Friday, May 06, 2016

The God of Peace ... (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Today’s scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:23

The God of peace … I wrote about peace in my book, The Best Laid Plans. Today’s verse ties in well with what I wrote eleven years ago:

Peace . . . what a wonderful word. Peace . . . what a wonderful feeling. As you’re reading these words, do you feel peace? Or are you reading this at the end of a stressful day? Perhaps you’re going through some crisis—you’re struggling with your health, with your finances, with your relationships. You feel nothing even close to peace.

Maybe you’ve bought into what the world defines as peace: having the stuff, having the home, having the hot-shot career. Maybe you’ve married that person you thought would bring you peace, but now you’d just like him to leave you in peace. You’ve done it all. You’ve tried it all. And yet, as you read these words, your heart is tight with tension.

So, now what? I know what you’re thinking: If this life I’m living is a plan of peace, somebody read the wrong dictionary. This is not peace …

What I’ve discovered is that I don’t have peace—never had, never will—when I’m trying to take control of my life. Now, it’s easy to say I’ve given up my will, my plans, to God, but there are many times when I just take a little piece back, or times when I try to do things according to my timeline, not God’s. And those are the times when I face crises, when I struggle with circumstances, when I don’t feel peace.

Be honest right now, right this minute. No one else is listening—well, no one but God. Think of your plans, your dreams, your goals. What are you holding onto? What are you certain you can do better, more efficiently, sooner, than God can? …

You feel the uncertainty in your heart, but you move forward anyway. Could it be, just maybe, that your uncertain heart is God’s voice telling you “no” or “wait”? Could it be that the lack of peace you feel is because you’re not following God’s plan? …

I promise you this: If you’re truly willing to give your life, your plans, your dreams to God, He will keep His promise. You will have peace. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but if you trust Him, you will have peace.

Don’t believe me? Will you believe God? There are quite a few references to peace in the Bible. Let me share one of my favorites. Read these words, hear them with your heart, and listen to what God has promised you: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4: 6,7 emphasis mine). Do you know what this verse says to me? When I’m focusing on God, when I’m asking in His name, when I’m praying for His will, I can be assured of two things: I need not be anxious for anything, and I will have peace—a peace that surpasses anything I could experience without God in my life, a peace that surpasses anything that I could get from my earthly relationships, from my job, from my church, from my family . . . from anything else.

Isn’t that what you’re looking for? A peace that surpasses anything you’ve ever experienced? Ask Him. Ask Him now. Give your plans, your timelines, your dreams to Him. Trust Him to bring about that perfect will in your life. Then, and only then, will you have that peace. You will have that peace. I promise. More importantly, He promises. (excerpted from The Best Laid Plans © 2005 Sauni Rinehart)

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