Tag Archives: Peace

He’s here!

Luke 2:13-14

Suddenly  great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to me on whom his favor rests.” NIV

Christ was born on Christmas Day to take away our sins and the worries that result from them.

Glory to God this Christmas morning!


Filed under Luke, Peace

I’d like one handful, with a side of tranquility

Ecclesiastes 4:6

Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. NIV

I found this verse this morning when searching “The Message” for the word, “fun.”

When you’re worried, you’re not having any … so, I thought there might be some verses that spoke to that.  The fun verse is a little further down, but, while I was reading in The Message, I found this verse, “One handful of peaceful repose is better than two fistfuls of worried work — More spitting into the wind.” MSG

Worried work — I love that.

We work and work and work so that we can climb the corporate ladder, and then what?  If all we’ve accomplished is to get to the top, once we’re there, we’re faced with the question, “what’s next?”

But, if instead, we are approaching life with a larger sense of purpose … if we’re focused on giving of ourselves instead of getting for ourselves, we will be positioned to fulfill God’s will for our lives and we ourselves will be fulfilled.  We’ll have the tranquility that this verse mentions.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Ecclesiastes, Old Testament, Worry

We might wobble, but we won’t fall down

Psalm 119:165

Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.  NIV

I found this reminder yesterday when I was searching the New International Version of the Bible for occurrences of the word, “wait.”  This verse comes just before the “wait” reminder that I looked at yesterday.

This verse, this reminder, is all about obedience.

If we are obedient to God in all things, we will be granted peace such that nothing can trip us up.

The image that comes to mind is a Weeble — a Playskool toy that my sister had when she was little.   Their commercial had a little song to it, and the words were, “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”

Sure enough, they didn’t.  I tried to keep them down … it was impossible.  The toy is engineered such that no matter what you do, it always returns to it’s rightful orientation … right-side up and standing tall.

As an obedient Christian, I might wobble a bit in my clumsy attempts to do God’s will and to follow His commands, but, I will not end up face down in the dirt.

That’s a reminder not to worry, and that’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Old Testament, Peace, Psalms, Worry

And He will be their peace

Micah 5:5a

And he will be their peace. NIV

What a beautiful reminder!  Just five words … powerful words.

Over a lifetime of reading Bible stories, and completing Bible studies, I don’t believe I’ve ever spent any real time studying Micah.  And yet, here is a beautiful foretelling of Christ’s coming.  The first part of Chapter 5 is called, “A promised ruler from Bethlehem,” in my NIV Bible.

I love what verse 4 says, “He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.  And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.” NIV

Such a beautiful word picture to start a beautiful, Fall week.

And He will be their peace …

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Micah, Old Testament, Peace, Worry

He is mighty to save

Zephaniah 3:20

On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp.  The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.  NIV

I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I learned the books of the Bible.  I remember the classroom where my Sunday School met, and I remember the sword drills.  While I can’t remember exactly how old I was, I know that I was less then nine.  When I was nine we changed churches … and I didn’t have that classroom anymore.

I remember practicing the order of the books for hours.  I can remember practicing outside and walking through our house, and watching myself in the mirror as I proudly held my Bible and came up with verses for myself to look up as quickly as possible.

When I got to the section of the list that holds Zephaniah, I remember being so thankful, because it rhymed, and, because it was the end.  “Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi … Done!”  Our teacher had started us learning the New Testament books, so, once we finished the Old Testament, the task was complete.

But in all the years since those memorable sword drills, no one has ever asked me to look up a verse in Zephaniah.

So, this morning, when I found a verse in Zephaniah there in the “fear” listing of my King James concordance, I was pretty pleased.  Finally, it would be useful to know where Zephaniah is.

This is a beautiful, beautiful verse.  I love the phrase, “He is mighty to save,” which is part of the chorus of one of my favorite praise songs.

But, more than that, I love the imagery here.

When I am truly worried or distraught about an issue, I do feel limp.  I remember the last cross-country trip I made to see my friend before she died.  When I  left, I knew that I would not see her again on this side of heaven.  I got on the plane with many things to do … I had been gone from work and had a bag of activities that needed attention.  Instead, I sat on the plane from her town to the big city where I laid over and just watched the engine and the wing flaps.  My hands were limp.

I wish that at that moment, I had read the book of Zephaniah.  Now, more than a year later, I find these verses so comforting, and so true!  God does delight in me, in all of us.  He has quieted me with His love.  And now, I am able to join Him in rejoicing in the gift that is my life.

He IS mighty to save.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Old Testament, Zephaniah

A short reminder

Luke 23:43

Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” NIV

I have a busy day ahead of me.  As I was driving home late last night, I planned this morning.  I briefly considered whether I would have time for my quiet time this morning.  When the alarm went off, as I was thanking God for the opportunities that today holds, I thought … “I need a short verse this morning God.”

With no time to go through two concordances, I went straight to Bible Gateway.com.  As I perused the listings of the word, “worry,” in The Message, the length of this verse caught my eye.

And then when I read it … I was overwhelmed.

This is, indeed, a short verse and an obvious reminder not to worry.  The Message translates it, “He said, ‘Don’t worry.  I will.  Today you will join me in paradise.'”MSG

These are among the last words my savior spoke before dying on the cross.  “Don’t worry.” How powerful!

As he reassured the thief dying next to him of his future, so he reassures me.  There is nothing to fear.  Should this be my last day here, or whatever my last day will be, on that day, I will be with HIM in paradise.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Fear, Luke, New Testament, Worry

We can only see the back

Psalm 34:19

A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. NIV

So true.

As I’ve traversed the ups and downs of my life, some of the sweetest times have also been those that, at the time, seemed the darkest.  It was at those times, that I drew closest to my heavenly father.

My mother’s mother died when I was very young.  She enjoyed working with her hands, sewing, quilting and embroidering.  Growing up, we had tons of quilts in the house.  In fact, I was a teenager before I knew that you could buy one in a store.  I thought everyone’s grandmother would have filled their homes with colorful quilts.  I can remember being sick and being wrapped up in them … such a comfort.

When she died, my mom and my uncles asked me if there was anything of hers that I would like to have.  I asked for her sewing machine.  I think that this might have surprised my parents, but, they put it in the car and we hauled it home.  I can remember how excited I was as my dad plugged it in at our house.  As I looked at it in wonder, it was a gorgeous shade of pink, my dad, the engineer was trying to figure out how it worked.  My mom had never used one.

There was an instruction book, but the machine had been made in an Asian country, and my father could not read it.  He went next door and asked the neighbor for her help.  She came and threaded it up and showed me how to work the peddle, and a lifetime of pleasure opened up for me.

My fifth grade teacher taught me to embroider. I loved it.  Then there was my cross-stitching phase, when everyone I knew got something cross-stiched for Christmas.  I learned to knit, and made Christmas stockings for my entire extended family with their names worked into the top of each stocking.

Throughout my life, as I would share my works in progress with my mother, she would always be very supportive and encouraging, but she would predictably always say one thing, “Let me see the back.”

As I would show her my work, she would always turn it over in her hands and reminisce on how proud my grandmother always was of the back of her work.  I have learned it to be true, that if you will be mindful of keeping the back of your work as neat as possible, the end product will look much crisper.

Let me see the back.

We all have our own image of God and the role he plays in our lives.  One of my perspectives is of God as a master craftsman.  His will is a massive project, and my life is just one tiny little piece of it.  As he works his perfect plan, he brings together dark and light to achieve the effect.  As I look back over my life, I can see some of the pattern, and I am always thankful when the pieces fall into place and I can understand some of what I’ve gone through and how it has been helpful in later phases of my life.

But, I don’t have the whole picture … I’m too close to it.  While I love to be snuggled in a quilt, you can’t appreciate it’s full beauty unless you stand back from it … and the further you get away from it, the more beautiful it becomes.

As I live my life here on earth, I can only see a small portion of the back side of God’s project.  The problems in my life, I see as the dark shades that are necessary to provide contrast.  The biggest thorniest problems are the knots and tangles that are necessary on the backside of any piece of handiwork.

But, when I enter heaven, I will finally understand the beauty of the front side of God’s work.

For now, I’ll keep looking at the back and I will take comfort in this verse.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Old Testament, Psalms, Trouble, Worry

He is the quiet, secure place in a noisy world

Psalm 27:5

For in the day of trouble, he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. NIV

This morning, as I was reading Psalm 34, it occurred to me that I had spent some time looking for the phrase, “lose heart,” as a synonym for worry, but, I had not spent any time looking for “take heart,” which would be its corresponding encouragement.  Instead of going to the verb, “take” in my NIV concordance, I started with “heart.”

While I didn’t find any “take hearts,” beyond one that I already had catalogued, I stopped in Psalm 27, where the concordance said, “my heart will not fear.”  When I flipped to his verse in my Project Bible, I saw that this was a reminder (Psalm 27:3) that I already had found.   But as I read on in the chapter, I found this verse.

As I read it in the NIV, it seemed so comforting to me — he will keep me safe, he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle.

My safety and security are not found in this world, but in my relationship to God.

When I looked at the way The Message translates this verse, I was amazed: “That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, the perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.” MSG

For the last several days, my family and I have been consumed by the buzz of traffic.  I especially have allowed the buzz of traffic to distract me and upset me.

Our Father hears our prayers.  He knows and understands what distresses us, and He wants to relieve those worries … whatever they may be.

When I go to the preceding verse in The Message, it says, “I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: to live with him in his house my whole life long.  I’ll contemplate his beauty, I’ll study at his feet.” MSG

That’s my prayer today.

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Filed under Old Testament, Peace, Psalms, Trust, Worry

I’d like Grace Kelly’s face, please

Ezekiel 3:9

I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint.  Do not be afraid of them, though they are a rebellious house. NIV

As I work my way through the listings of the term “fear not” in my King James concordance, I’m now in the book of Ezekiel.  I’ve not spent much time in this book, and this chapter appears to be the record of an encounter with God, during which God is preparing Ezekiel to carry an important message to the people of Israel.

I absolutely love this verse.  The message translates it, “I’ll make your face as hard as rock, harder than granite. Don’t let them intimidate you.  Don’t be afraid of them, even though they are a bunch of rebels.” MSG

I once saw a piece on TV about Grace Kelly’s life.  She was a beautiful actress, and some of my favorite movies are ones that she did with Hitchcock.  During the piece, the narrator referred to letters that Grace had written home to her family when she was first beginning her acting career.  She was lamenting to them that she had a great deal of trouble showing emotion on her face.  I was so surprised by that!  It had never occurred to me that people would struggle with showing emotion, because my struggle has always been just the opposite.

But, God made all of us uniquely, so, as I thought about it, it occurred to me that the ability to show emotion, or lack thereof, was likely on a spectrum, like most things in life.  For some people it is very easy, for others, very hard.  Until that point, I had never considered this to be an ability, rather more like a curse.  I had spent some time wondering how others could be so good at hiding what they were thinking, when my face seemed to betray my thoughts on a moment by moment basis.

As I read this verse, I believe that Ezekiel likely had the same propensity as I to show what he was thinking.  God knows that.  And, he offers — note that Ezekiel doesn’t ask for this — God offers to harden his face for him … and then reassures him by telling him not to be intimidated by the frightening bunch that God is sending Ezekiel to speak with.

This is something that I have not thought of before.  Of course, God can do anything … but I never thought about asking him to help me keep my emotions off my face.

The next time I face a situation like the one described in this chapter … well not exactly like it, because I seriously doubt that God is going to be asking me to eat a book anytime soon … but, the next time I’m going into an intimidating situation, instead of worrying about it, I’m going to ask God to make my face as hard as granite … or maybe, as hard as Grace Kelly’s.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Ezekiel, Old Testament, Strength, Worry

It’s going to be all right

Lamentations 3:57

You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” NIV

This is such a beautiful, beautiful verse.  The intimacy of the relationship between the writer and God is striking.

Throughout this project, I’ve seen a pattern clearly mapped out.  If we will call out to God in our times of trouble, if we will take our worries to Him and trust that He will solve them, we won’t have to struggle with them any longer.

He may not — in fact, in my case, He probably will not — resolve the issue in the way that I think is best.  But, I am not God — for very good reasons.

Times of trouble in our lives can serve to draw us closer to Him.  He wants that … He wants us to turn to Him as the first resort, not the last … to cry out so that He can come near and comfort us.  The Message translates the last phrase of this verse, “It’s going to be all right.”

It is.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Fear, Lamentations, Old Testament, Peace, Worry