Tuesday, January 17, 2006

stormy hearts

May the Lord of peace himself always give you his peace no matter what happens. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thes. 3:16

Let me ask you a question, what does peace mean to you? Do you feel that you are at peace? Do the storms of life destabilize you emotionally? For me Peace or Shalom is a major part of being healthy in this life.

Shalom is not defined in terms of absence but presence. Peace does not mean the absence of any irritations or problems. It means the presence of God. When I am aware of His presence, I can experience life the way God intended-peacefully. There is a real problem with this for me, in my awareness I often get so lost. Sheep are only lost in relationship to the shepherd, not their current location. If he is not around, they are lost, nervous, insecure, and afraid. So, my conclusion is that I cannot be emotionally healthy apart from knowing that God is near, that he cares.

Jesus once spoke peace to a raging storm in which his disciples were experiencing fear for their very lives. Think back to the night on which Christ was born. “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men” was the declaration. The Lord, who gives peace, because He Himself is peace, was born to command peace to our stormy hearts. It is the same peace of which Jesus later would say to His disciples, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you" (John 14:27). "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" (John 16:33).

Personally, I think it is far easier to speak to a storm than our anxious hearts. Jesus says that peace is found in Him. Yet we try and find it every other conceivable place. Then we wonder why we get ulcers and gray hair. We are not thinking clearly! We need to finally just accept the fact that apart from Jesus there is no real peace. Jesus has given His followers a very important gift-His Spirit to guide us through this difficult life. We only need to turn to Him and ask Him to speak to our hearts. He will simply do it if we learn to ask Him in faith.

I am learning this fresh and new. Believe me; I have plenty of opportunities to lose my peace and my mind. I face enormous challenges at times. I deal with personal heartbreak and pain more than I care to admit. There are few days in my life where I am free from pressure. I have realized that I need to experience the presence of Jesus or ministry will crush me. I am turning to Him and finding peace for my heart that is real! I am being renewed day by day by the love of Christ and I feel new health as a result. He is very present to me.

I pray that you would know God’s peace for you that is found no where else but in His Son Jesus. I pray that you would simply turn to Him right now for life and peace. Allow his Holy Spirit to direct your thought life and reveal the fact that God is near and He does care.

If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. Rom. 8:6

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

Be healthy today as you experience His peace,

1 comment:

R.J. Adams said...

That "the sheep is only lost in relation to the shepard" was awesome!!!

I think you still owe me breakfast!