Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My peace I give to you....

Philippians 4:6-7(NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

I know I have blogged about this before but in light of the heaviness of my heart in the last two days, I thought I’d search for scripture on peace again and remind myself how peace is achieved…true spiritual peace.
It is hard not to worry, it comes naturally, especially to women. I try, daily, not to worry about our financial situation. It is a struggle but I am succeeding. I gave it up to God months ago and I continue to hand my worries over to him daily. I can’t believe the sense of peace I have this year about so many areas. I am aching with the loss of a dear friend and yet my heart is at peace with it too. I miss my son and yet I am feel so little sadness and NO bitterness, anger or negativity this year. Any other time we’ve been through job loss…and it’s never lasted longer than 2 months (it’s been a solid 6 now) I would be panicking daily, fighting with Geoff often and so very negative. And I am just, well not, this time.
This peace, most certainly, exceeds anything I can understand. I have no way to explain how I feel except to say that I know how much I have welcomed Christ into my life and have to give the credit, 100%, to Him.

John 14:27 (NLT)
27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

There are lots of ways that you could interpret this. When I first looked at it I thought of the gift that it is when we do not worry, when we feel peaceful inside. That really is a gift and this holiday season is likely the best gift I’ve had. The world can’t give us this peace, it has to come from God. I had many friends, especially TTTS mom’s who journeyed this road before me, that helped me find this peace. I had tons of encouragement to raise awareness and funds and that also helped to bring me peace. But the world didn’t control that, God did. He brought those people to me, He pushed me to reach out, He planted the ideas of fundraising in my head.
But that is not all that this passage is telling us. When I began looking into interpretations of this scripture I found some great reading on the gift that ‘peace of mind and heart’ is… “the greatest blessing that God gives us is peace in our heart and the hope of eternal life. These are the things that are real. If we seize the opportunity in our short and uncertain lives to seek true peace and eternal life, then our lives will be valuable and meaningful.”

God gave us this gift, originally, in the form of his Son, Jesus Christ. True peace can only come through Jesus Christ. In other translations, the above scripture puts it in a different form "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"(Jn 14:27). The true peace from God is not of the world, it surpasses the world. "The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"(Phil 4:7).
A person is saved by their faith and not by the act that brings them to this saving. There are many stories of people who have been ill, in an accident and even, in the case of many TTTS moms I know, grieving a loss and they reach out to a God they’ve never known, never had a relationship with. They are healed, their life becomes ‘better’, they are more at peace etc. These acts aren’t the miracle, not the gift. The gift is the faith itself. They no longer are worried about their illness or their grief because they know that God is with them and will take care of them.

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Heb 11:1).

May you be filled with faith, filled peace of mind and heart this holiday season.

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