Friday, August 26, 2011

Perfect Peace

“And the peace of God which transcends all understanding

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

God’s peace-the serenity we experience when we know He is in control- is

difficult to comprehend until we fully trust in Him.

Even when we know God is in charge, we have times where events of life press in on us. Sometimes these stressors come in waves. A friend of mine recently said, “If it’s not one thing, it’s three.” I knew exactly what she meant.

We all have had times when everything looked bleak without any let up in sight. When this happens, we have the choice of complaining about our ‘lot in life’ or we can turn to God and give the situation to Him.

Several years ago I had to step in and take care of my dad’s affairs. This would, again, preclude me from having extra time to work in the church we were in and any writing I had started doing again. As Hubby and I were driving back to Dad’s home from a business meeting, I looked up to heaven and said, “Lord, this is my life.” I wanted God to help me to do what He wanted in order to make this situation align with His plan for my life.

The next few years were not especially easy. But God was there for me even when the times were tough. At times, I felt I was doing this with no help from anyone.

When we received word that Dad had died in his sleep, God was there for us. The Lord took care of the ‘iffy’ things and kept us close to Him. He allowed me to heal from all the hurts and pain caused by the difference in how Dad and I looked at life.

Without God and His peace, I wouldn’t have been able to heal from all we had to go through.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peace, Our Aim

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what

leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

Romans 14:19 (NIV)

We live in a time of uneasiness. People can’t seem to get along with one another. Everyone feels like they have to walk gingerly around the ones who used to mean the most to them.

Hubby made an observation about people recently. We were eating out. He had noticed some customers getting up and going to their servers to give them their tip. He asked one of the women about it and what he surmised. The woman told him he was right.

If a tip was left on the table, tucked under the edge of a plate as customary, someone else would take the money, not the one who had assisted the diners.

We should all be mindful of the needs of others. A gratuity is given for good service. It helps the receiving person feel he or she has done a good job for those they have served.

Sometimes we hear of situations that distress people. The stories of comments made between generations that cause hurt to one of the particulars. People need to learn how to build up each other. We seem to forget that other people have emotions that can be easily damaged.

Paul tells us we need to try to go out of our way to find a peaceful course through life. What can we do to practice peace in our days?

If we happen to come upon a quarrel between a couple of people, we should pray very quickly to discern if we should ‘join in’. If we get the message we aren’t to say anything, then we should do as God has led.

If we see something going on in our neighborhood that is positive, such as a house being painted, and it looks nice, why not take the time to walk over and say something about it to the owner? It may make him or her feel that his efforts have been worthwhile.

People who work as volunteers in nonprofit organizations do so because they feel a need to serve God and their communities. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could hear how their efforts have helped a child, an adult, or a family through a difficult time?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Peace Beyond Understanding

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Phil. 4:7 (NIV)

We often desire peace, an elusive quality of life whenever we feel wrung out and frustrated by events that impact us in negative ways. What we have to realize is these times of stress may be God’s way of allowing us to grow closer to Him.

As we mature in the faith, we find ourselves not as prone to reacting to the elements designed to cause us uneasiness. This is a process and those around us might not understand what is happening in our lives.

God protects us as we live our daily lives and strengthens our hearts and minds

How does he accomplish this? God speaks to us through His Word and the lives of others. The stories of the heroes of faith can guide us through times of uncertainty. The poetry of the Psalm provides us with comfort and wisdom. The stories of the ministry of Jesus lead us to a fuller understanding of Him and why He came to earth. The writings of Paul further explain the enigmatic parts of the Christian life.

Why does God bother with us? Overall, we waffle back and forth between what He wants and what we want. Even when we sin, all we have to do is ask and He forgives. He created us. He nurtures us each day. He does this because He loves us and wants what is best for us.

When does He guard our hearts? When we ask for His help, God acts according to our needs and protects us as we encounter life’s problems and the losses we sometimes endure. He speaks to us through the scriptures and as answers to our prayers. We receive thoughts and comfort that give us understanding from friends in the form of cards,phone calls, visits, or emails.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...