Did you know that as Christians we are promised peace? Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give you . . .”
You might be thinking to yourself, “But I don’t feel very peaceful. In fact, I’m kind of stressed out.” I heard an amazing teaching this week on having God’s peace and, with permission from the teacher Laura Johnson, I’m going to share some of it with you.
So often we allow worry, anxiety, depression, and fear to steal our peace. We are so busy trying to solve all of our own problems or perceived problems that we forget the One whose job it is to deal with them. And it’s killing us! Today, stress is the number one proxy killer. It’s the gateway to a myriad of diseases.
Laura pointed out that 97 percent of what we worry about never happens or isn’t as bad as we expect it to be. That should raise our peace quotient substantially, but wait, there’s more.
First, we need to change our thinking. Philippians 4:8-9 says “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Laura used a fantastic illustration of two desks. One desk belongs to us (we each have our own) and the other desk belongs to God. Everything that we worry about belongs on God’s desk . . . EVERYTHING! God doesn’t want us to take things off his desk but he’s totally fine with us adding to his inbox. On my desk is just one responsibility—to be the gatekeeper or receptionist, if you will—of my mind. This is where Philippians 4:8-9 comes into play. We are to ensure that errant thoughts and lies don’t get past the door to our mind. It sounds easy enough, right? But those thoughts can be sneaky little devils.
In our discussion after the lesson, I told the girls at my table that I felt like sometimes when I’m sitting at my desk the errant thoughts sneak in when my mind is distracted for a half second. Think about getting past the front desk of a large corporation. You get one guy to start talking to the receptionist, and while she’s distracted, an entire army of evildoers sneaks in and makes their way to the unsuspecting boss up in the penthouse office. You’ve seen that happen in mysteries and crime dramas, haven’t you?
Well, think of those evildoers as your errant thoughts. You need to keep them out of your brain. The best way we can do that is figure out what our biggest worries are and then find a Bible verse to combat them. The next thing would be to memorize it and speak it regularly. At least then the evil thoughts will know they’re going to have to quite a battle on their hands if they try to sneak past the receptionist.
Here are some verses that might help you put up a barrier regarding the things you worry about.
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:9
“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” Luke 12:24
“He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
“Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.” Psalm 103:2-3
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (Granted, it doesn’t seem to come with a fulfillment date—but still, it IS a promise!)
“I will contend with him who contends with you; and I will save your children” Isaiah 49:25
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
‘But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”’ 1 Corinthians 2:9
“Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” Psalm 37:1-2
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
“If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Psalm 191:9-12
What’s on your desk, my friend? Does it belong there? Is it:
Of good report?
If it’s not, toss it back on God’s desk and claim your peace.
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
If you’d like to listen to Laura’s teaching or any of the fabulous teachings from our Sisterhood Bible Study, go to https://vimeo.com/rivervalleywomen. Look for Lesson 7, “I Have the Peace of God.”