Tag Archives: peace

Sustained

 

Sustain

Lately I have been meditating on Psalm 55:22 and I’ve come to realize that I’m not   a very good care caster. Care can come in  many different packages. Simply put, a care by definition is a disquieted state of mixed uncertainty, apprehension, and responsibility. Financial pressure, health concerns, family issues, relationship problems, work stress- these are all cares, and they come to try to get us to focus on them rather than keeping our eyes focused on Jesus. Mark chapter 4 tells us that the care of the world comes to try to choke the Word of God that is sown in our hearts.

I’m more of a fixer, so when care arrives at my front door I try to figure out all the ways to fix things, my mind runs 100 mph, I think of every possible scenario and many times instead of casting the care, I start carrying it. The problem with that is that pretty soon what started out as a little care becomes a heavy burden. My peace gets all messed up, and I become weary. In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus told us when we get weary and heavy laden with cares and burdens to come to him and He will give us rest for our souls.

Rest

 

Not only will He give us a place of rest, but the Bible says that if we cast our cares on the Lord that He will sustain us. I looked up what sustain means and found this:

sus·tain  (s-stn)

tr.v. sus·tainedsus·tain·ingsus·tains

1. To keep in existence; maintain.
2. To supply with necessities or nourishment; provide for.
3. To support from below; keep from falling or sinking; prop.
4. To support the spirits, vitality, or resolution of; encourage.
5. To bear up under; withstand: can’t sustain the blistering heat.
6. To experience or suffer: sustained a fatal injury.
7. To affirm the validity of: The judge has sustained the prosecutor’s objection.
8. To prove or corroborate; confirm.
9. To keep up (a joke or assumed role, for example) competently.

When we cast our care upon Him, our heavenly Father promises to provide for us, support us, keep us from falling, affirm us, encourage us and keep us in existence! We will be sustained by the One who promises a place of peace that passes all understanding, and joy unspeakable and full of glory! I don’t know about you, but that makes me happy! Today I choose to refuse the care that comes to try to burden me and instead cast it on the Lord, how about you?

 

 

Advertisements

Keep Calm and Carry On

The clock is ticking. I have two choices.

I’m trying to stay on the calm side, but the freak out side keeps raring it’s head, willing me to go there. In the midst of a busy season, filled with pressure that wants to turn into stress I have to find a way to keep myself in check.

This would be nice. Or even better, this.

But since I have permits to pull, licenses to obtain, a renovation to oversee, budgets to keep,  packing to do, and blah, blah, blah, I’m gonna do this instead.

Because one of my favorite scriptures, Isaiah 26:3 says  You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

I sure do want that perfect peace so I choose to trust in the One who always provides, who never leaves me and upon whom I can cast every care I have.

Throw off the Weight

Throw off the Weight

   Hebrews 12:1-2 1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,    2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
This scripture gives us the keys to running our race. The first thing we see is that we must strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight). Can you imagine watching athletes run a race with a 50 pound weight on their back? No! In fact, most runners today wear the lightest, most aerodynamic clothes possible to allow them to run at their maximum potential. It’s the same way for us. The weight of our circumstances and situations will slow us down if we allow it to. In the context of this verse the word weight means mass, burden, or hindrance. Other definitions of weight are a heavy load to carry, a mental burden or load, importance, hold something down by placing a heavy object on it, or giving additional importance to something. When we are burdened with the pressure of life, mental challenges, or the burdens that we carry in our day to day lives, it makes it more difficult to keep our focus on what we are called to do.
Philippians 4:6-9 says 6Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.     7And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. The best way to avoid taking the weight of the world on our shoulders is to continually keep our minds fixed on the things that are of God. When worry or anxiety tries to creep into your mind, rebuke it and remember that Philippians 4:19 says 19And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Every need means your emotional needs, your physical needs, your mental needs, everything that you need.  Not only does He promise to meet every need, He also promises to give us His peace- the kind that doesn’t even make sense- to keep our minds and hearts securely resting in Him.

Rest for Your Soul

Matthew 11:28-30 28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]   29Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.   30For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

What a great scripture to start off the week! We can find rest in the presence of God. It says we will find rest- relief, ease, refreshment, recreation and blessed quiet for our souls. Jeremiah 6:16 says much the same the thing 16Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Our souls are made up of our mind, our will and our emotions. I was just thinking last night of the many things I had to do this week and quite frankly I was getting a bit overwhelmed. My soul was definitely not at peace or rest. My mind was going crazy trying to figure out how I was going to have time to get everything done. My emotions were running high as I got more and more upset. Because I was so focused on how I could possibly accomplish everything, my will was getting weaker and weaker. Have you ever had so much to do that you just don’t even know where to start? As I was feeling frazzled I kept hearing a still, small voice in the back of my mind saying, cast your care, trust in the Lord, it’s going to be okay. (I didn’t quite listen to it) Then this morning I opened my Bible and read this passage. God is so good! What a great reminder that if I come to my heavenly Father, He will bring me to a place of freedom from mental or emotional anxiety.

I still have a lot to do this week, my workload didn’t magically disappear, the laundry didn’t wash itself, the house didn’t suddenly appear to be cleaned, the packing I have to do is not done yet. However, by taking the time to go to God I allowed His peace to fill me and the pressure lifted. When we come to a place where we are spending time in His Word, praying throughout our day, worshipping Him,  and looking at every situation that we come across from the standpoint of, “What path would God want me to take,” we put ourselves in position to get His direction. When we follow His direction, when we walk in His ways, we find the peace we need. In the midst of the busyness it might not seem to make a whole lot of sense to take extra time to seek God, but somehow it just works!  Don’t believe me? Try it. I challenge you to take a little time today to spend with God. If you’re at work, take a break for a few minutes and go outside and talk to Him. If you’re at home, put the kids down for a nap and worship Him for a little bit before you finish your housework. Tomorrow morning wake up a little bit earlier and spend some time in the Word. Keep your mind fixed on Him, and remember that His burden is light and easy.

Hush Now, Be Still!

Matthew 8:23-27 23And after He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24And suddenly, behold, there arose a violent storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered up by the waves; but He was sleeping.  25And they went and awakened Him, saying, Lord, rescue and preserve us! We are perishing!  26And He said to them, Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm (a perfect peaceableness).   27And the men were stunned with bewildered wonder and marveled, saying, What kind of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!

There are so many things we can learn from this passage. Let’s start at the beginning. The disciples and Jesus were traveling by boat, when a great storm rose up. It says here the waves were so big they were even covering the boat! Quite a few of those disciples had been professional fishermen, so I am pretty sure they had seen a storm or two in their time. This particular storm however, was big enough that the disciples were afraid that they were going to die. Where was Jesus in the midst of this? He was sleeping, not affected by what was going on around Him. The disciples had to go wake Him up.  When He woke up He wasn’t concerned about the storm, He just wondered why the disciples were afraid. He stood up and told the waves to be quiet and the wind to stop and it says there was a great and wonderful calm.
I wonder why Jesus wasn’t afraid. Did He just know that He had authority over things in the natural? Was it because He knew that the storm would have to obey Him? These things are true, but unless the disciples woke Him up, would He have even known there was a storm going on at all? Or would He have continued sleeping as if nothing was happening? Jesus was unaffected by the natural circumstances going on around Him. He knew that whatever came along, He had dominion and authority over it so it wasn’t even an issue for Him.
Mark chapter 4 tells this same story, it says in verses 39-40 39And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness). 40He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?
We can learn from Jesus. When we trust that He lives in us, we have dominion and authority over anything that comes into our lives too. The storms that come against us might not be thunderstorms. They might be financial pressures, problems in our homes, or stress at work. Instead of allowing the storms of life to affect us, we can stand up and say, “Hush now, be still” to our situations and see that great and wonderful calm, that perfect peacefulness to come to our circumstances too.

Let Peace Be Your Umpire

Matthew 5:9 Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

One of the rights that we have as believers is to have peace. Psalm 29:11 tells us 11The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace. In Psalm 34:14 it says, 14Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it! If we actively pursue peace we will be called sons (or daughters) of God.  Even though it is something we have been given, we still have to make the effort to keep it. There will always be an opportunity to allow strife, discord and dis-unity to crop up in our lives, but if we set our hearts and minds to walk in peace we can bring agreement to whatever situation we are in. Peace can be defined as harmony or freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people. A peacemaker is someone who brings peace and reconciliation to others, someone who calms the situation.

Being a peacemaker is not always easy. Sometimes it may mean we have to bite our tongues, turn the other cheek, or walk away, but even though taking the high road may seem hard at the moment, the long term rewards are eternal. To be sons and daughters of God is the greatest benefit we could ever receive. There are lots of children that I know and love- my nieces and nephews, my friend’s boys and girls, the kids in the nursery at our church. As much as I genuinely love these children, my own children are even more dear to my heart. My son and my daughters get extra attention, favor and blessing from me. So how do we become peacemakers? Colossians 3:15 says 15And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]. I love how this verse says it- let the peace of God act like an umpire, deciding and settling all questions that arise in your minds. That means before you speak or act in a way that wouldn’t promote peace, stop and ask yourself if you can say or do it. If you let Christ’s peace be your deciding voice, not only will your life be more tranquil, but you will also bring that peace to others around you.