I have been getting a lot of inspiration from Pinterest lately. This adorable photo made me smile and question myself, “Do I ever do this?” Yes, I believe I do, on ovcasion, but I would like to do it a whole lot more! What about you?
We should wake up in the morning smiling because we know our Redeemer lives (Job 19:25) and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). If the things of life are weighing us down we need to give it all to Jesus and stop trying to do life in our own power. Jesus offers us an exchange – our heavy load for His light yoke (Matthew 11:28-30). His yoke is not a yoke of slavery, but a yoke of help and guidance, so we don’t have to do anything in our own strength, but in Jesus’ strength (Philippians 4:13).
Just knowing we belong to God, that He has adopted us into His family, should be enough to plaster a permanent smile on our faces. We need to train ourselves to be constantly aware of God’s presence with us. He has promised to never leave us alone (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8). If you would like a book to read on this, I highly recommend, The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. We can know God’s presence every moment and be in constant communication with Him if we choose to open our spiritual eyes to see.
Jesus has promised His rest, joy, and peace to us despite our circumstances (Matthew 11:28-30; John 14:27, 15:11, 16:24 & 33, 17:13). So why do we so often become frustrated, stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed by life?
A) Sometimes we don’t start our day with the Lord and even if we do way be rushing through without taking time to just soak in His presence and listen to His voice.
B) We take our focus off of Jesus and look at the storm around us instead of taking the trouble to the Lord in prayer and leaving it in His hands.
C) We try to handle things, especially “little” things, in our own power. Big or small God wants to be a part of it. It may seem small at first, but it could become a bigger problem later, specially if we aren’t operating in God’s wiadom, power and timing. Also, we never know how God will use even the small things in our lives for His glory, so it is better to do everything in Him and get it right the first time.
No matter what is going on in our lives just knowing we belong to Jesus is enough to keep us at peace. It doesn’t mean we don’t experience pain, but Jesus is in the pain with us, He surrounds us, and He fills us with His presence and power to go through it with His peace and the joy of His presence (the Joy of the Lord is our strength – Nehemiah 8:10). In Him we can be strong and courageous.
Finally, don’t be an ostrich with your head buried in the sand. Be a lion! Acknowledge that there are evil spiritual forces at work in this world (Ephesians 6:10-13, 1 Peter 5:8-11). Denying they exist won’t make them go away, but it will make us unprepared for the inevitable battles ahead. If we arm ourselves with God’s armor (Ephesians 6:14-18), humble ourselves and submit to God (1 Peter 5:6-7, James 4:7) we can stand against all the devil’s schemes and attacks without fear or worry and make the devil flee from us.
Have you ever noticed that there is no armor for the back? That’s because with God on our side there is no reason to fear. We are not to turn and run or hide. We are to stand firm and face the enemy. We are strong and courageous with God on our side.
I know that when I take the time to seek God’s presence, His wisdom, and His strength I feel it and know I can face whatever it is in His peace. I had a scare about 3 years ago with a suspicious mammogram. I had to go for a follow-up ultrasound which led to a biopsy. I had determined in the waiting between each appointment that I was not.going to worry. I knew God had me. When I went in for the biopsy the staff and the doctor were all being so caring and encouraging. They were also very puzzled by my calm demeanor. That’s not what they usually see. I was able to shine some light that day by explaining that I was not worried or afraid because I had God’s peace in heart. Praise God it was benign! But it was a huge deal for me, because I am by nature a big time worrier. In Christ we are new creations. Our old nature is gone and is replaced with a godly nature of courage and strength. Can I get an amen?
Blessings and peace,
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