Fear and Peace. They cannot co-exist and they do not get along. Fear is quickly pushed away when peace enters the scene and peace assuredly loses its presence when fear takes over. I cannot experience God’s peace if I am dwelling in my fears and I will not dwell in fear if I am immersed in God’s peace. And when we need it, it will be there, we need to go get it.
Is there an area of your life that is missing peace?
Honestly for me, there is always an area that needs peace. It seems as though my life is like a leaking balloon, as soon as I plug up one hole I spring a leak somewhere else. It helps me to know that 1. There are tried and true ways that the Bible leads me to peace and 2. They are methods that have never failed me before.
As I sit here and write with you today, I am fervently seeking God’s peace with you, praying that once more peace and joy would overwhelm the fear and the worry.
Philippians 4:4-9 lays it out clear as day, “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 minds in Christ Jesus.”
# 1: Rejoice. No matter the minute, the hour, or the day there is always something we have to rejoice for. There is always beauty to be found somewhere, and when we are seeking God, needing His peace, our hearts and minds need always start with thankfulness. Though our needs may be great and true, what do we already have?
# 2: Be gentle. In the middle of stress, fear, and worry many times the people around me feel the brunt of it. It is those whom we love the most who receive the unwanted consequence of us not dealing with our fear and worry in a healthy way. I have to remind myself that my husband, friends and family should not be the ones who hear my complaining. That my pain should not necessarily always be worn on my sleeve, but instead even in worry I should remain gentle to those around me. If those around me are receiving the brunt, I know it is time for me to stop and go to God with what is really bothering me. Afterall, He is the one who can really handle me and help me.
# 3: Remember Eternity. This is not the end of our story, the Lord is near and He will return to bring all those who love Him into blissful eternity. That is the end of the story. Regardless of what is hitting me today, I know it will not be forever and I know the end is a happy one. I know worries will be no more, fear will end forever, pain will no longer exist, and I will hold my Gideon once more. That is the forever I will focus on.
# 4: Do not worry, Pray. God wants to hear about it. He wants us to tell Him and He wants it to be real. He wants it all…our thanksgiving, our prayers, and our petitions. All of this is instead of the worry. It replaces the mental time and energy we take on fear and anxiety and forwards it to God. Sometimes I don’t stop praying until the peace comes. Sometimes my petitions are not finished until I’ve dug to all the dirty and ugly depths of my thoughts and told Him them all. All of them, even the ones I hate to admit out loud.
#5 Receive Peace. It truly is undeniable and unexplainable, when God’s peace comes. He gifts it to us exactly when we need it and exactly how we need it. When we ask for it, it will come. Often for me, it is like a tidal wave of comfort. Where there once was worry and fear, now gets overwhelmingly replaced by a peaceful void of emotion. The brain calms. The hearts evens its pace. Emotions steady out and reason returns. It comes from seemingly nowhere and you cannot put a hand on it…but ask anyone who has experienced it…they will tell you how real it is.
#6 Receive Protection. This peace is active and it is guarding our hearts and our minds. This is what I was in the middle of when I wrote this: I Never Want to Forget. My heart and my mind was so guarded against anything else life could throw at us, that it was truly the most peaceful my life has ever been. Even though I was crying more than ever and experiencing pain more than ever…even still it was the most peaceful time in our family. All the little things never mattered and you couldn’t touch our peace even if you tried. The protection was fierce and wonderful, a true gift in the middle of turmoil. A power of guarding that gives me confidence to move forward with expectancy, knowing God will guard me that way when I need Him too.
Do you need peace today? I know I do and I cling to these promises because I know that their ways are good. And, the words on the page help me when my heart, mind and body need some convincing. So in this way I pray for you today, that you will take the time…as long as it takes…to work through these steps with God today. May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.