Colossians 3:15 says: “…let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.”
What comes to mind when you hear the word “peace”?
Serenity, quiet, calm, freedom from disturbances, no problems?
Yes, peace can be all that, but it can also be much more.
In fact, the Peace that Jesus gives us believers, can be found in chaos.
His Peace is not dependent on outer circumstances, for it dwells within us.
A good example of this would be in some events that unfolded in my life recently.
I was awakened early one morning by a text message from my bank. It said my account was over-drawn.
My half-awake mind tried to process the validity of this as I got up to find my checkbook.
Not being an early morning person, my day already had the tendency to be off to a bad start.
Then, my grand-daughter, who was spending a few days with me, woke up and said “Happy Friday the 13th!”
Now, I am not superstitious, but under the circumstances I was a little bit tempted to be swayed towards negativity.
In looking over my checkbook, I could not find any reason that my account should be overdrawn, but because I and grand-daughter had
a busy day planned, I decided to just deposit some money from my savings into the account and deal with going in to talk with the bank
on another day.
After an un-eventful breakfast we drove to the ATM where I planned to withdraw some money from my savings.
The ATM had a sign “Out of Order”.
Going inside, I told the teller, and she said since I have e-banking only, I would have to drive around and use the drive up ATM because
if she processed my transaction she would have to charge me a fee.
Trying to keep my cool, I left and proceeded to the drive-up ATM, which of course, had two cars ahead of me.
Then it started to pour rain, on what was supposed to be a bright warm sunny day.
What did I do? Did I lose my temper? Did I let frustration overcome me? Did I get discouraged and blame it on “Friday the 13th”?
No! Because something inside of me said “enough is enough” I was not going to let the enemy steal my joy and destroy my peace.
Right then, I prayed out loud—“In the name of Jesus Christ, I will not be tormented! I will not be oppressed! In Jesus’ name I have peace!”
As I claimed the day for Jesus, a peace came over me and the enemy retreated. Instead of just going to deposit the money in the supposedly overdrawn account I decided to take the time to go inside the bank and talk with them. I prayed for God’s favor.
I ended up being greeted by a very pleasant young lady banker who reviewed my account and finding no errors, credited the overdraft fee back into my account and got everything all straightened out for me very easily.
When I went outside the rain had stopped and the sun was shining. My grand-daughter said “Well, I guess that prayer worked!”
That gave me an opportunity to witness to her about faith, belief and the peace that believers have in Jesus. It is not just about saying a prayer “that works” but living a life where we are in constant communication with the One in whom we believe—receiving His peace as we abide in Him.
Do things always work out easily or with out problems? No, but Jesus’ peace can be felt in the midst of the chaos or problem, for His peace does not depend on circumstances.
In John 16:33 Jesus said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 1:2 NKJV
Posted in Daily Blessings--2014
Tagged 2 Timothy 1:2, 54 Spiritual Blessings in Christ, abiding, account, awakened, bad start, bank, belief, believe, believers, blessing, busy day, calm, chaos, Christ, circumstances, claimed, Colossians 3:15, communication, day, dependent, discouraged, disturbances, dwells, early, enemy, enough, events, faith, Father, freedom, Friday 13th, frustration, God, God's favor, good example, grace, half awake, hearts, Jesus, Jesus Christ, June 2014, Leona J. Atkinson, life, Lord, mind, money, morning, negativity, opportunity, oppressed, overcome, overdrawn, Peace, pleasant, pray, prayer, problems, process, quiet, rain, reason, retreated, rule, savings, serenity, straightened out, superstitious, swayed, temper, tempted, tendency, testimony, text message, tormented, trouble, unfolded, validity, within, word, world
Recently I was “blindsided.” Blindsided means an attack that seemly comes out of nowhere, because the impact hits in such a place where vision is limited, or in an area where a person is vulnerable.
I am sure you have heard the phrase, “ Wow! That came out of nowhere!” or “I didn’t see that coming!” Also, if you are a football fan you know that blindsiding is often practiced in that sport.
My recent blindsiding experience was not physical, but spiritual, and it was aimed at shaking my faith, however, it also did affect me physically.
One evening I was talking with someone whom I love dearly about a totally positive prospect. This person was planning to fulfill a long desired dream and they were relating recent happenings that they thought might lead them to achieving their goal. As I listened in agreement, all of a sudden—“out of the blue”—they said something totally off subject and out of character for them! Instantly it was as if my breath was knocked out of me! When I was able to recover my speech, I shouted “What! What are you saying!” Yet this person, whom I am sure now was someone other than the person I loved, continued speaking of this outrageous, ungodly idea. At the time, I was so totally confused, hurt and shocked that I had to end the conversation. Then, feeling completely overwhelmed, I began to cry.
I found myself so debilitated that I was not even able to pray. Quickly, I called a godly sister in the Lord, who “just happened” to be at her weekly bible study/prayer meeting. “I need help” I said. She instantly prayed for me for strength and then said she would have her group pray also. Soon, my tears ceased and I felt my strength returning.
I was able to “pick myself up” from where I had fallen by opening my bible and reading words of help and hope. As I grew stronger I was able to cry out to the Lord in prayer and stand firm in His power and strength.
Later, when I talked with my sister in the Lord about the experience, I told her how I felt I had been completely knocked off my feet, breath taken away, unable to speak or pray, yet the Lord did renew my strength. I realized since my faith was in Christ, that I was standing on the Rock, and even though the blindsiding knocked me down, I fell onto that firm foundation of Christ, where I was able to regain the strength in my inner man that I had been blessed with in Christ. Therefore, I was able to rise again renewed and refreshed in my faith. As His word says I was “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man…” Ephesians 3:16.
I wanted to share this experience with you, so that you could see how these spiritual blessings are indeed alive and active in our daily lives. Isaiah 40:29 says: “He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.” Thanks be to God, who has blessed us in Christ with a firm foundation in which to stand in this Spiritual Blessing of Strength!
As a follow up note to this experience, a few days later I did talk with the person again. When I asked them about our previous conversation, they said they wanted to totally apologize for what they had said. They said that they didn’t understand why they had said what they said that evening, because it was not really what they meant at all. That, to me, was a testimony that the enemy had indeed somehow entered the conversation that evening just to blindside me. In the future, I hope that I will be more aware of his tactics and be better prepared to handle his attacks. However, what he meant for evil, God used for good in many ways in my life, and for that, I am grateful for this experience.
Posted in Daily Blessings--2014
Tagged attack, bible, blinded, blindsided, blindsiding, Christ, enemy, Ephesians 3:16, evil, experience, faith, firm foundation, football, godly, good, impact, increases, Isaiah 40:29, life, Lord, might, out of the blue, physical, power, pray, prayer, prepared, renew, Rock, scripture, shaking, spiritual, Spiritual Blessing, stand, strength, vision, vulnerable
Have you ever been rejected or felt like you weren’t accepted? Most of us probably have at one time or another in our lives.
My grandson and I were talking about this tonight at dinner. He said he felt that way in 5th grade because no one wanted to choose him for their basketball team as he was too small at the time.
I can recall such a time when I was in 4th grade. I was a very quiet, shy kid who was not good at playing outdoor childhood games like Pom Pom Pull Away or Red Rover. I didn’t like those rough games . I enjoyed sitting and reading books or writing poems much more. But in our little country school we had to play these outdoor games and I often felt rejected because I was always the last one to be chosen on a team. No one really wanted someone on their team who couldn’t play very well . So, it was a pretty miserable, lonely year for me because I wanted to be accepted but I wasn’t, just because I wasn’t “good enough”. That often happens in this world, we are rejected or not accepted because we are too small, too fat, too quiet, or just “not good enough”. If we are not accepted we feel we are not worthy, that we have no value.
However, God isn’t that way. “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b (NKJV)
In Christ, God accepts us just as we are. When I believed and received Jesus many years ago I certainly wasn’t “good enough” to be accepted by God, but in His grace He accepted me in Christ. I was accepted into His family, as His child, never again to have to ever feel unwanted or unworthy. I know I am valuable now because God has accepted me, not for what I can do, but for who I am in Christ.
Praise God for His glorious grace by which He received me with approval in Christ.
Ephesians 1:6 says: to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Do you feel accepted by God or do you think you need to work on “being better” first?
What does Ephesians 1:6 mean to you as a Believer in Christ?
This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 [NKJV]
Sunny days here in Oregon are often few and far between, so when one comes along we Oregonians get excited and today is one of those days!
It is the middle of October, 73 degrees outside, sunshine is bathing the fall colors so that they vibrantly glow. Red, yellow, orange, brown, gold, and green leaves swirl, leap and jump across my path as a gentle breeze blows my hair.
“What a beautiful day! Isn’t it exciting!” a lady behind me exclaims as we leave the grocery store.
“Yes,!” I reply ” We better enjoy it!”
“Oh, I am” she says. ” I had some vacation time l left at work, so I chose to take this morning off. I just had to be outside to experience this day!”
Her enthusiasm was so vibrant. It was refreshing to meet someone who was excited to be alive and taking time to enjoy God’s creation.
I am sure God was smiling at her words.
Thank You Lord, for blessing us with beautiful, sunny, vibrant days that awaken our senses to You and your creation. Thank you for the warmth, rich fall colors, and gentle breezes. But…thank You also, for everyday You give us, even those wet, dreary, cloudy days or the cold, blustery ones, that cause us to run inside for cover. For I know that all days have their purpose and they all contain a blessing from You if we will but look.
It is not hard to rejoice and be glad for today’s sunshine but, in Oregon, it is often difficult to give thanks for the rain. However, each, is a day the Lord has made, and we can rejoice and give thanks because He has given us another day of life to live abundantly for Him!
Let’s be enthusiastic, excited, to experience each day of life, for no matter what the weather, the Lord has made the day and wants us to rejoice and be glad in it!
Posted in Daily Blessings--2011
Tagged blessings, colors, days, fall, glad, Lord, Oregon, rain, rejoice, sunny, sunshine