Tag Archives: peace

Finding Joy in the Midst of Everything Else

Jesus never told his disciples that this life would be easy if only we would follow Him. In fact, He said just the opposite. “In this world, you will have trouble,” he told his friends, as is recorded in John 16:33. “But take heart, I have overcome the world. ” Our peace does not come from our situation, thank God. If it did, we would be on one crazy roller coaster of emotions each day. I have faced more sadness than I have felt I can bear during the past year-and-a-half. Two beloved members of my family are critically ill, fighting for their lives. I’ve had days where I could barely force myself to get out of bed and go to work. After the months and months of tears, I’m crying happy tears today because our daughter and son-in-law have been matched with a birth mom, and we are going to have a newborn baby girl join our family around Christmas time! The emotional highs and lows of daily life are dizzying! Praise God, he is never changing, because everything else around us ALWAYS is!

 But our peace, our rootedness, comes from knowing that Jesus has overcome the troubles in this life, and that God, our Father who loves us without end, rejoices over us. Let me say it again, HE never changes. We fall, we get dirty, we wallow in fear and self-pity, we sin, we doubt, we lose faith, we get back up and try again, sometimes only to fall again, and yet God does not tell us this is the last time He will help us.   Zephaniah 3:17 tells us, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you, in His love, He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Can you imagine what the voice of the Lord singing must sound like? Go ahead, take a moment and meditate on that. Let that thought fill your mind and heart.  What would it sound like to hear God singing? We know his voice is powerful, like the sound of mighty waters (Rev 14:2), and we know that he whispers (1 Kings 19:12), but what does his singing sound like? Here’s a theory….

Our home is surrounded by trees, and in the spring and summer, I have beautiful shade gardens full of birds. On days when my heart is sad, and sometimes when it is bursting with joy, I take my guitar outside and do what I love to do most, sing. Sometimes when I sing, little birds come and sing near me, on branches right above me!  I’ve wondered, is that little bird bringing the voice of the Lord to sing over me?  I don’t really have a scriptural answer for that. We are told in Psalms 66:4, “All the earth worships You and sings praises to You. They sing praise to Your name.” Wow! ALL the earth is singing praise to God! But does he use those little creatures to bless us straight from his throne? I think he does. He sent the ravens to feed Elijah. I think it is entirely possible that he sends the birds to rejoice over us with his song. What burdens are you carrying today, friend? Let God rejoice over you with singing. Listen for his voice telling you how much he loves you. Be at peace, knowing that Jesus has overcome this world with all of its hardships and trials, and your Father, the Mighty Warrior who literally slays the dragon, sings over you with rejoicing. I would love to hear from you about what you would like prayer for, or how you know in your heart when the Lord sings over you. Feel free to leave your comments below! 

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Filed under Peace, Spiritual Journey, Word in Me Today

Peace…Be Still

The Word in Me Today: Peace




Photo by Karen Mitchell Smith of TopShelfPhotos



All right, I confess. I’m a worrier. The “what ifs” and the “maybes” and the “I should haves” sometimes start ringing in my mind around 4 AM. I try not to worry, and I know I shouldn’t worry, but it happens. By the time I actually get out of bed, I’ve usually started an action plan. And somehow that plan almost always involves me fixing my own problems.

But that’s not what God has called us to do.  In Mark 4:35-39 we see an interesting account of Jesus and his disciples. The scripture says, “That day, when evening came, he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’ Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down, and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’

They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’”

If the disciples had taken matters into their own hands, abandoned ship perhaps, they would have drowned. Instead, they stayed in the boat with Jesus and asked Him to do something to help them. Even though their faith was very young, and they had not known Jesus long yet, they instinctively knew He could change their situation. And He did. Jesus commanded the storm to stop.

In Phillipians 4:6, Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

The disciples made their petition known to Jesus, and He acted on their behalf.

But My Problems are SO Big!

Jesus, fully God and fully human, understood with his man’s mind and his God’s heart that his followers struggled with anxiety. Not only was there the occasional storm in their lives, but they lived in a difficult time when taxes were high and a pagan culture ruled them. And Jesus knew that by choosing to follow Him, his people would suffer the wrath of  Rome. Yet he told them to consider the lilies of the field, and said, “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans [Romans] run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Peace Replaces Anxiety

Jesus gave his followers, and gives to us, something to replace worry. In John 14:27 He said, “”Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

If peace could be bottled and sold on store shelves, it would be a priceless commodity. But it isn’t something that is offered by this world, and it cannot be obtained. Peace is something to be attained. And there is only one way to attain lasting peace. In a world where the rules change almost daily, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And forever! The peace that comes in knowing the Savior cannot be purchased. It can’t be learned. It can’t be manufactured and bottled and sold. It is a gift from God that comes to us when we learn to take our anxieties to the cross and, with thanksgiving,  leave them there.

I believe we have trouble doing this because we are used to the peace the world gives. The world’s peace is transitory, ever changing and very much circumstantial. Did you get a raise at your job? That peace of mind  is good only for as long as your company doesn’t start layoffs. Did you finish that difficult project you had been so worried about? The peace and relief you feel will  last only until the next project comes along. We have trained ourselves to find peace and comfort in things the world gives, but in the back of our mind, in the dark hours of the morning, there is that nagging knowledge that at any moment, whatever we are taking comfort in can be ripped from our grasp.

On the contrary, Jesus gives peace that is eternal. When the winds blow or the earth shakes or the lay offs come, Jesus Christ still holds your hand. When we learn to stay in the boat and wait for Jesus to act, His peace stills our storm. His name is a strong tower; the righteous run into it, and they are saved. His word is a two-edged sword. His resurrection power quickens your mortal body. If God is for us, who can be against us?

It Can Work For You!

Over and over God’s word speaks peace to us, but we have to seek it. Where do we find it? We can’t find peace in the USA Today over coffee, but we can find it in the living Word of God over coffee…or lunch…or on break from work…or before bed. Whenever the world is threatening your peace, His word is there, and it doesn’t change like the nightly prime-time channel line-up. God’s peace is everlasting, His kingdom has no end, and it doesn’t suffer economic downtimes. God is not out there on a thousand hillsides to see if he owns less cattle than before! His Word endures forever. That, beloved of God, is true peace.

In Isaiah 30:15, God says, ” In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Just prior to that verse, in Chapter 28, verse 16 b, He says “One who trusts will not panic.” What an amazing promise! Here God is referring to the coming of Christ, the foundation stone in Zion. One who trusts that Rock, “WILL NOT panic.”

Finally, in Proverbs 14:30 it says, “A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh.”

I encourage you to find a quiet place today and let the peace of God wash over you. His peace is unending, like the waves of the ocean. Find your strength in quietness and confidence, and stay in the boat with Jesus.


Filed under Word in Me Today