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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Peace vs. Anxiety

Peace in the midst of struggle, strife and the everyday stresses of life is not an easy thing to attain, but the Word of God shows us how we can posses it in spite of our circumstances and the hectic pace of life.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be 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

This is not easily accomplished, especially during this time of year, but we can have peace when we put everything in perspective and pray. Though a challenge, God helps us to achieve peace when we follow what He instructs. This is not just a glib solution. It takes mental concentration, self-control, discipline and trust in God. I have seen this principle; giving everything to God, work in some of the most difficult circumstances. Here's just one example from the book When God Speaks: 40 Days and Nights Of His Promises:

A couple of years ago, I received a phone call that robbed my peace of mind about a job I was promised. The voice on the other end sounded apologetic, though curt.
“I’m sorry, but the position has been filled.”
I was stunned and stammered, “But I was told I had the job.”

After my tears stopped flowing, and I finished complaining about the injustice of it all, I took stock of my situation. It wasn’t God’s fault that a technical issue got in the way of my employment. He still loved me. In addition, I had three healthy children, a husband with a job, a nice home (albeit lots of bills), and most importantly a loving God to lean on. These were things I could certainly thank God for, and so I did. I prayed daily and kept claiming His promises, especially those that focused on His provision and peace.
And He kept His end of the bargain. Six months later I had a job, but more importantly I gained a new peace of mind. In myself I could never possess this kind of peace. It surpassed my own understanding, and guarded my heart and mind against bitterness, jealousy and anxiety. My three big struggles...

When I finally got a new job, it was something I had wanted to do again—teach art. I was surprised at the opportunity. The salary was better than my last position and it made up for the time I was out of work. I saw God’s hand in the whole situation, bringing me to a deeper relationship with Him.
I learned to trust in Him and gave Him my worries. In return, He gave me His peace. I don’t know any better exchange than that! (You can’t buy that on Wall Street’s Securities and Exchange.)

Today I still have my job, but my husband doesn't. He is struggling with Lyme disease and lost his job for other reasons. So I'm brought back to a similar place. My struggles and strains are a bit different areas because God is reaching deeper into my soul and asking me "Do you really trust Me in this area?" I have to go back and lean on His promises again and again and again. Hopefully He's digging out more and more junk in my life, so my peace won't be so fragile, but endure through all types of circumstances. Perhaps you are in a similar place. If so, I challenge your this Christmas season to really lay hold of this verse and journey though the land of God's peace and promises.

If you enjoyed this post and want to know more of His promises and how they apply to your own life, you might be interested in When God Speaks: 40 Days and Nights of His Promises. The kindle version is on sale for $1.99 until Dec. 7th @ http://tinyurl.com/okj6d9p