Having peace in difficult situations does not come naturally to anyone. Worrying, freaking out, fretting, those things flow without a problem.
Peace is another story.
A few years ago, I had a complete stranger tell me I needed to chill out and trust God. He did it nicely. First, he verified that I believed in God. That’s an important point.
Believing in God is the foundation upon which love, joy, peace, patience, and so much more flows. Next, he proceeded to admonish me to act like I believed in God. That sounds harsher than it was. I took his reprimand as a blessing. A reminder that God is in control.
We had just moved, and we were living in temporary housing as we waited for our old house to sell. I was the realtor’s worst nightmare. Every time someone viewed our house, I would follow-up, ask questions, prod, poke, and pry until I found out something.
I think my realtor stopped taking my calls. That’s when I called another realtor. The one who showed our house to a nice couple. He took my anxious call, listened to me, and then told me to trust God. I don’t suppose realtors normally talk to people this way, so I listened up.
He explained to me how God would take care of me, and I needed to pray, present my requests to him, and then let him do the rest. I had done the praying part. My requests were scattered all over my prayer time. I just couldn’t get to the place where I would not be anxious.
Feelings grab ahold sometimes and don’t let go. My fear and anxiety had a fierce grip on me. But the realtor was right. If I asked God to help me, then I needed to stop letting my feelings control the show. And I needed to stop focusing on my fears and focus on God.
I think I expected two things to happen when I prayed. I expected to get a call saying my house had sold, and I expected an immediate feeling of peace and tranquility.
My house didn’t sell because God’s not a genie. He doesn’t exist to do our bidding. He knows what we need, and sometimes we need to wait.
I didn’t experience feelings of peace and tranquility because I kept getting in the way. As crazy as that sounds, I refused them. As believers, peace is always available to us. But it’s very hard to have peace when you’re focusing on everything that can go wrong.
Since that reprimand years ago, I’ve experienced God’s abiding peace in my life over and over. It’s real. He gives it freely. It comes, not when I look at the problem, but when I look to God. When we acknowledge His power, His love, His presence in our lives, peace is a natural byproduct.
If you’re struggling and if anxiety is weighing you down, focus on God. Read through these scriptures on peace and be reminded of God’s sweet promises to you.
“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.”
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalms 40:1 – 40:3
“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”
“In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.”
Psalms 122:7 – 122:8
“Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.”
“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
Psalms 62:5 – 62:8
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
Psalms 34:13 – 34:14
“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”
“The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.”
Psalms 116:6 – 116:7
“The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.”
“But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
Psalms 103:11 – 103:12
“For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
“I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.”
Psalms 121:7 – 121:7
“The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
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