March 30, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Melissa Taylor, Certified Speaker
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a NIV
I have chosen to worry about various things. My worries have often been of the future. Will my children be happy and healthy during their lives? Can my husband and I afford to send four kids to college? Will they even go to college? Will they get married? Who will they marry? Will my family be protected and safe? What will the end of my life be like? Who will die first, me or my husband? Of course, for the most part, I have no control over any of this and it does absolutely no good to worry about it. I don't dwell on these things, but I confess that they do cross my mind occasionally.
There is a church at the end of my street. Every week there is a new quote or phrase on the sign out front. This week's sign read, "Security is not the absence of danger, but the presence of God." The "security" this quote refers to is peace. And anytime I begin to worry, panic, or dwell on the unknown, I am not experiencing security or peace. I am not experiencing the presence of God.
As a Christian, I have a power within that can conquer anything threatening to disturb my peace: fear, danger, worry, conflict, stress, or the circumstances of life. That power is the Holy Spirit whose very presence brings peace - when I choose to give Him control. Peace is one of the rewards of a personal relationship with God. What is true peace and how does it affect our lives?
Peace is not about our circumstances or the challenges that we face on a daily basis. Peace is all about knowing we have a right relationship with God and that He is in control. It is placing complete confidence in Him. Like the sign said, "It is the presence of God."
To enjoy and experience peace, we have to choose peace over worry. Do you realize that you will never have a real need that God is not able to meet? The more I understand this truth, the more I am able to let go of worry in the unknowns of my life. God does not want me spending time in a state of unrest when He has graciously given me the gift of peace....His peace. I have to trust Him.
Author, Elizabeth George, puts it this way: We make the sacrifice of trust and experience God's peace... when we choose not to panic...but rest in God's presence, when we release our terror...and trust in God's wisdom and ways, when we reject our nervousness...and remember that God is in control, and when we ignore our dread...and instead accept God's dealings.
I have a dear friend whose daughter spent the first five years of her life fighting cancer. Her family has spent countless hours and days in a New York hospital, away from home, doing all they could to find a cure for their sweet child. This little girl has been through radiation, chemotherapy, tests, tubes, needles, and all kinds of medical treatments. In fact, this was all a part of her normal life for a long time. Most families would've fallen apart. Most people would've been worried and afraid, paralyzed with the thought of losing their child. Not so with this family. I watched my friend over the years and what I saw was the presence of peace. She was not a mother living in fear, panic, or frustration, but a woman of God living in peace with the hand she was dealt. You see, she knew that God was in control and that He had a purpose and a plan in all the suffering and pain they were going through. She did not know what the outcome would be or why her little girl was so sick, but she knew God loved them and would never leave them. By trusting God, she allowed the Holy Spirit to fill her with His peace.
If you find yourself unable to experience this kind of peace, pray and pray often. Read God's promises in Scripture. Whether you are going through painful trials or find yourself so busy that you don't how you are going to do it all, go to God and ask Him to fill you up with His peace. It is available and waiting for you.
My prayer for today:
Jesus, you are called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Please fill me with the peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you for taking care of me and supplying all of my needs. Amen.
Begin your day with prayer. Read God's Word, filling your heart and mind with the love, joy, and peace only He offers. Whenever you feel the peace slipping away, go back to Him immediately. Ask Him to give you peace for the moment. Acknowledge that God is in control and He will take care of you and your loved ones.
Do I really understand that I will never have a real need God is not able to meet?
Will I choose to live in peace?
Have I been spending time with God daily?
Psalm 139:7, I can never escape from Your Spirit! I can never get away from Your presence! NLT
Philippians 4:19, And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. NLT
John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace." NIV
Isaiah 26:3, You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on You, because they trust You. NCV
Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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. NIV
The Ultimate Makeover by Sharon Jaynes
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst
P31 Woman Magazine by Proverbs 31 Ministries