Happy Monday!

 As we begin another week, it might be a good time to slow down, take a deep breath and refocus our thoughts.  With everything going on, it isn’t easy to focus on Philippians 4:8

8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Isn’t it just like the enemy to try to steal our peace and joy and leave discord and depression?  Note:  I said “try” to steal it!  We cannot allow him to do it.  If we do, he wins.

I am not saying these things never try to sneak up on me, what I am saying is we have to understand Satan will try his very best to plant these things in our minds and our hearts.  Instead, memorize Philippians 4:8.  Burn it into mind so that nothing negative can get in.

Remember to LOVE, above all, even if they aren’t lovable.  Help those who need help and serve when you can.  And never forget to

Pray Unceasingly!!

Lois

 

His Perfect Peace

by Dawn Rieke

I am pretty sure, like me, you feel bombarded with what is going on all around us- the news of Covid 19, the collapse of the stock market, job loss, and fears for our future. How can we as God’s people keep ourselves in peace during times like these?

His Perfect Peace

Personally, I have been struggling with the fact of how I can bounce around from being at total rest and peace with God one moment and then I listen or watch something the very next moment and the peace begins to dissipate. How can we as God’s people get off this roller coaster wave of emotion?

To every problem there is an answer found in God’s Word. In John 14:27, Jesus declares to His disciples- Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I believe this verse points us to some truths that we can take hold of right now. The first thing Jesus mentions is that He is both giving and leaving His peace with us. Much like the gift of salvation, Jesus is giving and offering peace, but it is our responsibility to take and accept it as His gift. He leaves His peace with us, so it can stay with us. It is not something we need to try to manufacture ourselves.

The next thing that stands out is that we get the same peace He has, not some other earthly form. Let’s face it, no matter whatever we encounter, it cannot compare to the magnitude of what Jesus went through. So, how did Jesus attain peace while He lived on this earth? He knew peace came from an intimate, dependent relationship with His Father. To grab hold of the peace Jesus has, we must too, cling to our dependency and intimacy with our Father. We cannot allow ourselves to become distracted, we have to stay close to the Father.

A Different Kind Of Peace

Another truth that we can pick up on from this verse is that Jesus offers a peace that is different from the one the world offers. Peace from this world is related to symptoms and is at best temporary.

Let’s take Coronavirus for example. In the world’s system, it says everything will be peaceful and ok again if we solve and get an answer to every issue related to this. There are several problems associated with this line of thinking.

First off, we can only be content in our lives when there is a complete resolution to a problem, we can never have peace in the middle of a storm.

Another drawback to this worldly system of peace is that we are only in a good place momentarily, the minute the next big situation happens, we are back at square one.

So, we see the world’s peace can only come when everything is secure and it is, at best, a situational thing, but the peace that God gives is readily available even in times of chaos and uncertainty. His peace stands firm despite the circumstances around us.

In the final part of this verse, Jesus exhorts us not to allow our hearts to be troubled or to be afraid. He knew that staying in peace was the way to dissipate fear. If we feel our mind resorting to worry, we come back to God asking Him for His perfect peace once again. I want to point out several key verses that give us some tools to keep us in a place of peace.

Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. (Psalm 119:165)

The tool we can pick up from this verse is that we need to be in His Word. We can only attain this great peace by loving God’s Word and by meditating on it.

Focusing on the Word will dispel our anxious thoughts.

The next tool is to keep our focus on Him, not on the situation.  Isaiah 26:3 tells us, You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon you, because he trusts in you. Where does our mind go when we hear the latest news or information? Does our mind immediately focus on God, who He is, His goodness, and His power, or do we allow fear, worry and anxiety to enter in?

Stay In Prayer

Another great defense we have against fear is to stay in prayer. In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul encourages us-
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

We are to pray thanking God in every situation, because He does not change. He reigns supreme on His throne and He is in control. This prayer will put a guard around our hearts and mind protecting it from worldly influence.

Let’s pray together:

God, we are so thankful that you are our Lord and that you rule over this earth. We ask as your children that you would forgive us for fear and worry. We ask for your supernatural peace to guard our hearts and mind. Help us draw even closer to you in this time and to hear your divine strategies for prayer. We thank you for your divine protection over us as your children. In Jesus’ name. Amen

 

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