Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Peace is NOT Anxiety Management…

This past week or so, I was on vacation with my family and we had a wonderful time together.  Not only did I enjoy the fact that we were seeing beautiful parts of the TN and visiting family and friends that lived there, all five of us were together and enjoying spending time with each other.  Even with the unfamiliar humidity, it was a peaceful and relaxing time together! My daughters are 22, 20, and 16 and they are hilarious!  We truly had great times and they are so fun to be with! I remember traveling with them when they were little ones, and it is so challenging…so if you’re reading this and you have littles…hang in there!  You WILL reach a day when you don’t have to pack a stroller, diaper bag, three changes of clothes, and a pack n play!  But while you have your littles…enjoy those moments too…they really are fleeting!

While on this trip, I had the opportunity to go to two different churches with family there and loved how God gave me insight to even more truths in His Word.  Hearing from a pastor that is not from your home church, sometimes makes you pay a bit more attention because it’s all new.  The setting, the people, the worship team….I love seeing how God’s people come together with the main goal of soaking in knowledge and pursuing the truths of scripture, and making them a reality in their lives.

One of the pastors went through several verses in Psalm 27 ~ which I love!  Such words of encouragement painted a picture of hope on a backdrop of the fear King David was up against. The pastor was talking about what we do in life to combat fear and how we can allow the Lord to take away those fears and replace them with peace.

Psalm 27:3 says,Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.”

Psalm 27 verse 3

There are so many verses in the Bible that speak about peace (over 350 of them actually), but I believe that this verse above completely encapsulates what it is to have real peace in our lives.

It doesn’t say that we can be without fear and fully confident because nothing bad is happening to us or to those around us.  No!  In this passage, David was literally surrounded by an army of bloodthirsty jealous men and a King who was completely out of his mind, and their goal was to find David and kill him.  Why?  Simply because God the Father had called David to be the next King of Israel and the current King didn’t want to let go of his title.  You may not be crowned the next King of your country, but I would venture to say that the feeling of being surrounded by people who want to see you fail, is probably something most of us are familiar with.

The word peace means ~ “a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations; freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction,anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquility; serenity.” 

How do we get to a peaceful place?  If you think you can accomplish this on your own…let me encourage you to take a new tack.

We are not called to manage our emotions or feelings…nor are we called to keep them “in check.” When you have a relationship with the Lord as your Savior, we are called to give over all of our anxieties and worries to Him and trust Him to cover them and all the fears that go along with them.  We are not promised a stress free life, but we are promised life everlasting.  We are not promised a life without pain or struggle, but we are promised a life of grace and mercy, through the salvation we find in Jesus Christ.

So when we submit our fears to the Lord and truly allow Him to take them away from us and give us peace in return…remember that it is not peace that we have mustered up for ourselves.  It is HIS PEACE that we are given.

John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

This verse in John mirrors the verse in Psalm 27 ~ the Lord does not intend for us to walk around with troubled hearts and minds.  He knows that we will encounter incredibly difficult times and situations, but He wants to give us His peace so that we can endure those moments.

Recently, my heart has ached for those around me that I see who are ruled by fear.  This doesn’t mean they necessarily hole up in their homes.  Fear can present itself in the form of: control, anger, bitterness, regret, self-righteousness, or pride…just to name a few.  Honestly, I see right through these attitudes and know they are based in fear because I recognize them in myself.  I have battled with all of these negative attitudes and have hurt those I love.  It has taken years to repair some relationships, and sometimes only a short time.  God is good and He wants me to live a peace-filled life.

So because of knowing the pain of being controlled by fear, I want these friends to experience the pure joy and freedom of God’s peace, but I cannot force them to take His peace.  They have to want it for themselves.  Instead of being frustrated with how their fears manifest them-self, I must instead be in prayer for them and seek the Lord on their behalf, that they will one day soon give over their fears to the Lord and live in peace.

I love Psalm 27 so much, that I feel led to just print the whole thing out right here for you to read…and this is how I will end today’s blog.  Before you read them, I would like to ask you to pray and ask the Lord to see these verses anew and for Him to show you deep meaning in them that pertain to YOUR LIFE TODAY!  The Lord wants to show you how much He loves you, and He can accomplish so much of that when you read His Word. Soak in these words and let them resonate in your heart.

Blessings,

René

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!

You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

    Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
    but the Lord will take me in.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.

12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
    for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they breathe out violence.

13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!

14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

 

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+27&version=ESV

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/peace?s=t

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Plastic Promises vs. God’s Truths!

Today, Good Friday, I’m filled with the truths of God’s Word and with His promises.  All of the things that He promised to do, all of the things He said, “I will.,” He has done!  God is not a liar.  My Father does not play games or make me work for my reconciliation with Him.

As a society, we are constantly bombarded by a variety of advertising channels of all the promises that people and things, that assure us our life will be so much better if we “buy this ~ wear that ~ use this ~ vote for them ~ eat this” and on and on it goes.

Credit card slogans alone are absolutely filled with verbage that lull the customer into thinking their life will be made whole if they just have the credit card (or let’s be real here…multiple credit cards): Don’t Leave Home Without It. It pays to Discover. I own the high score. Is your debt to heavy to carry. It’s Everywhere You Want To Be. Live richly. The Card is Key. There are some things money can’t buy. What’s in your wallet?  All you need.*

Do you see the truth in these statements above?  The world says we will “have it all” when we put our trust in credit cards, debt, or in “keeping up with the Jones'”!  So backwards and we fall for it so easily!  In today’s writing, I actually want the truth of God’s Word to stand on its own, and speak to your heart, mind and soul today.  I don’t need to expound on the merits of scripture because there is nothing in God’s Word to defend.

If you disagree with His Word or you don’t like something He has put in written form through scripture, it doesn’t change the simple fact ~ It. Is. Truth.

Let’s compare scripture now to the above phrasing from these credit card slogans and be encouraged as to what God says is the truth!

Don’t Leave Home Without It. ~ Jesus, the Son of God, left His heavenly home to live among us here on earth.  He didn’t leave without taking His God-ship with Him.  He became fully man and fully God, in order to reconcile us back to Himself. John 14:26-28, But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”

It pays to Discover. ~ When we take the time to discover who God is, we find that He is trustworthy! Proverbs 16:19-21, It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LordThe wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.” And Lamentations 3:24-26, “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

I own the high score. ~ There is no higher a price than can be attained as the one that Christ Jesus paid when He chose to sacrifice Himself for the sake of our salvation. I Corinthians 6:19-20, Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]?  You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.”  And, Deuteronomy 26:18-19, Today the Lord has declared that you are His people, His treasured possession, just as He promised you, and that you are to keep all His commandments; and that He will set you high above all the nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor: and that you shall be a holy people [set apart and consecrated] to the Lord your God, just as He has spoken.””

Is your debt too heavy to carry? ~ This is really a tagline used by a credit card company! Pardon my attitude here…but….DUH!!!  The person has incurred debt by purchasing items they feel compelled to own because “then they will be worth something” as our society feeds the void felt by so many that ‘stuff’ is necessary.  The promise this card company is touting is that you can transfer your heavy debt to their card which has lower fees.  Do you see the twisted lie here? That person will STILL be in debt!!  In terms of our relationship with the Lord, our debt of sin is way too heavy for us to carry.  We cannot ever come out from underneath this kind of debt on our own.  Only the Lord can carry that burden and remove it from us permanently.  Hebrews 9:27-28, And just as it is appointed and destined for all men to die once and after this [comes certain] judgment, so Christ, having been offered once and once for all to bear [as a burden] the sins of many, will appear a second time [when he returns to earth], not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly and confidently waiting for Him.”

It’s Everywhere You Want To Be. ~ Every place that we are to go, in order to bring honor to the Lord, that is where we should want to be. The road isn’t promised to be easy, but His path for us brings life.  Psalms 119: 104-106, “Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.” And, 2 Corinthians 2:14-15, “ But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us spreads and makes evident everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which ascends] to God, [discernible both] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;” 

Live richly. ~ The way to life a truly rich life is to place our life, and the control of our life, into the incredibly capable hands of the Lord.  He will always guide is in the way we should go. Proverbs 22:3-5, The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.”

The Card is key. ~ The only key we need to maintain our security, is found in the Lord.  He is Who He says He is!  Isaiah 33:5-6,The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. And He will be the security and stability of your times, A treasure of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Lord is your treasure.”

There are some things money can’t buy. ~ Romans 3:23-25,For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.”               The salvation of our life has come at a great price.  One in which we could never afford.  Christ did not come for just one weekend, to die and rise again.  He LIVED a whole life on earth as God and man.  He came to show us how to live as He did.  How to care for and love others as He did.  He showed us how to love God the Father as He did.  Christ showed us how to worship the one true God. And then….he finished what He came to do in His earthly body.  He CHOSE to be betrayed by a friend ~ one of His disciples.** He CHOSE to be unjustly tried and convicted.  He CHOSE to be crucified because He KNEW that He was going to rise again and defeat death once and for all!  Can I get an AMEN people!!  You didn’t put Jesus on the cross as much as you cannot do anything to earn or deserve salvation.  It is His grace to us in that He loves us so very much, He planned and executed a perfect plan of redemption.  Isaiah 55:1-3, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.  Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?  Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”

What’s in your wallet? ~ Let’s rephrase this a little by saying, ‘what’s in your heart?”  What is it that you are carrying with you everyday to remind you of the gracious life you live because of what Christ did for you?  Are you reading scripture everyday, meditating on it, and making an effort to keep it in your heart?  Do keep it at the forefront of your mind?  Our mind is constantly “on” and if we want to maintain some sense of sanity, everything we do and say needs to be filtered through the truth of God’s word!  I Samuel 12:23-25,As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.””               And Luke 12:28-30,If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.”

All you need. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:21-22,Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”  Notice here that the above verse talks about how GOD is the one who helps us stand firm in Christ.  We do not have anything to do with that standing ~ except to come humbly before the Lord and ask Him to be the Lord of our life!  This doesn’t mean that we will never experience trials (that’ll be another blog for another time), but we are reminded of God’s goodness to us in Philippians 4:11-13, I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him[a] who strengthens me.” 

We can live a rich, abundant, grace-filled, and satisfied life because we have all we need in the Lord.  This life on earth is temporary, but that doesn’t mean that we simply float through life.  God has called us to be witnesses of His grace in our life to those around us.  Whether it’s smiling at random people in the grocery store (this is actually really fun…totally freaks people out!), sharing a meal with a friend going through a tough spot, handing a bottle of water out your car window to the homeless man on the corner, or sharing your testimony with someone about how God has saved your life.

Live fully in God’s truth ~ your debt has been paid ~ He will never leave your side & you will never be disappointed in a life lived for Christ!

Blessings,

René

Romans 3 verse 23-24

Research found in:

** You can read more about Jesus choosing Judas (His betrayer) in one of my earlier blogs entitled, “Jesus Chose Judas on Purpose.”