Indescribable Peace


http://1shada.deviantart.com/art/Peaceful-Life-84811856

photo credit: 1Shada

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

Peace. It is a wonderful feeling to experience in life.

Peace that only God can bring is something, as a Child of God, that I long for.

The past couple of weeks have been quite stressful for me, not in a negative way at all, but stressful nonetheless. You may be wondering how stress can be anything but negative. Let me explain what I mean. God has been teaching me lately to grow and to step out of my comfort zone. While it has been a good change and I have enjoyed the chance to stretch my wings, it has not come without a bit of fear. I have spent a lot of time in prayer.

I found myself longing for and searching for the peace I knew could only come from God.  As I prayed for wisdom, thanked God for all that He had done, searched for answers, and trusted God, I found that each day He was leading me, calming me, and carrying me in His arms. There, I found peace. In the arms of my Savior I could rest.

Lately I have learned what today’s verse really means. I have read this verse before. I had to memorize it when I was in school. The past couple of weeks, however, it has really taken on a new meaning to me.

I have heard the voice of fear in my mind telling me that there is no way I will get through this, only to have it overpowered by an overwhelming sense of peace that could only come from God. Lately, I have experienced that peace that passes all understanding.

What a wonderful feeling it is to know that even through my scariest storms God is carrying me, caring for me, and shaping me into the person He wants me to be.

I do not know what storms you might be facing. I do not know what is stressing you out right now. But, I do know that there is a peace that can only come from God. He offers you a peace that you could not possible understand, but when you sense it in your life there will be no doubt from where it came.

I pray today that you will seek God, go to Him in prayer, and thank Him for all that He has done in your life. As you do this, I pray that you too will experience this peace that passes all understanding.

This Too Shall Pass


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“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

When I was a little girl my parents would tell me two things when I was facing a trial. Even now, as a grown woman, this advice still rings in my ears. My dad would tell me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it is all small stuff.” My mom would tell me, “This too shall pass.” At the time, I did not quite understand what that meant. But now as an adult, I know exactly what they meant: Life is hard, but the things of this life are just temporary.

We struggle. We get hurt.  People disappoint us and let us down.

Life has a way of  handing us things we are not ready for. People hurt us or misjudge us. Our bodies betray us and our health begins to fail. ( I am sure we could each add a trial of our own here.)

There are so many things we could talk about this morning that afflict us, things that catch us off guard and try to bring us down. However, when I read this verse, I am reminded that we are not to focus on these things. Paul reminds us that these “light afflictions” are just temporary.

We are told to focus on the things which are unseen; the spiritual blessings that we are given. We are to focus on the things which are eternal, the rewards that await us in Heaven.

When trouble comes our way, it is very easy to become so focused on our hurt and pain that we lose sight of what is really ahead of us. We lose sight of the prize, so to speak.

As Christians, we need to remember that the things of this life are just temporary.  We are reminded in James 4:14 that life is just a vapor:

” Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.

For what is your life?

It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

When we begin to count our blessings here on earth and to focus on Heaven, somehow the trials of this life seem to get lighter. When we focus on God and His love for us, our troubles seem to fade away. You see, these are the things that will not fade away. These things are eternal.

I pray these words will encourage your heart today.

I understand that life has a way of throwing a kink in our plans. I understand that there are times in life when our feet are knocked out from underneath us. I know how painful people’s words and actions can be. Today, I want us to remember that these things are just temporary. They are only a vapor compared to God’s love for us and the eternal rewards that await us in Heaven.

I want to encourage you today to keep going, even when life gets hard. Keep pressing towards the mark. Remember that we serve a God who loves us and has gone to prepare a place for us. Jesus has promised that He will one day come back and receive us to Himself. I personally believe that day is fast approaching.

When life gets you down, I pray that you will remember these words of wisdom:

  • This too shall pass.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it is all small stuff.

He Whispers Sweet Peace to Me.


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Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

There are days, quite a few in fact, when I look around and feel very overwhelmed. Pulled in so many directions at one time, I almost feel as if I will come apart at the seams.

My heart is burdened for the world in which we live. People are hurting, loved ones are struggling with one thing or another, and the world seems to be in chaos.

My heart cries out, “God, are you here? Do you see what is going on?”

God whispers to my heart, “I am here, my child. I see.”

Just as a cool summer breeze sweeps across a dry and weary land, I immediately feel a calm come over me, a peace that only God can bring.

A hymn we sing in church comes to mind. It says this:

“Sometimes when misgivings darken my way,
And faith’s light I just can not see;
Then I asked the dear Lord,
“Please brighten my way”,
He whispers sweet peace to me.

He whispers sweet peace to me,
He whispers sweet peace to me,
When I am cast down in spirit and soul,
He whispers sweet peace to me.”

Friends, let me encourage you today. When life seems more than you can bear and the load you are carrying seems too heavy, let God speak peace into your soul. Sometimes the answers we are looking for do not come in a loud crashing boom, but in a small whisper from the Lord. Turn your burdens over to Him and allow Him to minister to your heart.

Will you allow God to whisper sweet peace to your heart?

My prayer for each of you today comes from Romans 15:13:

 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

What Now?


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 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

I have another confession to make: I love to read.

As a child I had no interest in reading. I was an adult, married with children, before I really developed a love for reading. Since then, I look forward to our summer break from school every year. The first thing the kids and I do when we get out for summer break is to go to the library and check out the first of many books that will be enjoyed over the summer.

My favorite type of book is Christian Fiction. I enjoy reading books that are filled with mystery and suspense. I am currently reading a book  by Terri Blackstock titled Last LightIt is from the Restoration Series.

In this book a modern-day family, who has become spoiled to the advances of modern technology, suddenly find themselves in the middle of a crisis. As they struggle to survive, they begin to question God and His care for them. They soon discover, through prayer and scripture, that they are looking at their current situation incorrectly. While they have been asking God the question, “Why?” they realize that what they should really be asking God is, “What Now?” As they begin to ask God, “What Now?” He shows them what they can be doing to help in the middle of this crisis. They begin to look at their situation differently. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves they begin to look around them at the other families in need. They realize that God is using this situation to teach them something. This realization does not solve their problems, but it does give them a little peace in their hearts knowing that they are putting God’s will before their own doubts.

As I read the chapter in which their perspective is changed while they seek God’s will, I realized that this can also apply to our own lives. While we may not be in the middle of a crisis such as they are facing in this book, we all face our own crises every day. Each one of us finds ourselves in situations in which we have a choice to make. We can either let our situation get the best of us and, in desperation, ask God, “Why?” or we can put our trust in Him, knowing that He has promised to meet all of our needs. Having this assurance, we can do as we should and ask God, “What now?” We can seek God’s will for our lives even in the midst of a crisis.

So many times we get caught up in our own daily struggles that we fail to see those in need all around us. While we are so focused on taking care of ourselves, we miss the opportunities that God gives us to meet the needs of others. We miss the chance to show God’s love for them.

Today I want to pass along a challenge and encourage your heart.

The challenge is this: The next time you find yourself in a time of trouble, take a moment to ask God, “What now?” rather than, “Why?”

Often times it is easier to ask God, “Why?”, yet when we take the time to seek God’s purpose in our trials, we allow him to work in our hearts. We also allow God to show us how we can minister to others who may also be facing trials. Many times when we begin to focus on the needs of others our problems get a little easier to bear.

I want to encourage you today as well. I know we all face trials. Frequently we find ourselves in a crisis in which we feel hopeless. I  want to encourage you  to trust God in times of trouble. While we may be scared and at times feel helpless, God has a plan. He is all-knowing and all-seeing. God has promised to take care of those who love Him. It is up to us to trust in God and to allow Him to use us even in the situations which seem hopeless. The next time you find yourself facing a problem, do not ask God, “Why?” Try asking Him, “What now?” Let us see what happens.

**You can find out more about Terri Blackstock and Last Light here: www.terriblackstock.com/

We are all Beautifully Imperfect


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“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Psalm 139:13-14

 

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you just did not hit the mark?

You might have missed a deadline at work, or lost your temper with one of your children. Maybe you spoke harshly to your husband or wife. You may have planned on finishing a project over the weekend and you woke up this morning to yet another thing left undone.

We all have those times when no matter how hard we try we do not meet the requirements we set for ourselves. In that moment we feel like failures. We feel as if we may never get it right. We realize that we are imperfect people.

We must stop focusing on our flaws and all the times we fail to hit the mark. We must begin to focus on God and the work He is doing in us. We must realize that we are all works in progress. Every time we fail, every time we fall down, we need to see it as another opportunity to learn something new. God is teaching us new things every day. It is up to us to look past our own flaws and even those of others and focus on the lesson at hand.

Today I want to encourage your heart.

I want to remind you that God loves you, and He thinks you are wonderful and beautiful in spite of all your imperfections. God created you. He knows every part of you from the inside out.  No matter how many flaws you can find in yourself, God loves you just as you are. He sees every time you fall down. But you know what? He loves you anyway.

We are beautifully imperfect people. This is a fact we must understand. But, just as a potter looks at a piece of clay and sees what it can be, God looks as us and sees what He created us to be. Just as a gardener looks at a seed and sees the potential in it, God looks at us and sees the potential that lies within each of us.

We are God’s handiwork. That is what makes each one of us beautiful.

Let us focus today, not on our flaws and our imperfections, but on the potential that God sees in each of us.

Let us pray today that God will reveal to us the people He wants us to be.

Let us ask God to help us see each other through His eyes. And let us encourage each other to be what God has called us to be.

I pray today we will realize that we are all beautifully imperfect, but with God’s help we can all become exactly what He has planned for us to be.