peace in in the midst of our trials. Peace is a choice. We either believe that God is in control or we don't. If God is in control, and He is, we can trust that He wants the very best for us and He will work all things out for our good and for His glory. That doesn't mean that everything will go the way we wish it to. It means we can trust that God will do what is right and needed for His glory.

"Blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They're like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers-never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season." Jeremiah 17:7-8

We can be anxious and live our life trying to manipulate every situation to go our way or we can pray with thanksgiving for each and every circumstance in our life. Is that easy? No way. I'm not saying that peace comes easy. We may be able to find a temporary solace, but there's no easy fix. Peace comes by opening our hands and giving God everything we have and entrusting Him with each and every aspect of our lives. 

Prayer casts out all worry. I find that through prayer, through talking with my Savior, my heart is settled and there deep within me, I know that no matter what Jesus is with me and He will see me through. 

How can we create peace in our life? Changing our focus to Jesus. Being thankful. Giving thanks to God for all in our lives. Make a list and focus on those things. Just think if we changed our mindset to completely praising God for all He has done, is doing, and will do. There would be no room for worry.

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable-if there is any praise-dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8

We cannot change every circumstance in our lives. What we can do is change our reaction. By living out our faith with an I will believe {no matter what} attitude it brings us to a place of peace in knowing that He is in control and He has already been where we are. He knows where we are going and my friend, He is already there preparing. While our circumstance around us rage, while the storm is wickedly strong, we can know that the God who set the sun to light the day and the moon to light the night will also light our way and make the crooked paths straight. 

"I don't say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I am. I know both to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content-whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13

"But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 8:9-10

What has you worried today? Are you dealing with health issues? A job loss? Marriage troubles? Maybe a child is having a difficult time at school. Taking care of an elderly parent can bring one to make unexpected decisions. A death of a loved one can cause us to question God's sovereignty. In today's world attack comes from every direction. It can feel like life is out of control. I've been there with you. 

"Do not consume yourselves with questions: What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? Outsiders make themselves frantic over such questions; they don't realize that your heavenly Father knows exactly what you need." Matthew 6:31-32

We lose sleep over countless battles. One thing we can do is pick our battles. It is important for us to realize what's truly important in our life. In the grand scheme of things every issue doesn't have to be our battle. To often we are letting anger control us. We cannot allow the troubles of this world to consume us. 

"Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life." Romans 8:5

By surrendering all to God, through deep prayer, and trusting Him with every circumstance, we can begin to live a life of peace. Journaling a thankful list can give us an attitude of praise. Be aware that Satan sets things in our path to keep our focus off of Christ. By reciting the Word, penning scripture and placing them in areas that we see often can encourage and inspire can help keep our focus heavenward. Just little reminders that our Jesus is present can be huge in our daily walk in finding peace in this messy world. 

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." Ephesians 6:14-15

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3


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