This week's memory verse:
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." -- Philippians 1:6
Peace -- we long for it, but we wonder if it really exists. I don't think the kind of peace we really want does exist. A life without conflict and trials and problems...we are NEVER promised that, but we want it. We need to come to the realization that real peace may mean something else.
In Isaiah 26:3, God does promise perfect peace to those who are steadfast and trust in him.
In John 14:27, Jesus describes peace as a gift, a gift from God, THROUGH Jesus.
That verse goes on to say that he doesn't give as the world gives...the world describes peace as an absence of conflict. Jesus says HIS peace is confident assurance in any circumstance. A person who believes in God, trusts his word, and believes that through Christ her sins are forgiven is given a peace that is the opposite of anxiety. This peace comes when that person gives all cares and concerns to God in prayer and worries about them no more.
Philippians 4:7 describes this peace as something that we cannot understand, but it will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus. My study bible says this means that the believer is in "God's protective custody."
All of these verses do not say this peace comes easily or that is stays with us every day, every moment. I have found this peace several times in my life...where I had peace about a tough situation I was dealing with...I could deal with it...I was ok with it...this didn't just HAPPEN...I went to God in prayer and GAVE the situation TO HIM...and THEN I had peace about it. The conflict and hard stuff didn't just go away...it was how I FELT about it...I didn't worry about it any more...I KNEW God was taking care of it.
I know this peace doesn't come to me all the time...I still have problems, I still worry. But, when I stop trying to figure it out by myself and pray about it...LISTEN for God's leading...pray with friends about it and listen to their guidance as well...a peace comes over me about it...it is like the verse says...I don't UNDERSTAND how it happens, but I just get a peaceful feeling about it. It is too bad I don't do this more often, and with ALL the conflicts in my life...but I am human and for whatever reason, I tend to hang on to some issues. Do you do that too?
I want to hang on instead, to the idea that I am in God's protective custody...that he is watching out for me in EVERY situation...if I believed that more often, I would find that peaceful feeling more often. What if MORE of us felt that way more often? I know that there will always be reasons for anxiety, but maybe if more people turned to God more often, we would find more peace in the world...it's a nice thought, isn't it?
I pray that the God of peace, who loved us so much that he sent Jesus to be our Shepard and take care of us, equips you with everything good to do his will today, and may he bring you the peace that you need today and in days to come. (taken from Hebrews 13:20-21, put in my own words)