“Peace Be Still”

When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.  (Mark 4:39, NLT)

“Peace Be Still” (by The Belonging Co)

I don’t want to be afraid
Every time I face the waves
I don’t want to be afraid
I don’t want to be afraid
I don’t want to fear the storm
Just because I hear it roar
I don’t want to fear the storm
I don’t want to fear the storm

Peace be still
Say the word and I will
Set my feet upon the sea
Till I’m dancing in the deep
Oh, peace be still
You are here so it is well
Even when my eyes can’t see
I will trust the voice that speaks

I’m not gonna be afraid
‘Cause these waves are only waves
Oh, I’m not gonna be afraid
I’m not gonna be afraid
I’m not gonna fear the storm
You are greater than its roar
I’m not gonna fear the storm
Oh, I’m not gonna fear at all

Peace be still
Say the word and I will
Set my feet upon the sea
Till I’m dancing in the deep
Oh, peace be still
You are here so it is well
Even when my eyes can’t see
I will trust the voice that speaks

Peace, peace
Over me

Let faith rise up
Oh heart, believe
Let faith rise up in me

 

Are you feeling lost?  Are you facing a storm, and you just don’t have the strength to stand against the waves?  Are you hurting or worried or afraid?

I speak Peace today…over YOU…your heart, your mind, your circumstance, your worries, your hurts, your grief…all of it.  May the peace of God wash over every part of your life.  May it bolster you when you are weak.  May it soften and open your wounded, sequestered heart.  May it find you in your darkest hour and be a light when you are lost.  May it be a reminder of the greatness of our God, rebuilding your crumbled faith and giving you all of the strength you need to stand and say, “Peace be still!  You are here, so it is well!”

Let me tell you a little something about Jesus:  He’s bigger, He’s greater, He’s stronger, and He did not shed His blood in vain.  He came to Earth so that He could reach out to us in a very personal and experiential way.  He stepped out into the masses and got his hands dirty, reaching out to touch the lowliest of all, a direct response to His great love and compassion for humanity.  He was fully man so that He could have complete empathy for us, yet He was (and is…and forever will be) fully God so that He could be a direct line of supernatural power from God the Father to us.  He came to heal, restore, and break us free from the prison of sin…and through His death and resurrection it was all completed and accomplished.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed. 

(Isaiah 53: 4-5, ESV)

So let your faith rise up from the ashes, and let your heart truly and fiercely believe that He has taken it ALL and is using every moment, every circumstance, everything that seems wrong, and everything that feels too big, to perfect His work in you.  In the midst of what feels like a storm, just trust Him, and speak His peace over your heart today.

These waves are only waves.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for Your peace.  I am confident, strong, and full of faith because of Your peace.  Amen. 

“I Will Trust in You!”

(Psalm 105:39-41) 39 He spread out a cloud as a covering, and a fire to give light at night. 40 They asked, and he brought them quail; he fed them well with the bread of heaven. 41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed like a river in the desert.


For the lonely, for the lost; when you struggle to believe; when you feel forgotten, discouraged and defeated; when your money’s run out and your hope is spent…

For the childless woman with a mother’s heart, for the widow, for the bereaved; when you wonder why; when sadness overwhelms your heart…

For the broken family, for the abused and neglected; when you’re numb and your faith is dead; when guilt and shame have crushed your spirit…

(Psalm 139: 1-5) 1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

…the Lord knows.

Sometimes you have to take a look in the rearview mirror, to gain some retrospective.  I’m sure if you were to ask the Israelites in the midst of their journey through the wilderness how they felt about life, they probably wouldn’t have had much positive feedback.  They were, in fact, dealing with crisis after crisis, misery upon misery (or so it seemed to them).  When their exodus began, they were exhilarated by their deliverance and the miracles they had seen take place in order to set them free.  They set out toward the promised land much like a child sets out on a foot race…full speed ahead.  However, we all know what eventually happens to that eager runner.  Thirst, exhaustion, discouragement and frustration all seem to set in at once.  That’s when he is faced with the choice to either dread the long road ahead and quit, or to look back on what he has conquered thus far and finish what he started. 

For the Israelites, there were MANY stops and starts as they navigated their way toward something that, at times, I’m sure was hard to believe or trust.  Looking forward, it had to be unsettling to see no end to the struggles.  Thousands of years later, here we are, children of God, dealing with the same issue.  Because we are human, because our vision is limited and we cannot see the entire scope of what God is doing in our lives, we have to depend on our faith to keep us moving.  Looking back on the trials, the Israelites were able to recount what the Lord had done to sustain them. 

A good friend once told me to record my prayers (both great and small) in a journal and to go back after a year or so and allow myself to be encouraged and amazed at just how many of them were answered.  It doesn’t happen, rarely ever, the way that we would have imagined or hoped for it to…the answer, I mean…because you know what?  Sometimes the answer is a no, or the dreaded, “we’ll see.”  In our impatience and petulance, instead of forging on in faith, trusting the Creator of the world, we let our human”ness” bring us to a halt. 

In our loneliness we say, “I’m forgotten.” 

In our financial distress we declare, “This is hopeless.”

In our loss we cry out, “I can’t go on!”

In our shame we whisper, “I’m worthless.” 

But the word of the Lord says this:  16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4: 16-18)


Prayer:  Heavenly Father, when I look back on my life I see Your hand in all things, the joy and pain alike, and because of Your faithfulness I will continue to trust in You.  Amen. 

More than Okay

Matthew 6:25-33-  25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…  26Look at the birds of the air: … your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?7 28And why are you anxious…? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin… 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you…31Therefore do not be anxious… your heavenly Father knows what you need… 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

According to statistics discovered by the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 40 million North American citizens, ages 18-54, suffer from anxiety disorders. 65% take prescription meds daily, 43% take mood-altering prescriptions, and 42% use recreational drugs to cope with their constant stress. And in a world where responsibilities, sickness, crime, and chaos are unrestrained, I can understand how these numbers climbed so high.

But, I wish the statistics were different.

I know several people who deal with anxiety on a regular basis. Some of them see this Scripture as a means for others to subtly minimize their pain. Others see it as a rebuke of sorts. But, I don’t believe that’s true at all. I see a loving God, holding a shaken soul, determined to assure them He’s got them covered.

And He does. Next time the pressures of life start to overwhelm you, go straight to Him. (Psalm 61:2) Don’t allow one second of your life to be overshadowed by fear. He won’t reject you for a “lack of faith.” He won’t turn you away because “you don’t trust Him enough.” It’s a constant battle with this flesh. He knows that. But let Him hold you while you tremble. You’ll see just how quickly that spirit of worry will be stomped out by peace when you rest in Him. (2 Timothy 1:7)

I struggle with change. That’s when anxiety starts knocking on my door. I get comfortable with how things are, and the thought that something different might be worse causes so many mixed emotions for me. What if this destroys everything I’ve already worked for? How will this affect my family? What if I just messed my life up?  But, one thing I try to remember is something my youth pastor said to me when I was just 16 years old, praying and fretting about a decision I was supposed to make, with these same worries on the brain. He said, “Kristi, you can’t just step out of God’s will. He’s not going to make it easy for you to fail. He’s guiding you and He will get you where you need to go.” Then he quoted a Scripture,

Psalm 37:23- “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.”

Once again, I realized why I didn’t have to worry. He has my life in the palm of His hand, and as long as I’m letting Him lead, I’m going to be okay. No need to panic. I just need to seek Him. He’ll take care of the rest.

Questionable, uncertain, uncomfortable, and even scary situations come into our lives at times, but He can use them to ensure our growth, if we let Him. As Steven Furtick said, “We don’t want Him to prevent the fight, because we need Him to provide the faith.” When a stressful time comes your way, look at it as another opportunity to become stronger and even more secure in your faith. Just be open with the Lord. (He already knows your heart anyways!) He’ll provide you with strength, peace, and comfort. He will take care of you. Rest assured in that fact.

Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its peace. No one expects you to be able to handle it on your own. No one could. That’s why He tells you to come to Him. Get it off your chest. Pour your heart out. He wants you to!

(1 Peter 5:7- “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”)

Don’t wait until you’re a mess; the moment it hits, start a conversation with the One Who sticks closer than a brother.

There is something comforting about a billion stars held steady by a God Who knows what He’s doing.” And that same God who holds the universe in His hands is holding you. You are going to be okay. More than okay.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the assurance that You give me in Your word, that You will take care of me. Thank you for providing peace that can’t be explained. Help me to turn to You the moment I sense unease come my way. Thank You for loving me like You do and for providing all of my needs. In Your wonderful name I pray. Amen.

 

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