Posts Tagged ‘peace’

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It’s Christmas time again and we focus on the babe in the manger.  Yes, that baby, Jesus, came to die on the old rugged cross. He sacrificed His life so that spiritually dead sinners could have new life.  Jesus was truly God’s gift to us. 

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Sometimes that is about as deep as our thoughts go.  I would like to unwrap some other gifts that are under God’s Christmas tree.

I’ve thought the last few days about the greatness of God.  He is absolutely gigantic, humongous, and so huge that I cannot fully comprehend it.  God is enormous.  Just take a minute right now to stop and think about how big God is.  Doesn’t it boggle your mind?  He is out there and has been out there forever.  He created everything and everyone and is in complete control of it all.  He is Sovereign!

1Ti 6:15a NASB …He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

And He can do whatever He wants in any situation.  It certainly does boggle my mind.

Then, think about how huge He is in comparison to us.  That is truly amazing! Dump out a few grains of salt from a salt shaker into your hand.  Then pick out one of those tiny grains and really look at it.  From God’s perspective we must look something like a grain of salt.  We are so teeny tiny compared to Him.  We can simply blow on that little grain of salt in our hand and it will fly away never to be found again.  God could just blow us away in an instant too.  That is sobering!  We are at His complete mercy.  And, he is a merciful God! 

With that in mind, the Bible teaches us how much God loves us. Actually, He is Love.

1Jn 4:16b NASB …God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

We are His own creation and are fearfully and wonderfully made! 

Psa 139:14 NASB I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

How intricate our bodies are.  It’s amazing how all the different parts of our bodies work together to make us stay alive.  That is all God’s doing to this tiny grain of salt.  Amazing!

Now, do you think this huge God can keep us?  Do you think He can take care of us?  There is no question about that.  His Word is full of promises about how he will provide all our needs. 

Php 4:19 NASB And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

He tells us not to worry or be anxious about anything. 

Php 4:6 NASB Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Do you think that is harsh of Him to tell us to not be anxious about anything?  I say no, because when we are believers He has promised to carry the load for us.  We do not have to worry or fret about anything.  He is truly in control, even when we feel out of control.  You see He is never out of control.  Our problem is that we go according to our feelings, and forget He is there.  That is our downfall!  We have to rise about our feelings and look at the facts.

When we were saved along with the promise of forgiveness of sins and a future home in Heaven came many other gifts that we can unwrap.  In fact, I’ve written about a few of them in the past few months.  Just as a reminder I’ll list some of them here.

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1.  We are forgiven all of our sins.

2.  We are a new creation.  (inside)

3.  We are adopted into God’s family

4.  We are citizens of Heaven

5.  Our Father will take care of all of our needs.

6.  We are more than conquerors because we now have God’s power of the Holy Spirit living within us.

7.  We will have peace of God, and peace with God.

Those are just a few of the gifts that God has so graciously provided for believers.  They are not for the people of this world, only His special children.  Those who have the family resemblance. 

I believe that we need to take a step back from ourselves.  We need to see ourselves the way God sees us.  When we do we realize all of our problems are really very small even though they don’t seem like it.  If we get our eyes off our circumstances and focus our minds on God, we allow Him to flow through us, and we have the power to make it through our problems.  We will still have trials, but they will not overwhelm us.

We can still be defeated Christians even with all those gifts if we fail to unwrap them use them. We can’t continue to live our lives the way the people of the world do.  Those ways don’t apply to us anymore.  Unbelievers only have themselves to work for them.  I remember before I was a Christian how “I” had to figure everything out, every detail, and I wasn’t always right in my decisions either. I messed things up a lot of the time.  Now, we don’t have to control every situation.  We don’t have to control others. We don’t have to be perfect.  We don’t have to please everyone, only God.  We can relax and know that God is taking care of things for us.  He IS big enough you know! 

I praise God for the wonderful gift of that little baby in the manger.  And I thank Him for all the other gifts under God’s Christmas tree that He has lavished upon us.  Unwrap them for yourself this year.

Eph 1:7-8 NASB In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (8-a) which He lavished on us.

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“The root cause of anxiety is a failure to trust all that God has promised to be for us in Jesus.”  John Piper — Future Grace

 

These are hard times for many people.  Our economy is in a shambles and the stock market is going bonkers.  People are losing jobs and homes by the thousands and everything seems very bleak.  What are we to do?  My best answer is this…”God is still in control!”  If you are a Christian know that He will take care of you…we can trust God!

God is not merely man.  God is God!  While man will disappoint us over and over and let us down, God is always the same.  When our parents promised us something then it did not come about we were really hurt.  God will not do that to us because whatever God says in His Word is true.  And, there is one thing that God cannot do and that is lie. 

“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Num 23:19 NASB

God cannot lie and that is a very good reason why we can trust him!
Some have told me they were abused while young and now cannot trust God because they have been so hurt.  Some are even angry at God for what man has done to them.  The result is an angry and bitter person who loses out on all the blessings God want to give him or her.

Now let’s look at some scriptures that show us we can trust God.

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. Psa 9:10 NASB

Right there, in the above scripture, it says we can trust in God because He has not forsaken those who seek Him.  God will not desert us!

In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed. Psa 22:4-5 NASB

God’s people in the Old Testament times trusted in God and He did not let them down when they cried out to Him.  They were not disappointed when they did this, so we to can call upon God in our troubles and He will hear us and answer us.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.
Psa 28:7 NASB

To think that the LORD is our strength, and He is.  And, to think that He is our shield, and He is.  He gives us the strength we need when we need it and he protects us all the time.  When we trust in Him with our whole heart and mind we are helped by Him.  When that happens it just makes our hearts overflow with joy and we can thank and praise Him for what He has done.

Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psa 62:8 NASB

What a powerful scripture this is.  It tells us to trust in God at all  times.
Not just when things are going good, but all the time.  Friends, if you are going through a rough spot right now, stop right now, and pour out your heart to God.  Tell Him everything.  If you need to confess a sin and repent then do it.  He is our shelter.  Run to Him! Don’t run to man.

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.”
Isa 12:2 NASB

God is our salvation.  Trust in Him and you do not have to be afraid.  Why? Because He is our strength and our Savior.  Are you afraid?  Fear is a matter of not trusting God.  If we truly trust God we do not have to be afraid because He can save us out of our fearful situations. 

“Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock. Isa 26:4 NASB

God is Rock!  He is solid.  He is sturdy!  He is forever!  We can trust in Him because of who He is, and know that He will always be there for us.

For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Heb 13:5b KJV

An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.
Pro 28:25 NASB

Our attitude matters too.  God wants us to be humble and trust in Him and we will prosper according to His will.

The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted. Pro 29:25 NASB

When we fear man it becomes a trap to us.  We eventually end up ordering our life around that person or persons. We become in bondage.  Instead we need to trust the Lord and live according to his precepts.  He will lift us up.

In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Psa 56:11 NASB

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.
Psa 56:3 NASB

Again, God is the One who we can trust.  We don’t have to fear man or anything else!

Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 2Co 1:9 NASB

Yes, we were on death row before we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  Because of that we could not trust in ourselves.  We couldn’t save ourselves. But glory to God, He could, and He raised us spiritually from the dead when we were saved. 

It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man. Psa 118:8 NASB

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD.
Jer 17:7 NASB

Is your trust in the Lord?  Have you come to the place after reading all these wonderful scriptures that show us why we can trust God, where you know that you cannot live your life yourself?  Do you need help?  Have you realized that other people will let you down every time?  Who can you trust?  Only One, and He is worthy of our trust. 

Dear Lord, Please bless these precious truths from your Word to hurting, scared, doubting, fearful, anxious, people today.  Please Lord, open their hearts that they may understand your love for them.  Let them let go of past hurts and come to the comfort of you our dear Heavenly Father who can be totally trusted.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Up to this point we have seen that Paul, in our example of someone who had the fear of crossing bridges, did not know what was happening to him and his problems kept getting worse.

We looked at two things he had to understand in order to be an overcomer of these fears.

1.  His fear was real.

2.  His fear was wrong and sinful.

Now we are going to look at some other points:

3. His fear was not of bridges; it was a fear that had become associated with bridges.

It is very important to understand this. He needed to recognize that the bridges did not cause his fear.  There is no reason to be afraid of bridges.  Kim, the person in our example that is afraid of cars, needs to recognize that the cars themselves are not her problem.  The car does not cause the fear.

My first panic attack occurred at work.  It was the most horrible experience I had ever had up to that point in my life.  I was terrified and thought for sure I would die. I was convinced it was my heart. But I didn’t die.  I went to the doctor and he said I’d most likely been overdoing it and to take a couple of days off and rest.  He also gave me some tranquilizers if I remember correctly.  I followed his instructions.  But, at the end of those days off I had to go back and face the same place where I had that traumatic experience.  As I think back that was a VERY stressful period in my life and it is no wonder my body said, “enough.”  Physically, I was out of shape.  I didn’t eat right or exercise.  I drank and smoked, and partied all I could.  I was emotionally upset a lot with relationships and work stress.  And, I was spiritually bankrupt, as I didn’t know Christ as Lord and Savior.  It is no wonder I had that first frightful panic attack.

A little time passed and I had another attack at work.  I didn’t know what I was having were panic attacks, I simply called them “spells.” I don’t think the doctors even knew what they were back then. I was completely in the dark. I went into a downward spiral.  I truly became afraid of my office.  I didn’t want to go and as I got more tired and stressed out I began to miss days, I showed up late, and tried to find peace in more drink.  It didn’t work.  Soon, I had a panic attack in the grocery store.  Another place to fear.

Next, it happened in the bank as I waited in line.  Lines became an issue with me. My point is my world became smaller and smaller.  I quit my job.  I fell out of society and stayed at home all I could.  I got other people to do the necessary things for me and I hid out in my “safe place.”  I had Agoraphobia. It didn’t have a life anymore, I only existed! I felt hopeless.  

I get many emails from people just like I was.  They feel hopeless and helpless.  They don’t know where to turn. Perhaps you can identify with me too. The good news is that I did become an overcomer and I believe you all can if you just realize what is going on and learn how to deal with it. 

4. Paul’s real fear was of the experiences.  (The cause of fear)

The bridges were not the cause of Paul’s fear.  The car is not the cause of Kim’s fear.  And, all those places: the store, my office, the bank, the post office, and so many more were not the cause of my fear.  Once I found that out, it did help me.  I was experiencing fear of fear.  I was afraid of those awful feelings I had experienced in those places.  It took me a long time to see that, but when I did it was a real eye-opener.

Fear of fear is dreading to go somewhere or do something because some time before when we went to that particular type of place or did that particular thing we had a bad experience and were terrified with the emotions and symptoms that flooded us. That was fear and we wanted to escape.  Now we fear having that same fear again so we avoid those situations.  That is fear of fear.  We are not afraid of the place really, but of the feelings of fear we got there.   

So, bridges, cars, the workplace, grocery stores, banks, the post office, or doctor’s office, don’t produce these experiences. I hope you can see this.  It is so important. We know logically that cars and bridges don’t produce panic attacks.  We know that. We’ve all been over many bridges and we’ve all been in many cars.  They are not the culprits. 

Romans 8:15 (NIV) “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

We don’t have to live as a slave to fear.  We can change. 

5. The key to becoming an overcomer.

It is our own thoughts that produce panic attacks.  We have had panic attacks, we produce them ourselves by the bad thought habits we have picked up, and that means that we can stop producing them by a change in our thought habits.  Isn’t that wonderful?  There is hope after all.

Psalm 34:4 (KJV) “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears”

God wants to deliver us from all our fears.  Isn’t that wonderful?  That is His will for us.

6. There is not some mysterious thing going on.

It is really very simple.  Our thoughts effect how we feel.  We think ahead about going to the store, riding in a car, or crossing a bridge and because we associate our former bad feelings with these things we blame them and think it will happen again.  But, in reality we are anticipating anxiety.  We are looking for it. We set ourselves up for it.

We develop or produce it by worry.  Our minds center on what we think might happen.  We get vivid mental pictures of what might happen when we cross the bridge, drive the car, and shop in a store.  These pictures take on the “what if,” scenarios. We worry about “what if,” I get shaky, “what if” I pass out, “what if” my heart beats too fast, and everything else we can imagine.  When we do this our bodies react as though these things were happening right then and releases adrenaline, which in turn brings about the symptoms we are so afraid of. Sometimes we say, “it just came over me, out of the blue.”  But, it didn’t just come over us out of the blue because we allowed our thoughts to get control and take advantage of us.  The answer is to work on the way we think. 

II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 

It is possible for us to be in control of our thoughts.  If it weren’t God would not have said so. 

Dear God, I lift up those who are reading this now.  Lord help them to see that there is a way out of the bondage of fear.  Help them realize that you are the answer.  Lord, please set them free.  Your Word says you came to set the captive free, and I pray that for any here who are slaves to fear.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Thy will be done.  Amen.

Next time we will dig a bit further into this subject.  Stay tuned! 

Check out my blog at www.hatchcreek.wordpress.com

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Mister Woodpecker looking for a tidbit!

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Kim talked about having bad panic attacks when in a car.  She does pretty well at home but even the thought of going somewhere in the car starts her anxiety level to go up. This has become a serious problem for her and she can no longer enjoy taking rides or trips with her family. She struggles with this every day.

I’ve been reading some things by Jay E. Adams who is a highly respected Bible counselor.  In The Christian Counselor’s Manual, 1973 Zondervan Publishing House,  he talks about a man, Paul, who was afraid of driving over bridges.  It all started when he had a terrifying experience while crossing a bridge.  This was actually caused by a significant sleep loss.  After this experience whenever he approached a bridge he became uncontrollably fearful and agitated.  These later episodes were not actually from the previous sleep loss but stemmed from the fear of the previous experience.  Adams says, “He had associated the experience with  bridges, and in his anxiety over whether it would occur again while crossing the bridge, he had emotionally spiraled himself into a panic.” After that even the thought of crossing a bridge brought him a sense of apprehension. 

Most of us can identify with Kim and Paul’s problems. Paul’s sounds very much like what is happening with Kim only she has associated her bad experiences with a car?  She has had bad experiences while driving or riding in a car so now she gets nervous and starts to build up anxiety whenever she even thinks about going somewhere. She is anticipating panic.

Jay Adams said that the man “had to recognize certain facts and act in a Christian manner in accordance with them.”  We will look at some of them.  I’ve also added some of my own as I’ve gone through panic attacks myself. This my take more than one post, but here is part 1: 

1. His fear was real. 

There is real fear.  Paul’s was a fear of bridges, and Kim’s is a fear of cars. 

Maybe your fear is of the grocery store, bank, post office, driving, or something else.  I had many fears that kept me from living a normal life for many years.  I missed out on the most productive years.  I pray that you will learn something here that will keep you from following in my foot steps.

And, if you have already have had panic attacks for years don’t give up!  I truly believe that you can change too!  All with the help of our Wonderful Savior!  We just need to realize what is actually going on.

2. His fear was wrong and sinful.

We’ve talked about Dr. Claire Weekes’ books and how she taught acceptance.  She said we should accept those first feelings or symptoms and then kind of float through or past a panic attack.  I can understand what she is saying. If we get that first feeling then say to ourselves, “so what,” and kind of float by it we can sometimes keep ourselves from having a panic attack.  When we accept the feeling we don’t tense up so much and instead of tightening our muscles and bodies we relax a little bit and that takes the bit out of the attack.

I believe Dr. Weekes is a wonderful person and has helped a lot of people over the years.  I myself have all of her books in my library and they helped me understand the physical side of panic attacks.  I learned what was going on in my body when I had all those strange feelings.  This is good but it is not the total answer to being healed.  Her books are not written from a Christian perspective but from a secular world view.  Anyone can be helped to a certain extent from her books, believers and unbelievers alike.

But, as Christians we have something special.  God have given us the Holy Spirit to live within us and with Him all the power that we need to be overcomers of anything in our lives.  Our resources are different from those of the world.  We have the Word of God, the privilege of prayer, the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us.  I hope you realize how much more we have in Christ.  We are not the same as unbelievers and we do not have to live the same. 

Let’s go to the Word of God and apply what God says to our problems.

Psalms 1:1-2 NASB How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

God tells us not to get our counseling from the world but from His Word.
We should love the Word and take delight in it.  Keep it in our hearts and think about it all the time.  

Psalms 73:24 NASB With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory.

He will guide us as we follow His Word, and when we die He will receive us in Heaven.  That is wonderful!

Isaiah 9:6 NASB For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus is our counselor.  And one of His names is Wonderful Counselor!  How great is that?

We’ve learned in past posts that there are different types of fear.  We looked at; fear of the future, fear of man, and fear of death. These fears are sinful fears. 

But, we also saw there are good fears as well.  These are natural fears (which keep us from hurting ourselves) and most importantly the fear of God. These are holy fears.

Proverbs 29:25 NASB The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

Philippians 4:6 NASB Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

2 Timothy 1:7 NASB For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

We can plainly see that God tells us in the Word that we are not to fear.  I remember when I first saw the verse “Be anxious for nothing…” It really shook me up.  Here I was an anxiety-ridden, wimpy person who didn’t dare to hardly exist, and He said “don’t be anxious?”  I was dripping with anxiety!

I put that verse in the back of my head for awhile and didn’t deal with it.  That was a mistake.  I wondered if it really meant what it seemed to.  It did. As I studied my Bible more I had to admit that worry and anxiety were indeed sinful.  That was a hard lesson for me. 

Matthew 6:27 NASB “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”

Matthew 6:34 NASB “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

It is clear that God does not want us to worry and fret.  He is Sovereign and will take care of us.  If He tells us not to do something and we go ahead and do it, that is a sin.  I’m sorry, but it is true.

It means we are not to be anxious and we are not to worry.  They are both sins.  That is heavy stuff isn’t it?  It is a hard pill to swallow, but when we face it head on in Truth we will become overcomers.

Wayne & Joshua Mack in The Fear Factor, 2002 Hensley Publishing, said this, “The root meaning of phobo, the Greek term for fear, is “flight.”  That’s the nature of fear.  Fear causes us to run away from things that frighten us.  And fear becomes sinful when it causes us to run away from the things God has commanded us to do.”

He goes on to tell us that fear is the opposite of power and is the same as weakness.  When we can’t use our gifts and when we are not fulfilling our responsibilities and obeying God’s commands we are weak.  I can certainly identify with that.  I was so weak and fearful that I did not do anything constructive for a very long time.  I could not even go to church let alone be a helpful person there.  I could not have a social life.  I could not work.  I could not live a fulfilling life. I could not help others very much for a long time. One plus, I did pray a lot for others.  It took me a long time to learn the things I’m about to share with you. 

We will close on those thoughts for this time.  But, I want you to know that there is hope for you.  You can learn how to overcome those awful panic attacks with the help of our Mighty Savior.

May God richly bless you today!

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Morning Sunrise  

A New Day

When we become Christians we can aquire a renewed mind.  Just as dawn bursts   forth with a new day, we can have a mind that is at peace with the world.

Philippians 4:6 (NASB) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

God doesn’t want us to be anxious about anything.  Our minds are precious to Him and he wants us be at peace.  He tells us not to worry but to pray. We can ask God for anything that is in His will.  He also, say that we must be thankful in our prayers.  We have much to be thankful for.  When we pray and give thanks and then petition God we will want what He thinks is best.  Then, we can leave the problem at His feet and rest in peace.

When we do He goes on to say: 

Philippians 4:7 (The Amplified Bible) “And God’s peace (be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace) which transcends all understanding, shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wow!  I think we’d better meditate on that for awhile, don’t you?  These verses are loaded with help and hope for us who are anxious and worry warts.

Wouldn’t you like to have that peace deep down in your soul?  We can be assured that we are saved through Christ and know that He is in control of all things.  We can learn to be content in whatever situation we are in.  This kind of peace can’t even be comprehended in our own finite minds.  This kind of peace will actually guard our thoughts when we are in Jesus Christ.

If we can attain to these scriptures, and we can by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be living in peace with God and with ourselves.  Anxiety and fear will not have a grip on us anymore!

Then he goes on in verse 8 of Philippians  to tell us what we should think about instead of worrying and fretting.  I will quote this too from the Amplified version of the Bible, as it is so good.

“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things—fix your minds on them.” 

When it says, “fix” you mind on them means to get a tight grip on them.  Hang on to them, don’t let them go.  They are actually a good prescription for our mental health. 

Do your thoughts line up with the above?  We have to examine our thoughts and practice to think God’s way in order to renew our minds. It always amazes me to contemplate the fact that God loves us so much that he even cares about what we think.  Isn’t that amazing?  I mean do we really care about what others think?  Or, if we did, do we have any way to know what someone else thinks?  I’d like to know what my husband thinks sometimes, but then again it is probably better that I don’t.

God tells us to “renew our minds.” 

Romans 12:2 (NASB) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

You see if you work on what you think about you will renew your mind.  And if you keep reading and studying the Word, you will renew your mind.  We all need a mind makeover.  We don’t need to worry and be anxious.  That is not a part of what God wants for us.

Philippians 4:9 (NASB) The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Paul says to practice what you have learned, received and heard and seen in Him.  He had taught them and was an example and role model for them.  And he says to model your way of living in it and then the God of peace—which is of untroubled, undisturbed well-being–will be with you. 

I think the key word in the above verse is “practice.”  You see it doesn’t happen automatically.  We must practice just as an athlete practices and trains for an event.  Practice what you think about and how you think and it will become a habit.  You will be truly blessed by God with peace that passes understanding.

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                     Golden Autumn

Golden Autumn

Are you stressed out?  Are you anxious and fearful?  Do you want to be at peace?  Do you realize that your finding peace has everything to do with faith? Without faith you will not become free from anxiety. I can say that with certainty. 

God has given us many promises in the Bible and we need them to live the type of victorious Christian life He wants for us.  But, in order to make those promises active in our own lives we must have faith.  It must be the right kind of faith.

First we need to believe in God.  Second believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ, His son, and third believe that the Word of God is true.  Then, we must take God at His Word.  When He says something, believe it, stand on it, and know that God will not let you down.

We need to apply our faith (in Christ) to the problem of fear and anxiety. We can do this.

We can see God’s handiwork in creation all around us.  That is a good example of something that can help us.  When we get those thoughts of fear and anxiety, we can refocus our minds by taking a good look around us.  We can see God’s handiwork and give thanks and praise to God for his creation, and in doing that we can turn off our stressful thoughts and replace them with God honoring ones.  Do you see how this can help you?

I’m not just coming up with some theory, but I’ve actually done this in my own life so I know.

Also, faith in and of itself has no value. There has to be an object to your faith.  And, that is Jesus.  It is because of Him that we can have faith.  Faith is a gift of God given to us to enable us to know Him and live our Christian lives. 

Colossians 1:4 “For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus (the leaning of our entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness) …  Amplified Bible. 

I love this Amplified version of the Bible as it brings out what is clearly said in the scripture. 

I want to challenge you today.  Do you have that kind of faith?  Is it in Christ Jesus only?  Do you have absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness? 

I also want to warn you that there are a lot of teachings out there today that are not truly Biblical.  One such false teaching is the prosperity gospel.  They declare that if you have enough faith you can be rich, and healthy, and have whatever you want.  Do you want a new car?  They say “just believe for it.”  This is a “faith in faith,” kind of thing.  It is almost like having faith in yourself, that you have enough faith to make things happen, or enough faith to make God do something.  That is not scriptural.  We cannot make God do anything, and we shouldn’t try. 

So, let’s be sure that we truly understand what God is talking about when he tells us to have faith, live by faith, and walk by faith. 

For more study on faith read Hebrews Chapter 11.

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