Did you get a chance to download the free art yesterday? I hope so! Scroll down to the bottom of yesterday's post for the link.
Let's keep talking about Peace, OK?
While we might know in our hearts that Christ is our ultimate Peace, why is it that peace in our everyday life can feel so elusive? Why do we feel robbed at the end of each day, when we want to experience rest and find that there is none?
There are probably hundreds of things that can rob your peace, but here are five top peace-stealers, with a few examples:
Worry - Obsessing about my kids' choices, the job market, the bills, the pesticides in food, pollution, the war in Ukraine, unqualified teachers in the school district, liberal media...on and on!
Fear - The "What If's:" what if one of my children dies, what if there is a fire, what if we lose the house, what if my marriage fails, what if I get cancer, what if there is an accident?
Shame - I made bad choices, I should stop smoking, I was abused, I cheated, I failed, I quit something important, I come from a poor background. I eat too much.
Regret - I should have been a better daughter, mother, wife, friend, student. I should have known better. I should have listened. I wish I could do it over. Why did I do it?
Busyness - My calendar is so full there is not a moment to rest or reflect, unless I go on vacation. I can't say no. I am burdened by doing too much.
Can you relate to any of these? I recently found myself in an awful state of regret over something that I simply could not let it go. I beat myself up all day, could hardly sleep, and it robbed my peace completely. Tom had to take me by the shoulders and shake me a little to say, "Rachel, let it go. It's over. You've got to move on." I had let it interfere in my conversations and attitudes and it was affecting not only myself, but everyone around me.
I've found that in my deepest moments of struggle, it's not been a result of God forsaking me, but of ME taking my eyes off of HIM. I let those things become more important - BIGGER - than God. It's like I've said, "My fear (or worry, or regret, or shame, or busyness) is greater than God's ability to overcome it."
I've made an idol of it, and worshipped at the feet of my worry (or fear) - rather than the feet of my God.
Ugh. It sounds so harsh when I put it like that. I don't like to think of it that way. I prefer to think of these things as "personal struggles." But as long as I continue to allow my mind to engage in these thought patterns, I will never really experience that peace I'm longing for.
That's because I haven't allowed the Prince of Peace to really and truly rule.
Are you struggling to find peace? Maybe it's time to put Him back on the throne. It's time to see the peace-stealers for what they really are: false idols we've put our trust in. It's time to turn away from them and give proper place to the One who is greater than any of it.
The mind governed by the flesh is death,
but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Romans 8:6 NIV
Want a few verses to think about today? There are TONS of them but here are some I grabbed for us. I'd love to hear YOUR favorite verses on peace!!
Worry - Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7 NIV
Fear - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV
I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Psalm 34:4-7 NIV
Shame - There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
Regret - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV
Busyness - “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30 NIV