“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
The word for this week is “Peace”, especially since our island seems to be in the middle of serious chaos and confusion, pretty much like many other countries in the world. Our prayer is that God will grant us His peace, and strengthen our faith in the knowledge that He is in control especially when it doesn’t look that way. And yet, there are certain situations in life which throw us into an immediate tailspin. These so called life-stressors can be overwhelming and frightening. They leave us not being able to think straight, know who to turn to, or begin to have a clue as to what we should/can do to move forward.
www.stresstips.com tells us below about the top 10 life stressors:
- Death of spouse/child
- Marital separation
- Detention in jail or other institution
- Death of a close family member e.g. parent or sibling
- Major personal injury or illness
- Being fired from work
- Marital reconciliation
Interestingly enough, I remember researching this very topic in 2011 when the list on www.answers.com looked like this:
- Divorce / breakup
- Losing job
- Wedding planning
- Kids / Family
- Studying for exams
But whether it is 2011 or 2014 is there anything on either list that you can relate to? Have you lost someone you loved? Have you been laid off unexpectedly and as a result not sure how you will pay your bills? Are you seriously ill and needing expensive or intensive medical attention? Maybe you are planning to get married and wondering if you will survive the process. Is it possible you have more month than money?
I don’t know your story. What I do know is that although people believe stress is a killer, I don’t agree. I believe it’s our response to stress that can kill us and yes it is natural to be fearful and anxious about our future when everything around us appears to be seriously falling apart but Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV) promises this of our God: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.”
I am currently living a crazy imperfect life where I try to balance going above and beyond at work with giving quality time to my family and friends (I am not even going to speak to debt or relate some of my road rage experiences as I commute to and from work). Yet, I am still able to believe that if I trust in God enough to come through for me and steadfastly believe in His promises, then I’ll be sure to find some measure of peace from within the chaos.
Today I wish you the gift of God’s amazing peace. Invite him to take the wheel and drive you safely to where you need to be. Let us guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus so that we will not be afraid of the future. In the meantime, I am going to pray that no matter what’s going on in your life right now, you will be able to cherish this gift of peace as well as pass it on to others. Have a peaceful week ahead.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)