Keeping Our Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid

In Acts 1:6-7 the disciples asked the risen Christ legitimate questions about the future,  but his response was:

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

I’m sure that’s not what they were looking for.  Some of them might have said  to themselves “well thanks Jesus, we followed you for 3 years believing that you would restore Isreal to a kingdom status and you’re still only giving us bits and pieces”.

This passage reminded me that at times we ask God reasonable questions, seemingly vital to our sanity.  Are you going to help us?  Give us a clue? What is your ultimate plan?  Let us in on this one. Still, Christ only told them the immediate things they needed to know and do.   He didn’t tell them everything — and yet he did.  He sidestepped their question and went straight to what they actually needed for their coming role in the world

You will receive power.

They needed his strength, gifts, and ability to spread the gospel and go through their own struggles while He transformed their lives into his image.   And that’s it isn’t it?

Often I hear Christians who read scriptures about power and focus, like Simon the sorcerer, on something everyone can see. After all, shouldn’t we do things to amaze and convert like in the Book of Acts?    Let’s show them that we can perform miracles, prophecy future events, go to church and kiss the coronavirus on the forehead and not be harmed.  We’ll show those unbelievers!

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On the contrary, our power is living our lives according to God’s word and having peace in the midst of confusion.  Strength comes by using our gifts to be Jesus’ hands, feet, and heart in times of crisis.  Sound mundane? Less than spectacular? Consider that the ability to endure, and make it through trouble is something few have the patience for.  One of the fruits of the spirit is PATIENCE. The ability to wait and see. Less talk and more prayer. This pandemic will definitely try our patience.

Inner peace and patience are prized possessions (yes more than toilet paper and hand sanitizer). Having God’s peace in a time of trouble has stellar, black-market value.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27( ESV)
The disciples just needed to know that he would be with them.  They didn’t need to know every detail of what was coming at them, but they did need to know that his presence would be there to help them.
That he would not leave them in time of distress, tragedy, or sadness.  Having peace is powerful. We just need to know that He walks with us from day today.

 

Confidence in the Lord

I have new goals and a new life. A total change from the last 30 years.  Not without problems, though, but a new outlook. A more mature outlook.  I am excited about my future and my family and we are getting closer everyday. 

A recent scripture came into focus for me.

Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust…

Psalms 40:4a

images (1)Blessed is the person that makes God his confidence and confidant. I am leaning on Him and relying on Him, whatever else I rely on in life: connections, education, or charisma, the Word of God always leads me back to the fact that none of those things means anything without trust in God. 

I’m reminded that God is in control even when my life seems chaotic.  I remind myself of this time and time again. Each time, the situation is different.  Often more complex or difficult than the last in some way, shape, or form.

It all has to do with our trusting God in our circumstances and for our life.  This doesn’t mean being impractical or shrugging shoulders just hoping it works out.  That is leaving your life to fate with no direction.  God gives direction.  There are efforts we have to put forth that are within our reach, and then we see what God will do. download (2)

I remind myself that God takes care of the flowers and birds which we pay so little attention to, and yet, he still is focused on us and our problems in every detail, even when it seems that he’s left us alone.

When I feel alone in my troubles, I’m  reminded that Christ felt alone on the cross. He also felt God had forsaken him when God was indeed with him more than ever as he completed his divine mission.

It’s odd how God in our creation blessed us with emotions.  They are a blessing even though they can often seem a curse. Oh, that we could go through life and feel nothing. But we only wish that kind of stuff when things hurt. We hate pain, and so don’t want anything to befall us that’s painful.

We only love our emotions when things are well.  I guess it’s all part of being human. But I’m learning to deal with the devil on my shoulder and push negativity aside.  Often I have to ignore feelings and that voice in my head that screams doom and disaster,  just to get through the day. 

Sometimes it seems like torture, and other times, I begin to understand the value of those emotions. They teach me to overcome.

They teach me that feelings are not truth itself, they are only reactions to truths and circumstances.

I am determined more than ever not to let the past dictate my future or encroach on the present.  

We have a family crisis but we are hopeful for the new year because of our reliance on the Lord. So many don’t have confidence in the son of God, but I do.  I believe he is all that he says he is.

Focus on the good things.

It takes practice when you’re surrounded by pressures and problems, but it’s worth the effort to stay positive, to stay present.  

Trust in the Lord is a wonderful thing. 

 

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My Personal Revolution

Personal growth is the result of re-evaluation.When you discover a place, a relationship, or a situation that hinders the possibilities in your life, then it’s time to make some moves.  Our lives are meant to be used wisely. 

Personal growth is the result of re-evaluation.  Our heavenly Father is definitely into reviewing things and making alterations based on circumstances.  In the Old Testament, He declared the city of Nineveh null and void until he saw that they repented from the heart.  He changed his mind about them.  Originally, when it was time for Isreal to exit Egypt, God wanted to just use Moses, but because Moses was so insecure about his speaking abilities, he told Moses to take his brother Aaron with him. That was not the first plan. When you think about it, the fall of Adam was not the first plan either, but God made the glorious adjustment. Reexamination can lead to beautiful results. Continue reading “My Personal Revolution”