Peace in His Presence

 

We are all looking for it, aren’t we?  The peace of mind so profound that it saturates our souls.

 We crave it.

We long for it, and

we can find it.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the GOD of peace will be with you.”            –   Philippians 4:5-9   –

As God’s creation, we were created with the desire–with the necessity–to live and dwell in the fullness of His presence!  Such peace comes when can unashamedly come before our Maker and rest.

It is true that He is loving, but just as true as that statement, God is holy and righteous, and he requires that we be holy, too.  That’s where we feel the tension building in our lives…

Adam and Eve felt this tension as the earth fell because of their sin and disobedience.  They felt the sin reveal their nakedness and shame, so they hid from God.  Because of their sin, they were separated from the Maker that had walked with them in the Garden.  (Genesis 3:7-8).

“But God,

being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

even when we were dead in our trespasses,

made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved.”

Ephesians 2:4-5

This is why we have peace in God through Christ!  “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life IN Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:23).  Justice was served as Jesus Christ hung on the cross and took on the wrath required to clear the debt of all humanity’s sin (Hebrews 9:11-28).  Therefore, those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God–God born in human flesh to live a perfect life free from sin, take on God’s wrath for sin on our behalf, and return to the Father triumphant even over death–are forgiven and free (Colossians 2:6-15).  When man sees his brokenness yet sees Christ and His perfection and says, “Only by the blood of the Lamb, I am made alive,” he may become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

If we believe He is our Lord, Savior, and King, our hearts and minds will be guarded in Christ Jesus.  Then there is no need to be anxious; we can rest knowing that our sin is forgiven and have confidence in going to God.  Thankfulness follows because we are reminded of the ability to come before God, washed clean from our sin and unholiness, in the righteousness of Christ.  When we live the way that has designed us to, not only does the peace of God stay within us, but HE, the GOD of peace, will be walking with us.

In that very nearness of Him, we’ll have a taste of heaven and

 the peace that only His presence brings.

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The River of Peace to Your Soul

There’s something peaceful about the summer rain falling now in Starkville, Mississippi.  Right now I’m sitting at my makeshift kitchen table and chairs–a small coffee table and pillows on the floor–and there’s a peace that fills my soul.  Maybe it’s the sound of the rain falling or maybe it’s the way the wind blows into my apartment, stirring the aroma of candles in the air.  Then again, maybe this sense of peace comes from a source much stronger than a summer rain and more lasting that a flickering candle…

I think of these words from “It Is Well with My Soul” by Horatio Spafford…

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Oh if I only I could remember these words every day, every hour and even every minute!  For the song continues on…

“Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

***

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  

In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33–

***

Remember– no matter what today yet holds or tomorrow will bring, the Lord God is great and mighty!  He is the firm rock and foundation that–even in the greatest storms of life–will provide times of refreshing in a river of peace to your soul.  Seek Him, dear reader, and know that the ultimate victory is found only through Him.

Praying your day is filled with SONshine,

Sarah 🙂

I’ve missed you, blog!

For the past few weeks, the picture above shows you what I’ve been doing in addition to working 20 hours a week… Organic Chemistry.  Maybe it’s the fact that I have my 3rd test in the class today–by the way, this will be the first of three tests that I will take in the next 8 total days, only 3 more days of class–but I feel so exhausted.  My brain feels as if someone has put the stopper in it and said, “Information overload!  Let’s shut this operation down…”

Whenever we encounter times like these in our lives, times when we feel overwhelmed or way too busy to even sit and breathe, let alone have good, QUALITY time with God in prayer, I pray that we will remember that God is our first priority in life.  He’s the reason why we have life to begin with, and He’s the One that has even given us the opportunities to work, study, spend time with friends and family, etc.  To Him, the glory should always be, and to Him, we must always look first.

“Cast your burden on the Lord,

and he will sustain you.”

Psalm 55:22

***

“In returning and in rest, you shall be saved;

in quiet and in trust shall be your strength.”

Isaiah 30:15

***

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you,

because he trusts in you.”

Isaiah 26:3

Trust in the Lord; rest in His presence.  Give Him your burdens and feel Him sustain your weary body and soul.  Be filled with His peace, His perfect peace.  Have a blessed day 🙂

Attitude is everything!

Ever since I was a little girl, my mom has inspired me with many of her favorite quotes, prayers, and Bible verses.  Today, I want to write about one of her favorite quotes…

Attitude is everything!

In the past few days walking around campus–walking through each of my days–I have realized all the more just how true this quote is.  It’s easy to say flippantly, “Attitude is everything,” as if it’s the inside of a greeting card.  But to really believe these words and to see them as true through your own life…this is the critical step.

Take a college exam for an example.  There are many different ways to think about it.  With one attitude, I could say, “Urrrrrrggggghhhhhh!  An exam! Prrroooooocccccrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaassssssstionation (procrastination) has gotten me again, and I have waited too late to study.” On the other hand, I’m trying to learn to adopt this mindset:  Let’s have a competition to see just how well you know the material!  Just like a lacrosse game, see if you can practice and win!

Our attitude has just as large of an impact on our relationship with God, as well.  Every that we face temptation to sin, you can look at the situation one of many different ways.  You can see the temptation/sin as just one more guilt to sweep under the rug of emotions in your heart, or you can see it as an opportunity to ask God for grace and strength!

Always adopt an attitude that gives you a thankful heart!

Today, I encourage you to look for all the different places in your life where attitude is everything.  Look for the times in your life when becoming disappointed, upset, or even embarrassed would be easiest, but remember that Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

Today, go out and be thankful!  Go and spread some Sonshine 🙂

A Single Drop in a Bucket Full of Water

drop in bucket.jpg

“Use me as an instrument of Your Peace…”  Over and over again, this little phrase, this breath prayer, repeated in my head and followed every prayer.  It took a day or two before I really began to notice how often I was saying this, and I began to wonder why…

I always thought that I was okay with being an invisible servant of the Lord, but I have been proven wrong.  There were times when I pouted about not being asked to sing in the skit or chosen to talk to certain girls, etc.  I knew that God was telling me that my sole purpose here was to be an instrument of His Peace and of His love, but why couldn’t I do that and be in the center of attention?

Oswald Chambers once said,

Suppose God wants to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased”–are you ready to be offered up like that?  Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket–to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the life you served?  Are you willing to spend and be spent; not seeking to be ministered unto, but to minister?

Over the past two weeks and for the next 4 days to come, God is teaching me what it means to live as stated it that quote.  I will certainly continue to learn that lesson for all of the days of my life, but I acknowledge that the lesson has begun, right here, right now, right in the midst of sorority life where you are pushed to be anything but a single drop in a bucket full of water.  Surrounded by 200 girls, I’m also finding that it’s much harder to minister than to be ministered unto.

No matter what your situation may be, remember that God is more than sufficient.  He has given a unique of skill and passion that only YOU have, and once you offer this up to Him, He will take it and multiply it.  Just as a faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, your presence being the size of a raindrop will be multiplied in the hands of the God that fed 5000 people with only 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread (John 6).

Be encouraged.  Be encouraged by the God of miracles!