Category Archives: Peace

Isaiah 30:15

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” NIV

This passage goes on to discuss how the people failed to repent, rest, be quiet or trust.

And, guess what happened? As long as the people were running around trying to solve their own problems, things just got progressively worse for them.

Verse 19 says, “you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help.”

I think that is so interesting. God knows everything about my life. He knows when I am worried or upset about an issue. But, His grace comes when I ask for it, when I cry out to Him for help. This is completely consistent with the message of salvation — He stands knocking. He doesn’t barge in to save the day. But, when I repent and ask for His help, He is immediately there.

I am not strong enough to worry my problems through to a solution. Instead, I will rest and trust in the marvel of His strength.

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Ephesians 6:13-17

Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the  breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. NIV

I’ve been studying the parables in Matthew.  One of my favorites, is the parable of the sower.  You may recall that the seed falls in four places — on the path, which is too hard for it to take root;  in shallow ground, where it sprouts quickly, but then dies out because of an undeveloped root system; in a place where thorns grow up and choke it out; and then finally on fertile ground where it takes root and multiplies.

The seed, of course, is the Word of God, and the various kinds of ground are the kinds of people who receive the Word.  Some are hard hearted and refuse to listen.  Some get enthusiastic early on, but, their faith fails to take root.  The third group, I think, are where Satan spends the majority of his time.  If he can use things to bind up believers, to make them ineffective, the word will fail to multiply.  And there will be fewer believers in that fourth group, which is out there making a difference.

One of the tools that Satan uses so effectively, in my opinion, is worry.  If I am bound up in worrying about things over which I have no control and that I cannot change, I am not up and out in the world making a difference for God.

I want to be Jesus’s hands and feet here on earth.  I am so thankful that God has provided these instructions and tools to use to overcome the thorns so that I can be fruitful.

I must protect myself from worry.  And I will do that by putting on the whole armor of God.

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Filed under Ephesians, New Testament, Peace, Worry

Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God.  NIV

In general, I’m a pretty busy person.  I run on a tight schedule all day long, even on the weekends.  Most things are planned out days or weeks in advance, and, when the time comes, all I have to do is execute … pop the food on the table, welcome the guests, facilitate the meeting agenda.  Many times, when I’m in the midst of an activity, my mind is not there … it already has moved on to planning the next activity or next several activities.

It is safe to say that I don’t live in the present very often.

If I don’t have something to plan, or to do, I frequently find myself worrying … all of these things combine to keep my mind occupied, almost wholly, with the future, over which, of course, I have absolutely no control.

But, through this project and through other things that are going on in my life, I am learning the importance of getting immersed in God’s word, for at least some time each day. And the true importance of living in the present with my Holy Father.

Yesterday, a new concordance arrived.  This one is indexed to the NIV, but still doesn’t have 365 references to the word “worry.”  What it does have, though, is a pretty amazing index, which will allow me to cross reference verses with original Greek and Hebrew words.  I am pretty confident that through this process, I will be able to find at least 365 reminders not to worry.

I found this verse, which I have known for years, to be so interesting when I looked at the original meanings behind its four main words:

  • Be still: Limp.  Have you ever worried yourself into a frenzy and then cried your heart out?  Do you know that feeling after you’ve sobbed and sobbed?  I feel limp when that happens.
  • and know:  Intimately know.  Know with every fibre of your being.
  • that I am God:  Me.

Give up worrying … give up stressing out … worry it and stress over it until it has physically wrung you out … then, in that silence that comes after the crying fit — know that God is there.  God who knows you intimately, who knit you together in your mother’s womb, who has numbered every hair on your head and counted every hour of your life, is there, being God – all powerful, all knowing, and there for you.

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Filed under Old Testament, Peace, Psalms

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.  NIV

I also looked at another translation, which says, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakeable and assured, deeply at peace.”  The Message

Peace is the exact opposite of worry.  The real key to peace is in trusting Jesus.  He has overcome the world … what more is there to say?  In Him, I can be unshakeable and assured.  I am so thankful for that.  What a gift!  God promises that in exchange for my trust, I will have deep and abiding peace.

I’m starting to believe that there may actually be 365 reminders not to worry.  So far, I’ve taken suggestions on which verses to find, and that’s been really helpful.  They’ve all been easy to look up using the concordance at the back of my Bible.  But, I suspect that the concordance is not exhaustive, so, I’ve ordered one that claims to be.

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Filed under John, Peace, Trouble

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. NIV

This verse says it all.  When I was a kid, my mom modeled this one for me often.  There were times when I would go to her, full of angst and stress about some issue, and she would say, “Let’s pray about it.”  At those times, we would bow our heads together, and she would always say, “Father, we have this situation, and we want to give it to you.  It is a big, sticky, ball of wax, but, you have the ability to take it from us, and make everything all right.”  I don’t mean to trivialize this … her prayers were often much longer and more involved, but, this theme of the ball of wax that we don’t have to carry or deal with ran through many of them.  Today, as an adult, I still find myself with balls of wax sometimes.

As I think more about this verse, I also love that it says “but in everything … with thanksgiving …”  That’s one I really need to ponder.  It is challenging to be thankful when you’re worried.  I’m wondering if that is a piece of the puzzle.  If I must stop and be thankful, then I am reminded that the one that I am thanking is all powerful and all knowing … how can I worry when I have the privilege of discussing my problems and worries with an all-knowing God?  When I can deposit my worries at His feet and exchange them for His peace?  I will ponder that today.

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Filed under Anxious, Peace, Philippians