Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace


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I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

What picture does the word Peace paint in your mind?

For some it is a beautiful ocean scene with emerald blue water and rolling waves that softly glide onto white sandy beaches. Yet, for others it means a rustic log cabin set back in the piney woods with a creek gently flowing out front. Maybe for you it is a grand mountain range with deep, vast canyons and majestic mountains that seem to reach the sky.

No matter what picture comes to mind when you think of peace, it can never compare to that moment when God’s peace sweeps over your weary soul. The most beautiful landscape you could imagine could not compare to the peace that passes all understanding, the peace that only Jesus can bring.

Have you experienced that peace? I surely have many times.

Oftentimes when we think of peace, our minds tend to also picture a worry-free setting. We are quick to assume that peace means a lack of trouble. However, as I was reading in Acts 12 this morning, I came across a verse that caught my attention. In my mind it painted a rather unusual picture of peace. Acts 12:16 tells us, “And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.”  

In order to fully grasp this picture of peace, let us go back just a moment and examine what is going on in this passage. Prior to Peter being imprisoned, he has had to endure seeing his fellow disciple, James, put to death at the hand of Herod. Now Peter finds himself imprisoned,no doubt facing the same fate that he has just watched James meet.

Now, we can continue our discussion on peace. Does the word peace come to mind when you read this story? Understandably not. So, how is it possible that we find Peter sleeping in this passage? Peace, Friend. It is because of that peace that passes all understanding that Peter can find himself chained between two guards, seemingly facing death, yet he sleeps.

I dare not say that I would handle such a situation the same way. Recently I have been going through some trials much less than imprisonment and death, and still I find myself worrying. Complaining. Fretting over things of which I have no control. I forgot to choose peace. I chose to place my focus on my problems rather than giving them to God and resting in His Peace.

Friend, I am reminded this morning that peace is a choice. Peace should not rely on our circumstances. Peace can not and should not be measured by our surroundings. We, like Peter, should choose peace in the middle of even the most dire situations. Peace can only be found in Jesus. You see, when we take our focus off of our problems and put it on Jesus, then and only then can He give us the Peace that we see in Peter. We can rest, right in the middle of our trial, knowing that God is working for us.

Will you choose peace today? Will you choose to stop looking at all that is wrong around you and focus on the One who holds you in His hand? It is a choice. Today, I choose peace. I choose the peace that passes all understanding. I choose to rest in Jesus today. I pray you will do the same.

 

 

Your Past Does not Define You


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“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:18-19

Do you ever reminisce? Do you like to sit with family or friends and talk about the way things used to be? Maybe you discuss experiences you have had or lessons you have learned?  Does your past ever trip you up? Maybe there are things that you would rather forget.

I would say I fall into both categories. I love to sit with family and listen to old stories being told. I enjoy the memories that go through my head as my brother and I reminisce about our younger years at home together. I laugh with my husband as we remember our dating years. Yet amid all the fun memories there are many I would rather not speak of. There are sections of my past which I am happy to leave right where they are. There are even some over which I still trip from time to time.

One of my favorite parts of a new year is the feeling of freshness that comes with it. For me it is like turning the page in a book and beginning a new chapter. Sure, you can go back and visit the previous pages if you would like, but oh the excitement that comes with the many blank pages that lie ahead, just waiting to be filled! The possibilities are endless.

Many times, however, the devil wants to steal that joy from us. Yes, he wants to hold us back, to bind us down. He reminds us of our mistakes. Often times he tortures us with our past. You see, satan has no hope. He was given a choice many, many years ago and he made it. His fate is sealed. Now he wants nothing more than to keep you down, to hold you back. Remember friend, the devil is the father of all lies. (John 8:44)

I want to encourage you today with these words. Your past does not define you. No matter what you have done, or what your past may hold, God loves you. He sent His Son in order that you may have a future. When you confess your sins and give it all to God, He makes all things new. He wipes your slate clean and gives you a fresh start. (Psalm 103:12) What better way to start a new year than with the realization that you are God’s child? The plans He has for you are amazing! (Jeremiah 29:11) Do not let your past failures hold you down any more. Do not allow the devil to fill your head with lies. Hold fast to Jesus and the promises that He has made you.

Will you commit with me right now to put the past behind? Can we lay down the weight of our past mistakes and boldly walk into the future that God has for us? My prayer for you today is that you will take hold of the hand of Jesus and allow Him to lead you to the things He has waiting for you in this new year. The possibilities are endless if we will let go and let God.

 

 

 

 

 

When Peace is Difficult to Find


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“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:14

Are you having trouble finding peace this Christmas season?

Oftentimes Christmas is thought about as a time of joy and laughter and presents. However, my heart has been burdened lately for the ones around me who are hurting this Christmas season.

As I sit and think about those who will be spending their first Christmas without a loved one, I wonder how they will find peace. Then, my heart is touched by Romans 15:13 which reads: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Friends, this verse reminds me that peace can only come from God. It is not found in any present. Peace can not be bought or made. Peace comes from knowing that no matter what we are facing right now, God is in control. You see, the only way to know true peace is to know its source, Jesus Christ.

I want to encourage you today. If you are facing trials this Christmas season that are making it difficult for you to find peace in your heart, look to Jesus. He is the giver of peace. If you will allow Him to come in and fill you with his love, peace will come as well.

Let us remember to pray for those who are hurting. May God wrap them in His comfort and bring peace to their hearts today.

When Words Can Not Be Found


 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

Romans 8:26

I am about to tell you something that may take you by surprise. Lately, I have not had much to say. I know, SHOCKING, right? Believe it or not, even “talkers” such as myself feel the need to be quiet from time to time. Yet, I am still amazed at the way God can take our silence and use it to minister to others.

Last night my husband and I were having a casual conversation about EFED and my lack of new posts recently. I began to explain to him that it takes a lot mentally and emotionally to write. Through some trials I have been facing I have found myself at a loss for words. I continued to explain that I have searched for the words to share, however, I have not been able to escape the inadequacy that I have felt in trying to pass along words of encouragement while my heart was so torn.

In the process of that conversation, it was as if God whispered to my heart, “Share that.” God has been whispering to my heart a lot lately. Or, maybe it is just that I have been listening extra carefully. However, in that moment I realized that even our silence can be used to encourage others.

The verse I chose for today is very dear to my heart. Recently I have found myself in a place where I am unsure how to pray. You see, even in my prayer life I am finding myself at a loss for words. The devil has tried to use this situation to silence me, but oh the comfort my soul feels when I read the words, “but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Through my trial, God has helped me to realize that I am still precious to Him. He has helped me to see that even through my pain I can be used by God, and that even when I can not find the words to pray I can go to God, broken and silent. God does not need my words to know what I need. He can see my heart.

Friend, maybe you have found yourself here as well. Let me offer you some encouragement today. If your heart is breaking, if your soul is burdened, and if you find yourself at a loss for words, do not let the devil silence you. Use your trial to minister to others, and keep praying. God sees your heart. He knows your pain, and He will intercede for you with wordless groans.

Revell Book Review: A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son


*This post is a bit different from the content that I normally share with my readers. I do pray that you will enjoy it just the same. I have decided to review some books for Revell Reads. I will periodically be posting my reviews. I pray that each review will introduce my readers to encouraging, Godly books.*


 

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I have recently had the privilege of reading, ” A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son” by Rob and Joanna Teigen.

If you are a parent, then you should not be surprised when I tell you that raising kids is an adventure. If you are a parent to boys, then you also should not be surprised when I tell you that parenting boys is a completely different journey in itself. As parents we should be praying for our children every day. There are times, however, during which we are unsure of what to pray. Inside of this book I read words which encouraged my heart. I also found that I am not the only mom who feels the burden of raising Godly sons.

A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son is filled with prayers for every stage of your son’s life. I really appreciate the love and concern I hear in the words which this mother prays over her sons. Included in the pages of this book are Scriptures that go along with each prayer. There are words of encouragement and guidance from other moms as well.

One of the things I enjoy most about this book is the fact that it can be read as a whole, or it can also be used as a resource guide when you feel the need to pray specific prayers over your sons. Each chapter covers a different need and offers specific Scriptures and prayers for that need.

I would recommend this book for moms with sons of any age. It would also be a great gift for new moms or even moms-to-be. If you visit your local Christian bookstore and purchase a copy, consider picking up an extra one to share with a friend.

Reading A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son has been such a blessing to my heart. I have enjoyed the opportunity to review this book for you. I pray that you will take the time to read it as well and share in the blessings.