Tag Archives: peace

Peace In The Storm


Photo credit: wappic

A couple who are very dear to my husband and me are on their way to Maine this morning to visit his father who may be dying.

It is a gray and dreary day here in my part of the world  and my heart is heavy at the sorrow and uncertainty that awaits them at their destination. I made a similar drive 10 years ago when we got word that my dad had suffered a heart attack and I can still remember the feelings of anguish and fear like it happened yesterday.

No matter the age, one is never truly ready to lose a parent.

This year, I have been using a little calendar called Standing On The Promises Of God. in my devotional time. Each day, there is one promise to read. Without fail, I have found that whatever promise is given, it has applied to what I would face that day. It is such an enormous comfort and joy to hear my Savior’s voice so clearly and powerfully.

Today’s verse was Philippians 4:7. And God’s peace shall be yours (that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace) which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Amplified).

That is such a beautiful verse but I was unfamiliar with the term “garrison” so I researched it and it means: “to occupy with troops…any military post, especially a permanent one…fortified stronghold…synonyms: harbor, home.”

I think that paints a beautiful word picture of what Jesus does for us when fear hits hard and fast.

He stands in front of us and takes the hit for us. He cushions the blow, turns around, and envelops us in His love where we are safe and secure and gives us the strength to stand.

Jesus IS our safe harbor in the storm. Jesus IS our home. Jesus IS our stronghold.

Colossians 3:3 says that our lives as believers are hidden in Christ. That means that whatever comes to us must come through Him first. Since He has promised to work ALL things together for our highest good and His highest glory (Romans 8:28) we can know without a doubt that whatever He allows has come with great purpose and intention.

The use of the term “troops” in the definition of  garrison caused me to think of one of my very favorite life verses from Habakkuk 3:19: The Lord God is my Strength, my invincible army;…He will make me to walk (not to stand still in terror but to walk) and make spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, and responsibility. (Amplified).

Do you realize that we have the power of an invincible army living inside of us through the Spirit of Christ?!

The word invincible means: “powerful, strong, unbeatable, unconquerable, undefeatable, untouchable, unyielding.”

That means that when trouble comes, you can confidently say—not about yourself but about Christ in you—:

I am powerful.

I am strong.

This will not beat me.

This will not conquer me.

This will not defeat me.

The Enemy cannot touch me.

I will not yield to fear.

So, when you are facing your fearful situation, take and accept His precious gift of peace! He tells you in Phil. 4:7 that it is yours for the taking…which means we can turn it down and give in to fear and worry instead, bringing upon ourselves all manner of strife. However, there is a much better way.

Let Him fight the battle for you while He saturates your heart with His supernatural peace.

And remember that when your heart is breaking, His was broken first…for you.

You are loved.

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

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What Do You Know?: Part I (Perfect Peace)


This summer, our pastor has been doing a series of sermons entitled: “What Do You Know?”

It has really had a powerful impact on me, so I decided to do a little series of my own on the blog by the same title. Each day will focus on one important aspect of something Jesus has been teaching me in recent weeks.

Pastor Steve began the series with the premise that as Christians, we all have a ton of head knowledge…but an important question must be answered: Has that head knowledge permeated our hearts so that it in turn affects our actions, how we live our day-to-day lives?

What do you know and what do you do with what you know?

This Christian life we live really IS meant to work! It is not just a nice theory or pious-sounding platitudes. True Christianity is a dynamic relationship with the living Christ. The same Jesus who walked the dusty roads of first century Israel is the same Jesus who walks with us today through the gift of the Holy Spirit (the very spirit of Jesus).

I like the way J.I. Packer puts it in his classic book, Knowing God:  “…when the New Testament tells us that Jesus Christ is risen, one of the things it means is that the victim of Calvary is now, so to speak, loose and at large, so that any man anywhere can enjoy the same kind of relationship with Him as the disciples had in the days of His flesh. The only difference is that…His presence with the Christian is spiritual, not bodily and so invisible to our physical eyes…knowing Jesus still remains as definite a relation of personal discipleship as it was for the twelve when He was on earth. The Jesus who walks through the gospel story walks with Christians now and knowing Him involves going with Him, now as then.” –pp.33-34

Even a cursory read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) will show that the lives of the twelve ordinary men who Jesus called to be His disciples had their lives turned utterly upside down. They went from living their day-to-day lives to seeing the dead raised to life, ferocious storms calmed by  Jesus speaking a simple command, all manner of illnesses healed, miraculous provision, etc.

Most importantly, being with Jesus utterly transformed them, in the midst of  incredibly tumultuous, fearful times.

They truly  experienced life as it was meant to be lived: in the Presence of their Creator and Savior, enveloped in a tsunami of joy.

He will do the same for us.

We live in very scary times: economic crises, natural disasters, horrific crime, social unrest..not to mention the trials, heartaches and stresses of our individual lives…the list could go on and on.

What does the Bible say about how to handle times such as these?

Very simply,  Jesus speaks peace to us.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord your God is the eternal Rock. —Isaiah 26:3-4, NLT

A look into the original language of this verse is very helpful.

The word for “keep” means: “to guard from danger, to watch over, to preserve, to observe, to guard with fidelity, to be kept close.”

The word for “perfect peace” means: ‘completeness, safety, tranquility, contentment, friendship with God.”

The word for “fixed” means: “to lean upon, to rest, to sustain, refresh, revive, support.”

Lastly, the word for “trust” means: “to have confidence, to be bold, to be secure, to feel safe.”

In light of these rich definitions, imagine coming to Jesus with all your cares and concerns, just pouring it all out. Then imagine Him taking your hands, looking you right in the eyes, and saying the following:

“(Insert your name here), “I’m glad you came to Me and shared all that is on your heart. I want you to know that I am guarding you from danger. I am watching over you, preserving your precious life. I am and always will be faithful to you. You are safe in My embrace. When you stay focused on Me (and not your circumstances), I will give you contentment and tranquility in the midst. I want you to lean on me and find rest. I will sustain you. I will refresh and revive your spirit. I am the One who upholds you, especially when you feel weakest. My will for you is that you have utmost confidence in Me and My ability to care for you. You can be bold because I walk with you. I am your Friend. Go through this day secure in the knowledge that you are loved with a perfect love. Know this: I am your Rock.  No matter what else is shaking in your life, I am in full control, steady and unmovable. You are  in a safe place.”

My head has known all that for a long time.

Now my heart knows it too.

And it is glorious.

Really, what is the alternative? Jesus desires to give us His unshakable peace…such a gracious and magnificent gift! Yet we would refuse what He freely offers so that we can  hold on to our worry, allowing it to eat us alive?

I am done with that. I am choosing to accept His gift of peace.

I pray that you, too, will truly know His perfect peace today. It is yours for the taking if you are a Christ follower. All you have to do is ask Him for it.

“Peace I leave with you; My own peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated, cowardly, and unsettled).”–John 14:27 (Amplified version)

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Pressure


“Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of a great opportunity.”–Michael Johnson

I needed to read this quote today.

I received some news this morning that unsettled me and caused fear to crash into my day like a car shoots through a storefront window when the driver confuses the gas with the brake.

On such a beautiful sunny day, these storm clouds within were most unwelcome.

Then, in God’s providence, I saw the above quote and it spoke to my heart in a powerful way.

So…the fear has come, the situation is scary…what is my opportunity here?

It is simply this: to make my feelings submit to the timeless truths of God’s Word.

There are 365 days in our calender year…and I have heard that there are 365 “fear nots” in the Bible…one for every single day of the year.

Fear only has a chance to be a part of my day if I allow it to.

I am choosing to deny it access.

Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated)…Peace I leave with you; My own peace I now give you…do not let your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid (Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled). —John 14:1, 27, Amplified version

Every time fear tries to worm its way back into my heart, I will meditate on this verse and allow His peace to eclipse and decimate the fear.

Not only will I deny fear access, I will choose to focus ONLY on today. There is nothing I can do to change the past and I am commanded by Jesus not to worry about the future (Matthew 6:34)

My opportunity is to fully live this day, to be completely present, to focus on the blessings that my gracious God has given to me within this 24 hour time frame.

My opportunity is not to allow shadows and ‘what ifs?’ to intimidate me.

My opportunity is to rest in the certain knowledge that my God will fight for me.

My opportunity this day is a huge one: to believe my faithful and good God.

My opportunity is to accept God’s invitation to  fully rejoice in Him.

This is an opportunity to live what I believe.

I will accept the challenge and by His grace, I will live this day in victory.

My feelings should be an indicator of my situation but never a dictator of my reaction.”–Lysa Terkeurst

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