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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Finding peace in troubled times

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
Have you found yourself saying, “I’m so tired of all of the negative news?”  And then, there is the concern of life threatening diseases and constant financial concerns.

Gratefully, I am reminded that I do not need to be fixated and troubled by the unknown; but I need to be focused on what the Lord wants to teach me during this time.  When I am alone and quiet, I find myself asking… “Is this a wake up call for me, for America?”   “Am I putting too much trust in other things and not enough trust in God?”  “Do I value my possessions more than I do my relationship with God?”  “Where is all of this going?”  And, “What will our lives be like in five to ten years from now?”  These are hard questions, but questions I need to ask myself.

My friend, we are encouraged not to lose heart during uncertain times; but to realize that these “momentary” problems are developing character in us.  And at the heart of that process is the word – “humility.”  Paul wrote in the book of Philippians, “I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him.”  What a great example of humility and a right perspective on our number one priority – being in relationship with Christ.

In his book, Intimacy with the Almighty, Chuck Swindoll shares four areas of our lives that need to be surrendered in order to be in a right relationship with Christ.  May I share those with you? 

  • Possessions – if you have much or little, are you too attached to material things? 
  • Positions – does your role at work, church, or in the home make you feel more important than those around you?
  • Plans – what happens to you when things don’t go the way you had expected?
  • People – remembering that our children and relationships with others is a gift, are you overprotective…jealous…or hanging on too tightly?
So today, don’t get too caught up in the ‘hype’ or the ‘doom and gloom’ as you read the newspaper, watch national television, or check out the stock market on Wall Street.  Instead, remind yourself of these truths.  There is hope…God loves you…He has a plan for your life…He wants to be in relationship with you…He’s patient…He cares about your concerns…He is there to listen…He has the answer.

Here’s a good verse to ponder for the day.

Romans 5:1 – 5, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”
May I encourage you to consider these steps to finding and keeping peace in your life?

  • Know the God of peace (I Peter 3:18 – 22 & John 16:33) 
  • Pursue peace by living in harmony…be sympathetic, compassionate, and humble (I Peter 3:8 – 12, Romans 12:17 – 21,  & Ephesians 4:1 – 6)
  • Keep your heart filled with peace by eliminating transgressions in your life          (I John 1:9 & Proverbs 14:30)
  • Seek peace by reading the Word of God (Psalm 85:10)
  • We have peace with God (Romans 5:1)
  • Enjoy the peace of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
What steps are you taking to find peace with God?

How are you doing at maintaining a sense of peace, even in difficult times?

Where do you find your peace…the peace that lasts?

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