I spent far too much time worrying in 2012.
Worry robs us. It takes our sleep, our energy, our joy. It lies and distracts and saps and defeats and I'm pretty sure it aged me. Pictures don't lie.
Aren't people who follow God supposed to be characterized by peace and joy?
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . .
I failed. Miserably.
It isn't right, all this worry. How does one find peace and joy? What must I do to cultivate it? How can I replace, or rather fight, the awful worry? Surely God's Word has the key to finding peace, right?
Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you."
God told Moses and Aaron to bless others with this message, "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."
David tells us, "The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace."
Lord, you establish peace for us . . .
There's nothing I can do to get peace? It can only come from Him? It must be given?
But as I continue in His Word, I find another hint.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
. . . in quietness and trust is your strength . . .
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. . .
It's always the right answer.
HOW? How does one trust God? It sounds pretty, but what does it mean?
I trust my husband because we have history, because he's shown himself trustworthy, because time has proven it to me. It's knowledge of each other and a track record. And the same is true of God. My history with Him has shown me He has carried me, led me, gently taught and guided. So trusting Him means remembering His faithfulness. It means spending time with Him, believing Him at His Word, being IN His Word. It means setting myself in His presence as often as possible and being confident of His love and plan.
Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise, who shout on parade in the bright presence of God. Delighted, they dance all day long; they know who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet! Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air!
Psalm 89:15-17 (MSG)
Sounds like peace and joy, doesn't it?
In past years I've chosen a word to focus on rather than making resolutions. But this year I plan to seek the elusive, to go hard after peace and joy. My plan? Three easy steps.
Step #1 Pray for peace. If only God gives it, I should be asking for it.
Step #2 Put myself in God's Presence and Word as much as possible, more than ever, out of necessity and with consistency and urgency.
Step #3 Praise Him, sing to Him, in all circumstances and when I don't know what else to do.
Prayer. Presence. Praise.
It's my antidote to worry. Not an easy fix. I know it will take time and practice. I won't kick the worry habit quickly, but it will come. Eventually. As long as I stick with it. His Word promises it.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast . . .
What are your goals for 2013?
Scripture References: Colossians 3:15, John 14:27, Numbers 6:24-26, Psalm 29:11, Isaiah 26:12, Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 30:15, Psalm 56:3-4
Photo Credit: ruffin_ready