Saturday, November 7, 2009

When Peace Is What You Need ("When Peace Like a River")

Has anyone ever stood on your last nerve? There are days when I feel like someone isn't only standing on it, but they are wearing cleats jumping up and down on it!  There is a constant assault, a barrage of stimuli, people, or junk wearing you down sometimes a little bit at a time and at others it is taking chunks from your heart and mind causing rock slides of emotions, instability, and stress.

P  E  A  C  E

Do you ever crave peace? "When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, 'It is well. It is well with my soul'."

Peace. I desire peace.

I love having one-to-one encounters with women because it allows them to share their heart with me and trust me with what they are going through. Ladies, I don't take it lightly or light-heartedly. Your confidences I keep. But one thing that has been a common thread throughout this week with the women I've met or talked to is the trials they are going through, the difficulty. John 16:33 says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble." (Ain't that the truth?) "But take heart! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD."  (Praise the Lord!)

There is victory and peace in Christ. What we go through in this life is temporary. It is but for a season. (Granted some of those seasons feel like the drought will last forever, or in Louisiana the floodwaters will last forever, but in truth, it doesn't.) I Peter 3:11 says I must "seek peace and pursue it." If we are seeking and pursuing peace, can we have our focus on other things like the problems and the things that weigh us down? He also says if we will seek Him we will find Him (MT7:7). He is the perfector or finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). He is the one who provides the peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).

Peace is a process.

But once we seek Him and pursue Him who gives peace then we have to be willing to release our grip on what is causing us grief, turmoil difficulty and trouble. We have to release it to Him and trust that He knows what is best and that He, and HE ALONE, will work it all out for our good (Rms 8:28).  We have to be willing to give it up, lay it down, and when we do, we find rest (Matt 11:28-30). We have to trust in order to find peace. Does that scare any of you?

Philippians 4:7 says, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Peace affects your heart AND your mind, and the only one who can provide that to you is your Maker, your heavenly Father. I don't know about you, but my mind is a scary place because I can fester, mull, fret and all sorts of things that are not peaceful. I have to release it. Lay it back down at the foot of the cross. Tell God I trust Him, and it is well with my soul that He is in control.

Then the last part of the peace process is to be thankful. Finding something to be thankful for during the difficult times can be difficult at best sometimes, but Colossians 3: 15 says, " Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Be thankful. Paul wrote that in all things we are to give thanks...that, girlfriend, can be hard to do at times, but it is a crucial part of having peace.

Thank you, God, for bringing me through. Thank you, God, for providing. Thank you, God, for never leaving me nor forsaking me even when I get stuck or try to work it out on my own. Thank you, God, for your unconditional love and forgiveness. Thank you. Living a life of gratitude leads us to be able to say "It is well with my soul." 

 "It Is Well"   -- Awesome  -- Please click on link

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