“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
It’s hard sometimes. To not be anxious. To not be worried or stressed about events in life. General pressures, work situations, mistakes, unexpected occurrences, can all have us anxious. And who hasn’t felt anxious? Who hasn’t been worried, apprehensive, fearful, uneasy, perturbed, disquieted, troubled, agitated, tense, stressed, overwrought…. over something in life?
But here is Paul, telling us not to be anxious ever! He doesn’t ignore the fact that we may have cause to be worried. Instead he offers us a solution, by taking the situation to God, we can trade our anxiety for His peace. Our worry for His rest. God’s peace means tranquillity, calm, freedom from internal strife. You’re still in the storm but God’s peace prevails in your heart and mind. In essence, we can pray and not worry as we give our concerns to the Lord.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.’ (1 Peter 5:7)
It’s funny how some days time can just seem to vanish. One minute you’re well ahead of schedule and then suddenly the time is gone – as if into a vortex or you’ve entered a parallel universe where you’re late!
Time – it’s such a precious commodity. A limited to 24 hours a day commodity! Life coaches and experts have many tips on how to make the most of your time. To be more efficient at work, at home. To make every minute count!
But it’s true, there are moments in our day for our taking. Across our days we have small slices of time – maybe just 5 minutes here or there where we can take a breather, grab a coffee even! These are moments too where we can turn our hearts towards God, to pause and be aware of His presence in our lives. It’s how we keep the conversation going with God long after our quiet time is over.
“In order to know God, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure.” (Brother Lawrence)
“There is no sweeter manner of living in the world than continuous communion with God.” (Brother Lawrence)
“I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
Heavenly Father, I release to you the burdens that I have been carrying, burdens that You never intended for me to carry. I cast all my cares upon You-all my worries, all my fears.
Father, calm my restless spirit, quiet my anxious heart, still my troubling thoughts with the assurance that You are in control. I let go of my grip upon the things I have been hanging onto, with opened hands I come to You.
I thank You for Your promise to sustain me, preserve me, and guard all that I have entrusted to Your keeping. Protect my heart and mind with Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Father, may Your will be done in my life, in Your time, and in Your way.
(By Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder and writer)
Yesterday – a walk down memory lane. A rare opportunity to visit an old family home, the old family church. To see the pew that we would always sit in, the church hall where we went to Sunday School. To the see the house – my old bedroom, the back garden. Memories flooding back, of laughter and fun, good times.
As we walk forward into this New Year with resolutions and plans, hope and dreams, it is sometimes useful to cast our eyes over the years past. Not in a yearning for the good days gone or in grief over the bad, but in a realisation of the times when God’s hand upon our lives is visible. When you realise that God had prepared you for what you were to face with Scriptures or prophetic words, with the people that He placed around you. When you are reminded of the prayers answered, of the breakthroughs received.
Looking back and seeing the hand of God on our lives gives encouragement and strength for today and hope for the future. It’s a reminder that even when at the time we don’t notice, God is always working on our behalf, for our benefit, for our good.
“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” (Psalm 77:11)
I can think of no better way to start the New Year than borrowing words from my father’s New Year’s Day preach….
“As we gather together this New Year’s Day, in the Presence of God to worship Him and give thanks for the year that has passed and petition Him for the year that is to come, I want to underline for you this wonderful, hopeful, promise filled truth, that – Our God is a God who rejoices in offering us a new beginning – not just for now, not just for today, or tomorrow, or this year, but for life and forever.
No matter what has shattered and battered us in the past – long ago or just recently – No matter how badly we have failed and messed up our lives and others – our God, at this very moment stretches out His hand to pick us up, dust us down, wipe away our tears, heal our wounds, clean us up, and set us on our feet again.”
Happy New Year Everyone!
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
The Christmas Season is upon us. Most of the season will be spent in preparation for the celebration of Christmas day. The purchasing of presents, the gathering of food, the decorating of our homes. Today in my household the furniture is being rearranged to make room for the Christmas tree to be put up.
As I prepare my home for Christmas, I can’t help but think how much this part of Christmas echoes the Israelites as they awaiting their Messiah. The waiting, the expectation, the hope.
Even though I am busy with my preparations, I feel the peace, the anticipation for Christmas Day and all its wonderful celebrations. I feel my heart begin to fill again with the joy of Christmas. The carols playing in the background begin the call to focus and remember the birth of Jesus.
This season may be frantic as our calendars fill up with events, but as we prepare our homes for Christmas let’s not forget that once a people waited too. Let’s remember also that this waiting foreshadows another day still to come, when Jesus comes again.
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
“Is everything sad going to come untrue?” (Sam Gamgee to Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings)
“[Some mortals] say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.” (C.S. Lewis)
There are words that do not exist in Heaven. Words that are not uttered. Sickness. Poverty. Pain. Disease. Disability. Death. The moment we step into eternity they will all fall away. There is no place for them, no memory of them left in Heaven. Here on earth though, we look around and the evidence of the fallen world is everywhere. Those words that bring such pain and devastation are spoken, endured and lived with.
But the promise that we have in Jesus, is that there will be a new day and those words will cease to exist. Our pain will be non-existent, not even a memory. Every sad thing will come untrue.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21: 4-5
On earth as it is in Heaven – for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
Come Lord Jesus.