I am sensing that God is stirring His church right now.  And not just His church, but our entire nation, believers and non believers everywhere.  There is a looming question left in our hearts after facing the recent tragedy of the Century 16 shooting in Aurora, Colorado…  do I have peace?

It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can even know what peace is.  For me personally, peace is the confidence that no matter where I am, no matter what circumstances I face, I do not need to fear, because I belong to Jesus.  I am His!  His promises are for me, and He says in His word that He will never leave me for nor forsake me.  Peace is also security.  I find security through my relationship with my Savior and through His Word alone.  Here are a few of my favorite scriptures regarding peace.

“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 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.” Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

This verse tells me the Lord is near and not to be anxious about anything; instead, pray.  Then, the peace of God, which, by the way is THE PEACE OF GOD (think about that for a minute), will guard my heart and my mind IN JESUS.  Not only that, but the peace of God goes beyond our human comprehension.  We don’t understand the kind of peace that will be guarding us when we turn our anxieties into prayer in EVERY situation.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…” Psalm 46:1-2

The Psalmist is describing an extreme difficulty.  The world is crumbling, yet he says because God is our refuge (a shelter or protection from danger) and because God is our strength, we will not fear.  I think sometimes we need to tell ourselves, “self, I will not fear; I will instead put my trust in God.”  It’s almost starts with a decision, but also requires realizing our own weakness and depending on His strength.

Fear is the opposite of peace.  Fear does not come from the Lord.  He says in His word that He does not give us, His children, a spirit of fear.  Fear is going to be the result when I don’t trust the Lord.  Fear takes many forms and shapes.  I have personally found myself plagued by the fear of being bold for Jesus.  The Lord has done some revealing and cleaning out in this area.  He had to get rid of the fear and replace it with trust.  I learned a life changing lesson: fear and trust cannot reside together.  Other really common fears are death, failure, rejection, singleness, tragedy… [you fill in the blank].

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper… It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” Psalm 118:6-8

If you find yourself plagued by any form of fear, small or big, I challenge you, first of all, to ask yourself if you have a relationship with God through his Son, Jesus Christ.  If you don’t know God, you cannot experience His peace.  Knowing God is simply believing by faith that God sent Jesus to die for your sin, and to receive forgiveness for sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus (telling God something like, I’m sorry for my sin, please forgive me, I believe and want to follow you).  He’s drawing you to Himself this very moment, saying, will you believe in me?  Secondly, if you lack peace, pray.  Ask God to show you what areas in your life He needs to deepen your trust in Him, and HE will weed out the fear.  It’s not something we can obtain on our own, it’s HIS work in our lives.  Thirdly, don’t fail to give fear the recognition it deserves in your life.  It paralyzes, it holds us back, it causes anxiety, it holds us in captivity and doesn’t allow us to live in complete freedom.  God wants to free us from fear and he does that through our trust in Him.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3 NIV

Father, I am grateful that you continually give me a peace that goes beyond my understanding.  I ask you to deepen my trust in you and prepare me for whatever comes into my life that will test my trust in You.  I pray you will reveal the fear in my life that holds me in captivity.  






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