Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Unequaled Peace



John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

In Christ, you have unequaled peace, unlimited resources, unfailing help and unceasing strength to face ANYTHING without fear. ~Donna Pyle at Hydrated Living 

What fears do you harbor in your day-to-day life?  Are they rational, or irrational?  Have you taken the time to analyze them?  Asked Christ Jesus to help you face your fears through His strength and presence?

I have fears.  Even though I know the promise of the Lord, I have fears.

Some are rational.  They belong in the "fight or flight" category of my mind.

I despise heights in narrow places.  My mind convinces me that I have not the strength to hold on; that at any moment, I will plunge over the edge . . .  Vertigo, anyone?

I cannot drive the expressway.  Perhaps, these aging eyes, thought perked by contacts, just don't judge depth or speed correctly.  In my defense, however, if you've ever attempted to navigate Atlanta's metro freeways, you know how many crazies are doing their roaring best to make your journey as unnerving and as stressful as possible.  I'll take the slower, saner back-roads, thank you very much.

When our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, is playing, carefree, on our deck, I'm right there with her.  The fear of her tumbling down the precarious stairs or leaning too far over the edge of the rails only to land in a lifeless heap upon the ground, keeps a healthy fear alive within me.

But then, there are the irrational fears which have nothing to do with our God-given gift of "fight or flight."  These are the ones imposed by society.  By cultural expectations.  By family rigors all too impossible to meet.

These are the ones I believe Christ Jesus would not let trouble our hearts.  As I've made the long journey from religion to relationship with the Lord, I've learned, little by little, to not be afraid of what I used to fear.  To let go and let God who tells me "do not be afraid."  Am I a work in progress?  Of course!  So are you! 

  But these are the fears I have either left behind, or am still submitting to Him for healing.  Fears that have prevented me from realizing His peace which passes all understanding, yet allows you and me to face ANYTHING without fear, without question:

  • I must please others, or I am unworthy of love
  • I cannot express my opinion to my co-workers if it means I might offend someone.
  • I can't live up to those images on the People-styled magazines, and I'm so afraid that everyone judges me in this way.
  • I don't have the wealth I should have at this stage in life, therefore, I'm inferior and undeserving.
  • If I say what I truly think about a crucial issue, people I care about will abandon me.
  • I know if I post this on Facebook, I'm going to suffer the ire of persons who don't really know who I am.
  • I know Christ says He is there for me, that He has loved me from the start, but I don't feel worthy.  I haven't done enough in His name.
  • I can't tell my family how I'm really feeling, because I can't tolerate the criticism that will follow.
Do any of these fears sound like yours?  Could you add some to this list?

Take comfort, as I am in these days, that Jesus does not give as the world does.  He gives as God gives:  Hearts untroubled, not fearing, filled with peace.

Unequaled peace . . .

~

Will you embrace that unequaled peace in this New Year?

Prayer:  Father of peace, of mercy, and of grace, grant us the courage to face our fears and to leave all our worries upon the light yoke of Christ Jesus, the One who promises to carry our burdens and provide sustenance in His presence.  Release us from irrational fears in this world.  Guide us to trust in Your promises of peace for our hearts, minds, and souls.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.



18 comments:

  1. Martha, your words spoke mightily to my scaredy-cat heart! Yes, I live with fear, too. Rational fears - claustrophobia, heights, safety. And even some "rational" fears - germs, illness, dying - that spiral out of control. Your list at the end? Yes, I identify with those, too.

    I loved when you said that you are submitting your fears to Him for healing. HEALING is the word that God laid upon my heart for 2015, and I think a lot of the healing that I need and desire is this desperate cry to be freed from the tyranny of fear.

    So yes, Martha, I will join you in seeking peace. And to always looking to Jesus, the Author and Prince of Peace. For only He can unlock the gate to freedom.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Sharon, your fears sound completely normal and rational to me, but we DO have to ask Jesus to help us overcome and/or deal with them as we live out our days. I LOVE that your word for the year is HEALING - perfect in so many ways! We cannot begin to feel freedom from fears until we ask God to heal us so that we would "be not afraid." Thank you for joining me in seeking His peace which passes all understanding. It IS a journey toward freedom.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. I lived for years in fear of rejection. I wanted to be liked by everyone. Well, you know the result of that. Inertia. When God finally got a hold of my heart and said i didn't need man's approval, I was set free from that fear. Good word today Martha.

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    1. Fear of rejection - been there, done that, Bill! And, sadly, the result is inertia or bending ourselves up in so many ways that we look like a distorted pretzel trying to please others instead of pleasing God. I am so thankful He set you free of that fear, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Unequaled peace . . . I love it! He taught me this truth when He allowed my world to crumble ten years ago. As Jesus pieced me back together, I began to realize that His peace was what I'd been craving all along. Beautiful truth Martha!

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  4. God has an amazing way of using even our deepest, darkest times to bring us closer to Him, doesn't He? May we all know His unequaled peace each and every day.
    Love and blessings, Deb!

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  5. Martha, what a beautiful, thought-provoking post. Determining "fight or flight" is where I sometimes make the wrong call. I stay to fight when I should have handed it over, or I choose flight when I needed to hang in there to learn God's lesson in that situation. Unequaled peace and what He gives us when we wholeheartedly trust. Thank you for sharing these hope-filled words today.

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    1. Thank you, Donna, for giving me permission to use your wonderful and inspiring quote! It truly guided my entire message here. I pray each and every one of us find that unequaled peace only Jesus provides no matter what situations we may find ourselves in.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Thanks for this! I needed it! Blessings!

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    1. So glad this spoke to you, Martha!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Martha,
    What a beautiful and meaningful post. I struggle with fear--those I can name, as well as those that are vague, unnameable. Fear of failure/fear of success...fear of rejection (I've experienced a lot of rejection.) I can relate to the fears you listed quite well. Perhaps, it's really learning to TRUST my Heavenly Father with everything--the whole of my life? O, to experience the love of my Daddy (think Zeph. 3:17)!

    By the way, I don't drive on interstates for the same reason as you (although I'm a bit younger). The back-roads are so much more sane and beautiful!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Kim, I think our learning to trust in our Father completely is a life-long pursuit, a journey which can be bumpy and rough (like some back roads I know), but is ultimately the most fulfilling ride we will ever be on. When those fears, real or imagined, rear their ugly heads, that's when we need to run full-speed into the arms of God, knowing He loves us completely and will calm us with His peace.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. I was nodding at a lot of places in that list Martha and yes I do share some of those fears. But then at times my heart tells me what I have already read - If I was supposed to be anything different than what I am right now I would have been made like that. The thing that I am not, and that my circumstances have made me this are a signal from God that this is what I was meant to be. :)

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    1. Privy, I really, really like your take on this - you are where you are in the present moment because God has called you to this time and place and situation. It takes strength and trust to allow God to work with us and through us just as we are. Thank you for sharing this beautiful insight!
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Martha at some point in our lives we all go through these fears. Then one day an awakening occurs and we leave those fears behind. My father's death was that moment for me. I wish yours comes in a happy and pleasant way. Hugs and many blessings.

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    1. I agree, Suzy. Even though an awakening occurs which isn't necessarily a happy one, such as in losing a parent (I lost my dad last year), we can be thankful to God for that epiphany. So glad you stopped by to share your thoughts!
      Love and blessings!

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  10. I am so grateful and amazed that God leads us to just the right post at just the right time. I needed to be reminded to day about irrational fears. I often think I am valued only for what I get done/accomplished. Irrational is a great adjective to say aloud so I can turn and let it go. Thank you Martha!

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    1. Oh, Jean, so glad this was a blessing for you today! I can't tell you how many times the same has happened to me; I'll visit a blog and receive the exact message God wishes to lay on my heart.
      And, yes, we are of value to the Lord just by being, not by doing.
      Love and blessings!

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Happy Birthday, Virginia Rose!

Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Seven years ...