September 18, 2006

 

Encouragement for Today

Principle # 1

 

The Search For Peace

Marybeth Whalen, Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (NIV) 

 

Devotion:

Peace.  The very word settles down in my soul and sits quietly there, hopeful and waiting.  How I long for peace to well up to overflowing inside me.  Instead, I search in vain for this elusive part of God’s promise to me.  Didn’t Jesus say that He was leaving us with peace when He ascended into Heaven?  Then where is my peace?  How can I have peace in my life?

 

I make the mistake of seeking peace by trying to control my life, my circumstances and the people I love.  Surely if I can exercise some control over what happens to me, then peace will be a byproduct of that control.  Right?  Yet, peace still eludes me.  I realize that control is not the answer I had hoped for.

 

I know I am not the only woman who struggles with desiring to control my life.  I think that it is in our nature to want to control things.  When Adam and Eve were cursed by God, He told Eve, “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)  God was telling Eve that her desire for control would be a struggle for the rest of her life.  She would want to rule over things, yet that was not the responsibility God had assigned her.  Eve and every women after her has struggled with this ever since. 

 

In my search for peace, I found that peace was not a product of control but the very opposite of it!  I find peace when I surrender control.  When I say to God, “I can’t,” I feel the absolute serenity of knowing that He can.  I have found that being “out of control” is actually a very peaceful state of mind!  When I am “out of control,” I allow God complete control.

 

To help myself remember this valuable lesson, I developed an acronym for “Peace” that I want to share with you:

 

Purposefully

Embracing

All
Circumstances

Everyday

 

I don’t have control and never will.  When I purposefully embrace all the circumstances that God allows to come into my life, and accept that He has allowed them according to His perfect plan to accomplish His purposes, then I can experience the freedom He intended and experience the peace that passes all understanding.  Try peace God’s way today!  It may not be what you expected, but I can testify that His peace is truly perfect peace.

 

Dear Lord, Help me to embrace everything You allow in my life.  Help me to surrender the control that I have tried to have and to trust You instead.  Thank You for giving me perfect peace as You promised.   In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

Write down the acronym for PEACE and the verse from John 14:27 on an index card.    Carry it with you throughout your day.  Ask God to help you surrender control and submit to His plans for you, whatever they may be.  When you feel yourself starting to wrestle with your desire for control, reflect on the acronym and the verse on your card.  Meditate on the Power Verses below.  Spend more time in prayer seeking ways to give up control so that you can know God’s peace.

 

Reflection Points:

Why do you want to control things around you? 

 

What steps can you take to lay down the control habit?  What does the Bible instruct about this?

 

In what ways will it benefit you to replace control with peace in your life?

 

Power Verses:

John 16:33, “I have told you all these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  (NIV)

 

Psalm 34:14, “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (NIV)

 

Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

What Happens When Women Walk In Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

 

Running on Empty by Aaron Chambers

 

8 Keys for the Working Woman, ETC Column