Perfect Peace

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We have so much in our lives that can steal our peace and rob us of joy.  Difficult circumstances, unexpected outcomes, and overall hard times can come in and prevent us from experiencing the abundant life that Jesus has come to give us. (See John 10:10).

Last Thursday we got news that our neighbors across the street suffered the tragic loss of their 8 year old daughter. No former medical issues, no idea anything could or would happen.  One minute she was finishing her jujitsu practice, and the next minute she had collapsed.  They rushed her to the children’s hospital, but there was nothing they could do.  Ella Armstrong was gone, leaving behind a mom and dad and three siblings.

What do you do in situations like this? If it were me, what would I be like today? I’ll be honest, I’d be wrecked.  But for each of us and for families like the Armstrongs, truth and promises like those found in the verses above will help sustain us and get us through difficult times.

So how do we put these verses into practice?  

First, “perfect peace” is what is offered to those who trust in the Lord. So the first step is to trust Him.  Remember that even in the face of unbelievably difficult circumstances, God’s love and care for us never changes.  I’m not saying that’s easy to remember in the face of tragedy, but it is where peace is found, so we must pray and find a way to trust Him.

Second, our thoughts must be fixed on Him. You’ll never get over the heartbreak of a difficult circumstance by thinking about the circumstance.  You must focus your attention on God; His love, His grace, His mercy, His goodness, and His sovereignty.  We do this by reading and meditating on His Word.  Find promises like those in these verses and remember that God is faithful, and His word is true.

In this perfect peace, we will find a deeper trust in Him.  We will see Him for who He is, “our eternal Rock!”

So whether your facing the loss of a dear loved one, your facing difficulties in your job or marriage, your struggling with rebellious children, or life just doesn’t seem to go as you have planned, remember, there is peace available to us. Trust Him and fix your mind on Him, and He will meet you in the difficult places and walk with you through them, for He cares for you.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – January 30 – “Risk is Right”

Today’s Reading: Genesis 45-46:12

The secret is out.  Joseph has revealed his true identity to his brothers as well as his desire to provide for them and their father.  he sends his brothers back to his father with the good news that the son he believed to be dead was, in fact, alive.  Joseph’s instructions are to bring everyone to Egypt where they can be cared for.  They pack up everything and begin their journey to Egypt.  However, when they make it to Beersheba, a town along the way to Egypt, they stop.  In a moment of what must have been apprehension, God appears to Jacob in a dream and says,

I am God, the God of your father.  Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes. – Genesis 46:3-4 (ESV)

This promise relieves all fear and Jacob moves to Egypt.  The rest of the story will play out in the coming chapters, however the point to capture today is the source of Jacob’s comfort and confidence.  God promised to go with him.

I am reminded this morning of the reality of God’s presence in my own life.  As a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, I have the promise of God’s Word that helps me see that God is always with me.  When I walk in His ways, I know there is nothing to fear.  His plans are better than anything I can create for myself.  Wherever I go, whatever I face, I can know without doubt or wavering that the God of all creation is with me and loves me.  May this create a confidence and trust in me that leads to God’s greater work in and through me, my family, and my ministry.

I remember hearing the phrase, “risk is right” used in connection to a philosophy for life.  The point is to drive you to live a life of risk understanding that great risk can possibly equal great reward.  In relationship, in business, and life in general, many adopt this philosophy.  However, based upon the overarching promise of God’s presence and sovereign work in the life of a person who trusts in Him, it appears that risk no longer exists.  There is no risk in following the directives given by our sovereign and loving God, for He is with us. So, in the eyes of the world, following God is a huge risk, but in light of truth, indeed, “risk is right.”

Rest in Jesus

Andy

When Trials Come

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face. (ESV)

As I read this morning I came across this verse in Job that I have often heard quoted by those who have endured severe hardship. If you grew up around church, you have an idea of what Job has endured as he makes this statement. Job, who is a righteous man before God and has been greatly blessed, loses everything in a matter of days. All of his livestock, his servants, and his children are either stolen or killed (Job 1). Then, Job’s physical health is lost as sores break out on his body from head to toe (Job 2). It is so bad, that his wife tells him to forsake his integrity, curse God and die. However, Job is a faithful man toward God and refuses.  What can we learn from Job and this verse? Continue reading

The Faith of Abraham

Genesis 22 gives the account of Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son Isaac. After years of waiting for God to fulfill the promise to provide a son, Isaac is born to Abraham and Sarah. This child was the answer to so many prayers and a healing answer to broken hearts. Now, several years after the boy’s birth, God approaches Abraham with quite possibly, the most difficult request asked of any person in all of Scripture apart from Jesus Christ. Continue reading