This week's devotional is from Pastor Jeff.
ENCOUNTER: Read Philippians 4:6-9
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus...”
As you read this text, can you feel your heart quickening in hope that there is a peace from God (Shalom!) that can cover you to such a degree that all your fears, anxieties, and worries fade away? Is it really possible? God is asking us to take him at his word and present to him what we feel and what we need in all of our life circumstances.
Because He is good, we find peace knowing that he has our best in mind. (Matt. 7:7ff)
Because He hears us, we find peace knowing that we are not being ignored. (1 John 5:14ff)
Because He has made a way for us to come to him through the cross of Christ, we find peace knowing we can be confident to run into his very presence. (Hebrews 4:16)
Because He has given us his Holy Spirit to dwell in us, we find peace because our souls are literally being transformed by his power at work within us. (Gal. 5:22)
Do you take time in each day to talk over life with God? And for what are you asking God regarding your needs? How can you set up your daily rhythm so as to ensure that you are engaging with your gracious Heavenly Father and receiving his promised peace?
Do you find a pattern of reluctance or passivity in regard to praying and petitioning God? Why do you think that is? Is there a truth from the scriptures in the section above that resonates with your struggles? Maybe it would profit you to memorize and mediate on one or more of those scriptures to help remind you of what is true about your salvation and relationship with God through Christ?
BE A BLESSING:
As a practical application, one of the ways we can be a blessing to those around us is to be the best version of who God made us to be: A person at deep peace! You know the difference between when you are at rest and when you are anxious, fearful, and striving to control your life and circumstances. When we live like this, not only are we miserable, but we cause anxiety in everyone around us. We can be a blessing to all our relationships by turning our souls toward Jesus daily, weekly, consciously, so that we actually bring our full, peaceful selves to those around us.
All of us in the body of Christ, the Church, are longing to be God's people, to find our soul's rest in God alone. Who can you encourage this week to turn to God for their rest and peace? Can you drop a note or make a call right now to someone who has been struggling and encourage them to turn to him?
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." – John 14: 27