Tag Archives: peace

Peace

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:13-18 NKJV

These verses make it clear that peace is a fruit of living daily in the wisdom from God.

God’s wisdom brings peace.

The shear weight of this truth should be enough to cause one to pause and meditate.

How would the world look if everyone followed God’s wisdom?

If every person, for all of time simply “loved your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18b), how much more peaceful would our world be?

The facts are easy to see if one simply looks at history.

Whether it is one’s own history or the history of a nation, the wisdom of God makes a incredible impact on the peace of the people.

Unfortunately, those who walk in God’s Word, practicing His wisdom each day are rare.

But that does not discontinue the fact that God’s wisdom brings peace.

He also gives us a pattern of conduct to follow when we are feeling anxious.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

It is through Jesus Christ we find the answer to the lack of godly wisdom around us and in us.

Jesus said:

“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 things that I 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 heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 27-28

Through the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts we can find the understanding, we can find comfort, we can be reminded of God’s Word.

Daily time in prayer and in God’s Word is where God’s wisdom is planted in our hearts and where peace will grow.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word and for the Holy Spirit. Thank You for the help we can find. Lord Jesus, please continue to teach us Your wisdom, let our hearts never grow weary of seeking after it nor our eyes tire of looking into Your scriptures, but instead let our minds be receptive and our hearts fertile ground. Please continue to open our understanding that we might discern the times and seasons we are in and look to You for the answers we seek. Lord Jesus, please help our lives to bring forth the fruit of peace, that others might see that Your truths are true and Your ways are best. Thank You, Jesus. Amen

“Be anxious for…”

“nothing…”

No matter your treasures.

No matter your need.

No matter what is prepared for you today, these words from Philippians are worth remembering.

Philippians 4:6 NKJV — Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

The Lord knows all and He wants us to trust Him, to find our treasure in Him.

Because a bank account or status doesn’t bring security or peace.

Neither do relationships, property, or the nation where one resides.

The only way to be anxious for nothing is to look at Jesus, the Savior.

It’s easy to get tied up in the every day or the list of “to do”, but with practice and persistence it can become a way of life.

Which is where we want to be.

Philippians 4:7 NKJV — and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Definitely a wonderful way to live, in the peace of God.

May it be your residence.


Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord, You know what is best. You have all these things in Your hands. Please help us to surrender daily to Your will. Please let us not be stubborn or stiff-necked, but instead walk with love and trust. Lord, please help our hearts to be completely Yours. Lord, use our lives to reach others. Let our light shine brightly into the darkness, that people might see You. Lord, please heal the sick and hurting. Please restore the lost and the prodigal. Lord, please guide and direct our leaders and let the hearts of the nations return to You. Thank You, Jesus. You are incredible. I praise Your holy name! love is unfathomable! Amen.

“What is it?”

Our granddaughter says this phrase a good deal.

She has a few words she uses, but she’s yet to speak fluidly.

Her curiosity and joy at life are infectious.

Her little smiles, her little hands grasping toys or books or patting, her little eyes looking up so innocently, all these brings us such joy.

And while she is learning about her world and the people in it, she’s asking:

What is it?

It’s something I ask my Heavenly Father frequently.

I’ll hear of an event, see something on the news, or be surprised by a post and my heart will leap:

“God! What is it?”

“Why did that person do that? What caused the behavior there? What were they thinking?”

But He always leads me gently back to the truth.

No matter what I see on the surface there’s something deeper.

A spiritual battle going on which often affects us when we least realize it.

So, again comes the question:

“What is it?”

And added to this:

“How do I pray?”

The answers are as varied and numerous as one might expect.

Each circumstance is unique and therefore holds different points to pray for.

Sometimes, I don’t receive an answer right away and therefore turn to scripture.

I ask God to give me a verse or group of verses to pray.

I seek Him personally, to be sure nothing is hindering my prayers.

Sometimes, I just pray and thank God for whatever He is doing that I don’t understand.

But I am so blessed to be able to go before God, the Creator, and lift up people.

The privilege of talking with the Almighty about anything and everything is overwhelming good.

To find peace and security in His voice, His direction, His Sovereignty.

It’s comfort to my soul, not unlike when our granddaughter gets lifted up to her father’s shoulder.

She leans in and rests her head on him and smiles.

She’s content in the arms of her father.

I can be as well.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for letting me lift up my heart to You. Thank You for opportunities to pray. Lord, thank You for the comfort I find in You and in Your Word. Lord Jesus, please hold me in Your arms and continue to teach me how to pray. I want to be able to stand in the gap, to lift up others bed You, to know You as a Father and a friend. Lord Jesus, thank You for walking with me daily. I give You my all. Please be glorified in me today. Amen.

Surrender brings rest

I’ve never thought about it before, but it’s true.

Surrender to Jesus brings rest to my soul.

Why?

Because it causes self to be powerless.

As a child and youth I was always worried about how others’ thought of me.

Who I was always needed forming into the ideas of those around me.

I had to live up to their expectations.

I had to follow through on what they wanted.

Of course, I couldn’t.

So, with every failure I felt it was a proof that I was a failure.

Therefore, with each failing, my value became less and my need to prove myself became greater.

Yes, I did believe in Jesus during this time.

No, I didn’t walk in submission to Him, nor did I understand what that was.

But as I walked in adulthood and learned the truths of scripture, I began to understand.

As I’ve walked in obedience to my Father and Lord, I’ve found such blessed freedom.

It’s been a slow process and a long journey, but well worth it.

When my heart gained understanding and humility, my burden to prove myself, rolled off.

My need to order and control my life also died.

Yes, I still work at living a self disciplined and scheduled way, but that is completely different from trying to control circumstances or order life into my ideas of how it should be.

And I can tell you how peaceful and beautiful it is to surrender.

No, I don’t always understand what’s occurring around me or how to handle specific circumstances.

No, I don’t need to have all the control, call the shots, or be in charge.

Yes, I know the One Who does.

And as I grow in the knowledge of God Almighty, I grow in love, peace, and assurance.

He is good.

He is loving.

He is truth.

Why strive against Him by stubborn refusal to submit my whole heart, my whole life to His perfect plan?

Yes, my soul has found rest.

Rest in the Lord , and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret— it only causes harm.
Psalms 37:7‭-‬8 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for teaching me how to surrender to You. Thank You for Your patience and Your grace. Lord, often I become stiff-necked and willful. I forget all Your past faithfulness and try to do things in my own strength. Lord, how foolish and what a waste! Please continue to patiently bring me back to this place of rest.

September 6

Today’s verse and prayer:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Philippians 4:6 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You. Thank You for being You, although my understanding of Who You are barely scratches the surface. Lord, You’re good, You give peace, You are patience, You’re faithful, and the list goes on. It is all incredible and I am so blessed by You. Lord, truly, there is nothing to fear when my soul is safe in You. But Lord, I am weak and frail and often I forget how safe I am. Like a little child, I don’t realize the truth: nothing can harm me when I’m in Your hands. Therefore, I choose to place all the things I’ve been concerned about in Your hands this morning. Lord, I surrender my agenda, my desires, my plans unto You and Your perfect will. Lord, thank You for taking every burden, every care. Thank You for continuing to polish me on the inside. Lord, if anyone has wronged me, I forgive them. If I have wronged anyone, please bring it to my attention that I might repent. Lord, I humbly request that You protect the innocent, save the lost, heal the sick and broken, and restore the prodigal. Let men and women call upon the name of the Lord. Thank You. Amen.

Not a typical Monday

What is so different about this Monday?

Well, some things are pretty routine.

I’ll water the garden and eat breakfast.

I’ll be praying and writing.

Yet, this week’s schedule will color all I do.

Because on Saturday our girl is getting married.

I’m very thankful to the Lord for this!

He has been so faithful to us.

He has guided us through all the preparation and here we stand on the brink with very little to do before set-up day.

Of course, we have to travel down and since “running home for…” is out of the question, I’m checking our packing again.

Sis helped me go through the decorations yesterday.

She’s the wedding coordinator and therefore it’s important she understands all the details.

I’ll be asking Anne and Jase to pack their things today.

It’s a shot day, and I’m praying.

Sometimes shots make me very tired.

We are expecting visitors today and tomorrow.

So, I’ll have to plan a few meals.

Throughout all these things, one thing is foremost on my heart.

It’s something God talked to me about at the beginning.

Enjoy the journey, don’t rush through just to get through.

I want to focus on praising the Lord no matter what.

Marriage is His blessing.

He  who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord .
Proverbs 18:22 NKJV

My heart’s desire is to be free from worry and stress during this.

To simply walk in peace and thanksgiving to God.

Because I know, He has all the details in His hand.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for everything You have already done. Thank You for walking with us each and every day. Lord, I don’t know what today holds, but I know I can rest in You throughout. Your will is perfect and although I have my own ideas and plans, I surrender them before You. Please help me to walk with You in all things and to be gracious, patient, and loving. Thank You for this journey. Thank You for Your love. Amen.

“Praise the Lord! Praise God”

Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord !
Psalms 150:1‭-‬6 NKJV

There is never an end to the reasons to praise God.

If every word of praise was as numerous as every drop of water on Earth, it wouldn’t be enough to compare with His mighty works.

Mind can not comprehend the length of His goodness.

Yet, just a tiny peek into His creation brings forth such reason for praise.

Add to the wonders of creation the salvation of our souls through Jesus Christ.

It doesn’t require many words or fancy music.

True praise simply requires a humble and repentant heart.

Psalm 147:1 KJV — Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

Praise God!

Psalm 143:10 KJV — Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for so many things. First, for creating us and second for saving us from sin. After that Lord, thank You for providing for us, thank You for grace, truth, scripture, and Your Holy Spirit, which comforts and guides. Lord Jesus, without You, we are blind, foolish, selfish, and lost. Please continue to guide, exhort, love, and save. Please, lead me into the land of uprightness. Thank You. Amen.

The task at hand

These past few days I’ve been reminded of a lesson I learned years ago.

More than ten years ago our family were missionaries.

It took us two years just to get there.

One morning, after a few weeks of settling in, I went to the Lord with a heavy heart.

I prayed about how I was being overwhelmed with the daily tasks of life.

I just felt like laundry, dishes, and mopping the floor was eating up my time and I couldn’t get to the reason I was there.

“Lord, I just want to minister! How can I get to that with nonstop housework?”

He answered.

He took me to Ruth.

So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”
Ruth 2:2 NKJV

She just needed to survive.

But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she did the task at hand.

That was the key.

Housework is just as important as leading a Bible study if my heart is serving Jesus.

God is interested in my heart.

“Am I serving Him in this task I’m engaged in?”

It’s something I’ve been trying to ask myself frequently this week.

Not as a religious stipulation, but instead as a guard rail.

Guarding my heart from useless pursuits or pride.

I also find it helpful as a way to combat an old lie.

As a young believer I thought I had to : “Do big things for God”.

However, the Lord has shown me over and over again that He wants me to surrender my own agenda and simply live daily to Him.

When I’m sick, my “do” shrinks.

In those times, I have found it vital to remember: God isn’t disappointed because I’m not “doing” more.

He knows my limitations.

He even has things for me in those seasons, like prayer, Bible study, or sometimes just resting in His hands and trusting Him while struggling.

The task at hand may not seem valuable.

Ruth couldn’t have known that daily gleaning the fields would endear her to the man who would become her husband.

She couldn’t have seen that this back breaking task, which went on throughout the whole harvest, would end in her having a place in the lineage of Jesus.

Her faithfulness in the task at hand was used by God.

She was His servant.

And God used this humble lady to be the grandmother of kings.

The lesson is clear for me.

I need to do what God has set before me with joy and faithfulness.

I need to surrender my own ambitions, dreams, and desires before Him.

I need to trust Him in everything.

Including my “To Do” list.

Matthew 22:36 NKJV — “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

Matthew 22:37 NKJV — Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for this lesson. Thank You for continually bringing me back to this place of surrender. Please Lord, help me to be Your servant, humble, faithful, and filled with joy of serving You, no matter what that entails. Lord, thank You that my life is so much more valuable than self fulfillment. Instead, You call me to pick up my cross and follow You. Lord, thank You for reminding me of these truths. Please continue to wash my soul of sin and renew my heart through Your Word. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Pursue peace

My husband sent me this.

He knows my love of flowers.

And I know his love of this type of tree.

So, the picture was special to us both.

As much as we love each other, there’s always more to learn, more to polish.

Over the past week, the Lord has been using my husband to polish up a place in my heart which was dim.

The cloudiness of my inward sight was brought to my notice by the Lord’s light.

Something similar to a window covered in smudges and fingerprints which really goes unnoticed until the sun shines through it.

That’s what happened in my heart.

I know you might not believe me, but my husband does have a few little things which I find annoying.

Late last week I was grumbling to the Lord about one of those.

You’re complaining.

-sigh-

“Yes, Lord, I am. Please forgive me. I know You don’t want that. Help me, please.”

Pursue peace with all people.

God was bringing scripture to my remembrance.

Those words stood out to me: pursue peace.

“How do I do that in this case?”

How would you do it if it were a stranger?

“I’d simply serve them and love them anyway.”

I knew what God was showing me.

At some point in my past I’d believed a lie.

In this case it was couched in judgement: If he truly cared, he would do this small service instead of expecting me to do it.

Ouch!

Where did that ugly smear upon my heart come from?!

I didn’t have to look far.

I knew it was from the enemy and my selfish flesh, which doesn’t like to do that tiny service, found it so convenient.

Praise God for His mercy and forgiveness!

As I spent time with the Lord, my heart kept turning over the pursue peace with all people.

Do I choose to always work at building peace in every relationship?

Why had I always thought that verse applied only to the people not in my family?

Pursuing is not a half-hearted sometimes thing.

How far does this go?

How far did I go?

“All the way to the Cross.”

“Jesus, I have a long way to go. Please help me.”

I started by looking up the verse.

Hebrews 12:14 NKJV — Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Then I began looking for opportunities to serve, not just my husband, but everyone in my family.

I may not get this right straight off and I’m certain it’s not going to be easy.

Yet, I’m so thankful to the Lord for cleaning off the smear.

Thankful for His polish, which is helping me to reflect Him even more.

I’m thankful for my husband and his imperfections.

Because through them, God is showing me mine.

Because of the night

It was past bedtime.

At first I couldn’t understand why I was feeling anxious.

My mind seemed to be whirling while I tried to both head for bed and figure out what I needed to do before going.

Close the blinds.

Go to your room.

Put those books away.

Go to your room.

Grab that and make sure you ask…

Go to your room.

(Why didn’t I recognize the Lord’s wisdom?!)

By the time I was in my bathroom washing up I realized it.

I’m having an asthma attack.

I got my rescue inhaler and focused on breathing through the pain.

Nothing.

As I prepared to take it again, I texted my husband with my other hand.

Due to the virus, he’s been staying away from me and sleeping on the couch.

He came instantly.

My second dose hadn’t been successful.

Tears streamed down my face from the pain and I continued to work at calming my thoughts and focusing on breathing.

“Honey, take it again.”

This time it worked.

Praise God!

Because of my attack my husband decided it would be safer to stay with me all night.

I really appreciated it.

And due to the asthma attack and the steroids, I didn’t sleep well.

Today, I’m resting.

But I’m so thankful.

It’s all a picture of God’s truth.

Psalm 30:5 NKJV — For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

No matter what trials, pain, or tragedy we walk through on this Earth, there is a blessed morning awaiting those who are called by His name.

Therefore, I can look to His Word and find peace.

Psalm 143:8 NKJV — Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.

Jesus has and will continue to guide each of my days when I surrender them to Him.

He is God and His Word continues to bring light, truth, and understanding.

2 Peter 1:19 NKJV — And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;

I praise God for the day my soul was surrendered before Him and I accepted His salvation.

I am so thankful for His continued honing of my life to His will.

Most of all, I look eagerly toward the morning, when I will find eternity in blessed worship of my Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Until then, I am living daily for Him, following His example of love, grace, and forgiveness.

In this there is peace.