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Abiding Peace

Dove  “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  John 14:27

So, what exactly is peace?  Is it a lack of turmoil?  A state of being, like the one that Po was trying to achieve in Kung Fu Panda 2?  Is it just a polite greeting or benediction?  We all want peace – world peace, peace within our families, peace and quiet, peace in our hearts.   I looked up the dictionary definition (both Webster’s and the Bible dictionary), and the definitions were quite similar.  They both alluded to a general lack of strife (personal and community; i.e., lack of war) as one definition, a state of tranquility, as a state of security, and, yes, as a greeting.  My favorite definition, however, I found in the English learners dictionary: “a state in which a person is not bothered by thoughts or feelings of doubt, guilt, worry, etc.”   I think that this is what most people want when they think of peace.

There are many things that threaten our peace.   Uncertainty, confusion, anxiety, danger, pain, and guilt can snatch peace from our lives in an instant.  But, we all know people who go through trials apparently unfazed, taking each turn in life in stride with a confidence that can make us wonder if their perception of reality just might be a little off.  “How can they smile and be OK at a time like this?  They are so brave!  Denial!”  Our reactions can be more extreme than their own.  Is there a secret?  How do they do it?  I believe that Scripture gives us a prescription for peace.

OK, I’m going to try my hand at some alliteration.  This may be a poor list of things that can bring us peace, but it may be helpful.

  1. The Provider and Prince of Peace:  God Himself   1 Thessalonians 5:16-17, Ephesians 2:14  We cannot have true, lasting peace apart from God.  And, when we learn to abide in Him, we can find that He is really all we need – our Provider, Protector, Savior.  This should lead to a true, abiding peace that never changes, because God never changes.
  2. Pursue the faith that brings peace.  Hebrews 11:1.  When we are sure of the reality of the love of the God of the universe, many of our troubles become lighter when viewed in relation to this awesome truth.
  3. Prayer that leads to peace.  Philippians 4:6-7  When we know and trust in the Prince of Peace, we will have a tendency to run to Him in times of trouble, and He will guard our hearts and minds in Him!
  4. Ponder the Word of God.  Psalm 119:165.  When we know God’s Word, we can know the peace of God.  We have direction for our lives, and the answers to many of life’s most perplexing questions.
  5. Principled living.  Psalm 34:14, Psalm 85:10.  When we live righteously, and keep short accounts with God, confessing our sin to Him on a regular basis, we can avoid much guilt and trouble in our lives.  This will give us the ability to sleep soundly at night, and smile throughout our days.

There will be times then we will not feel at peace.  Times, in fact, when we will be devastated.  Paul spoke of a time in his life when he and his companions “despaired even of life.”  But, through all of our “light and momentary afflictions”, we can have the peace that comes from knowing that God is in control, and that He loves us.

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”- Numbers 6:24-26

And keep abiding on.

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Abiding Joy

http://abidingon.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/joy-to-the-world-1.jpg?w=376&h=243

Love, joy, and peace.  It seems that these three things go together.  Love is the greatest of these; if we have love, chances are that joy and peace will follow.  I love the fact that these are the first three things on the list of the  fruit of the Spirit. Everything else comes easier if we have these.  It is easier to be patient and kind if love, joy, and peace are present.  The same goes for the rest.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

People often wonder about the difference between happiness and joy, and tend to interchange the two terms.  I think that for the most part, this is OK, but I also believe that there is a difference.  Happiness can come and go quite quickly.  Imagine that you are playing your favorite game, and it looks like you are going to win.  You are happy about it.  Now, your opponent comes in with an unexpected move, and steals your victory right from under your nose!  Suddenly, you aren’t so happy anymore.  Happiness can be very short-lived.

Joy, on the other hand, is a different matter.  I got roses from my husband yesterday.  This made me happy.  However, it was different from winning a game.  There was a deeper joy in receiving the flowers because they symbolized his love for me.  And, if I hadn’t received them, my joy in my husband’s love for me wouldn’t be diminished.

Joy is deeper and longer lasting than happiness.  Ultimately, joy comes from the LORD.  He is the author and source of true joy.  In Him alone can we find true love, true joy, and true peace.  As we abide in Christ, we learn to trust in His love, to find strength in the joy that He gives, and to rest in the peace that He alone can provide.

This Christmas, I pray that you would know true love, joy, and peace.  Love that never fails, joy that gives you strength to continue on, and peace that passes all understanding.

God bless you, and keep abiding on.

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Changes

I’m having some trouble focusing lately.  So, consequently, I haven’t been able to form much in the way of coherent thoughts to  lay out on here.  I apologize, and promise that it will get better (I just can’t promise when it will get better).

I figured that just getting on and writing might be a way to jump start again – no plan, no format, no theme – just write.  I hope you are OK with that.  I am in awe at the way the Lord has been working in our lives this past year.  It has been the most productive, loving, change-filled year that I can remember.

There have been six job changes, four schedule changes, and two car changes, in addition to all of the other little changes that happen on a regular basis around here. I have fallen more in love with my husband than ever before.  It is also the one and only year that I have had the blessed privilege of having four (yes, four) teenagers in the house.  In about a month, this too will change.

And now, we are in the process of location change.  We are probably moving.  It is all so overwhelming and amazingly joyful and stressful and exciting and scary.  My mind is simply racing!  God has been so good to us!  So, chances are things on this blog may become either sparse, or rambling.  Please offer feedback and let me know which you would prefer…trust me, I can do both!  I’ve got friends that can testify to this.

Also, pray for me, please, that I would not lose sight of Jesus. I really need to keep abiding on, even through change.  Thank you.

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Thanksgiving Is Less Than A Week Away… Which Means You Should Read My Blog

abidingon:

This is written by my 19 year old son. I’m continually blessed by the wisdom God has given him. He offers some wise insights into the holiday season, as well as encouragement to keep abiding on.

Originally posted on Supreme Shadow, Supreme Dawn:

My Kindle Fire is so incredible.  It’s like an automatic, super-quick and colorful Etch-a-Sketch.  It gives the illusion of layers, but in reality it’s only surface deep.  There is no infinite stack of tabs and apps underneath it all; only the appearance.  Yet all those apps and tabs and pictures and albums and games are all readily available at the swipe of the finger or a touch of the button.  It’s like a photograph or a movie, in that there are only frames, but within those frames lies depth—and, presumably, an ever continuous world beyond what the frames are able to capture.  But it still has no physical depth to it—it’s only light hitting a barrier.

I wonder if this is how the American Dream of Consumerism works.(Please ignore the irony of me criticising Consumerism from a tablet.)  Maybe next week when thousands of people crowd into malls and marketplaces…

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