Posts Tagged Peace

These Times

These Times“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12-NIV)

“It was the BEST of times and the WORST of times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief. It was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of light. It was the season of darkness. It was the spring of hope. It was the winter of despair.” — Pride and Prejudice

These are the days of Elijah, Moses, Ezekiel and David. They are prophetic times. Times to make our callings sure. Times to come out of our comfort zones. Times to risk all for the Kingdom sake. Times for better or worse. Times to love for richer or poorer–in sickness and in health. Times when God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. Times when our weaknesses are our strengths.

Times to live what we profess. Times to seek and to serve. Times to reach and to teach–to watch and to wait. Times to trust and to obey–to fast and to pray. Times to love and to lift–to speak and to witness. These are times of change, challenge and choice. Times of hope and help. THESE ARE TIMES THAT TRY OUR SOULS!!

These are the times for which I was being prepared from my mother’s womb. I am one of “the called according to His purpose,” and “I am confident that He that has begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

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Beloveds, trust with me that our times are in God’s good Hands (even times like these). Believe with me that we need never fear what a day may bring forth. Realize that God is in control of our days and our destinies.

May these words of Charles A. Tindley, encourage and strengthen your faith in the days ahead,

Harder yet may be the fight
Right may often yield to might
Wickedness awhile may reign
Satan’s cause may seem to gain
There is a God that rules above
With a hand of power and heart of love,
And if (we) are right, He’ll fight (our) battle
(and) (we) shall have peace some day.

485605_450563531700504_526398939_nPRAYER:  Father, sometimes it’s hard to see the rainbow through the storms. It is difficult to fathom the silver lining behind the dark clouds of this life. Saturate us with your immeasurable strength for the living of these days. Give us Holy boldness as we try to faithfully move forward. Make our feet as hind’s feet for our mountains. Help us to stand tall in our high places and give us peace through every valley. Empower us as we strive to be the salt and light you have called us to be “for such a time as this.” For thy Son’s sake we pray. AMEN

I would love to hear from you today.  Let’s start a conversation. Are you concerned about the future? What comforts you when you watch or listen to today’s troubling news? What goes through your mind? How do you help those close to you during these disturbing times?

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Be Careful What You Pray For

395603_544513075600432_819642870_nBe careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6-7

I prayed for God’s guidance in knowing my purpose. I was experiencing so much pain in my life I thought I could not be in God’s will. For years, I looked for some great mission statement or special career path to reassure me I was on the right track, but discovered my purpose was simply to: Do all the good I can, in all the ways I can, while I can. That’s it — nothing more or anything less. Of course my prayer was heard immediately, but God only spoke when I was ready to listen. He then answered in His own time and way.

I have learned through personal trials, that struggle and tribulation aid us in learning, growing, and glorifying God’s Name. And the more we endure and overcome, the more God can use us to accomplish His work. These words of Apostle Paul, taught in 2nd Corinthians 12:9, comfort me, “And he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

It is the testing of our faith that pleases God (James 1:3) and unshakable faith comes from having our faith shaken.  Our part is simply TO ASK in prayer. Whether God answers, or we feel that God answers, is irrelevant. We must pray about everything, placing all matters into God’s hands, and resting in the assurance that the Lord will handle them.

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God will not move our mountains, but He will give us the strength to climb them.  We may have to go through valleys, but He will walk with us every step of the way. No matter what we are going through, we can count on God. If God said He will feed you – set the table and get ready to eat. I can witness with David, “I have been young and now am old, but I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor His seed begging for bread.” What I have seen in my lifetime has enabled me trust God for all I have not seen.  Our God never slumbers nor sleeps. Neither does God play games nor waste time. I may not know what’s ahead but I know that God has been better than good to me thus far, and I don’t believe He would bring me this far to leave me now.

Be careful what you pray for. You may never get what you ask for or think you want; and, what you get may not be what you expected, but one thing is certain — God will always give you what you need.

Consider this ageless (anonymous) poem: 

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life
.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

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Pray without ceasing. Make your requests known to God and receive God’s peace. If you are experiencing a Divine delay, it does not always mean a denial. It very likely means God is increasing your faith or patience and maybe there is even something greater for you than your requestPraise God for what you understand and praise God even more for what you don’t understand, because God understands everything. Walk in quiet confidence knowing no matter how things appear, “. . . in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

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On Being Still

O how rare it is that the soul is sufficiently stilled to let God speak.” Francois Fenelon

I have always appreciated the Quaker’ approach to prayer how they quietly gather in small groups, sit in silence and await the voice of God. “Quaker’ prayer, notes Virginia Schurman, (a member of the organization ), is a prayer of quiet peace, of being in the Lord’s presence and of basking in His nearness and His Love. Even more, it is listening with the mind, heart and spirit and being made teachable. Most Quaker’s understand that being quiet in God’s presence is a powerful gift; that it is through silence that the Holy Spirit is heard and allowed to speak. It is an active surrendering, a listening stillness, a self-abandonment to Divine providence and this loving attentiveness and openness to God is beyond words.”

What a brilliant idea and a novel concept to sit in silence, lift one’s spirit to God’s, and simply await God’s Word. Because unfortunately, many of us, notes Kirk Byron Jones, are “walking storms, personal winds and waves of busyness, moving from one thing to the next with little or no time for respite,” much less for prayer.” In fact, my own devotional times have been bombarded with so many competing distractions that I am guilty of neglectful prayer.

In the maddening maze of things, though tossed by storm and flood. To one sure hope my spirit clings—I know that God is good.  John Greenleaf Whittier

But fortunately, as I mature in faith, the better I understand that God’s ways are not my ways. That God is not impressed with my busyness or exhaustion and that life is more than simply a list of things to do. There is no doubt that there is a priority and order to God’s plan for our lives. To know that plan is to seek it in silence – in a quiet place of prayer and to make ourselves fully present to God. There, in the stillness, we can recall our “God Moments.” There, in calmness, we can remember God’s promises and faithfulness. There, in serenity, we can spiritually navigate the troubled seas and pressures of life. There, by God’s Grace, we can patiently await true peace that only comes from the Prince of Peace, who dwells in our heart by faith.

Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

Beloveds, God is always speaking — Are you listening?

PRAYER SCRIPTURE:  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

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A Prayer for A New Year

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

prayerHAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
A simple prayer from my heart to yours for a new year.

I PRAY:
Strength
for your journey
Light for your way
Healing for your hurts
Hope in your despair
Comfort in your fears and
Laughter in your tears.

I pray God’s Love will draw you ever nearer;
Empower you to see Him clearer and enable you to
Love Him even more than you loved at first.
To the end that your peace will be Perfect and
your faith will never fail.

And so, I leave you with a Scripture that daily Blesses me in my walk with the Lord. It will benefit you to memorize it and hide it in your own heart in the challenging days to come. It is found in the third chapter of the Book of Proverbs, verses 5, 6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” 

May God’s Grace and Favor rest upon you with every precious breath. Now and always. For Jesus’ Christ’s sake, I pray.  Amen

Be Blessed,

 

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My Peace

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:7-10)(New International Version)

Earlier this week, my daughter frantically phoned me and asked, “Mom, did you feel that?” I said,”Feel what?” She said, “My building just shook–I think it was an earthquake.” I didn’t take her seriously at the time, and calmly reassured her it was probably nothing to be concerned about. But as we were talking, the radio announcer in the background said emphatically, “A 5.8 earthquake just shook the east coast!” I was amazed, not simply because there was an earthquake, but because my daughter lives less than a mile from my home, the quake was gone, and there were no effects of the quake even near me! Even as I write this post, “Hurricane Irene” is devastating the Northeastern corridor and the area I live in has again been spared. In fact, the sun is shining brightly and there is a refreshing breeze. God works in mysterious ways!

I am grateful just to be alive and to see another day that the Lord has made.  I am truly glad and I will rejoice in it.  Today is another opportunity to be thankful and yes, even to be grateful for the storms that forced me to “work” my faith in the God I praise. My storms have allowed me to express  my faith in the One I know has always been in control of this world–The One who knows everything–The One who never slumbers nor sleeps–The One who never leaves nor forsakes us–The One who has always loved and cared for His own. Yes, storms will come and go, but there is a Blessed assurance in knowing that we are never out of the presence of the Lord.

God knows the measure of our days and what our futures hold.  ALL times are in God’s good Hands. I am secure no matter what is happening around me. My spirit is anchored in “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.” I am “like a tree planted by the rivers of waters and I will not be moved.” Storms may surround me, but my spirit now rests as calmly as a baby’s because I know what someone already wisely said, “Peace is not found in the absence of conflict–peace is found in the presence of the Lord.”

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Perfect Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”
St. John 14:27 (New International Translation)

As I sit at my desk watching the tree on my front lawn move furiously in the wind — a tornado watch has been issued and the dark clouds look ominous.  Suddenly, my computer screen fades to black and the higher speed internet I just ordered is indicating that the system is down. I have to postpone again — this already late post I am entitling “Perfect Peace.”

I continue to wait for the system to restart and I reflect on the past week that has been particularly Blessed — all plans flowed effortlessly.  But today, as I attempt to get back on schedule and to write this post — things are falling apart.  Could it be a reminder that when all is well with me and mine that I simply take life for granted?  Could it be that I have been so busy being busy that I forgot to remember what is truly important to the Lord?  I have not listened to the news.  I have not thought of the wars and other disquieting situations at home and abroad — that is: not until this hour of angst in my own world.  As I continue to wait and reflect on God’s goodness — as suddenly and abruptly as they began — the winds calm, my tree stills, the sun returns and so do the lights on my modem — lesson learned!  Peacefully, I get back to work.  Isn’t it amazing how the Father gets our attention!!

Jesus tried to tell His disciples from the beginning that this day would come, but they would not hear Him.  He knew they were upset by the talk of betrayal and the thought of His leaving them.  He knew what they would face in the coming days, and He was concerned about the effect his death would have on them.  So, He tries to get them to understand why it has to happen. Jesus knew His time was at hand and the end had come, but He was ready for it. We saw in the Garden, how He dreaded the pain, but we also saw how He kept His eye on the joy beyond the pain.  That is the picture of “peace in its perfection” that He bequeathed to them and to us.

During this High and Holy season of celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord, let us remember amidst all the chaotic noise and constant upheaval of this world, we (His followers) own a legacy from the “Prince of Peace!”  “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) 

 

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