Numbers 6:22-27 – The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.
Tag Archives: Peace
Do you ever feel like you’re facing giants?
Some days are worse than others. Yesterday was a very bad day for me. Who’s fault. Mine. All mine. I let a troubling email get me down before going to church. I was distracted during the sermon, thinking about said email. Then after church I was extremely hungry (it was now 2 pm , and I’m not such a fun person when I haven’t had anything to eat. I come in the house from running and errand, my husband was busy making a gourmet lunch for him and the boys (OK, it was just Mac & Cheese), so I decided to make myself some soup (all with a very bad attitude). I decided I was really hungry, so I made a quesadilla as well. During the making of the quesadilla, I spilled salsa and had to clean that up. My soup was now boiling. I turned it down, and put the quesadilla in the microwave (for too long). When I took it out, there was cheese melted over onto the microwave. I grabbed the Clorox wipes, pulled one out to clean the microwave, and proceeded to drop it in my soup. UGHHHH! The day didn’t get better from there, until way later. But I’ll spare you the rest of my self-imposed drama.
I felt like everything was against me
No matter what I did yesterday, it seemed like it was all going to Hell in a hand basket. Even when things started looking up, they came back to bite me. It was a rough one for sure. But while I was out on my afternoon walk, I prayed. I prayed and prayed. It was during this walk that I could feel my heart shifting from anxiousness to peace, from anger to kindness and patience. Unfortunately I had already made many other people’s day worse in the mean time. Have you ever felt like no matter what you do, everything is falling apart around you?
If God is for us
And God is for us. He is on our side. Later in the chapter our verse was taken from, we are encouraged with these words: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What can separate us from the love of God?
Nothing. Not even:
- any powers
Nor anything else. Nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from God’s love. Even when things are hitting the fan and we feel overwhelmed by even the simplest things, His love is there. We can turn to Him, pray and know that if God is for us, who can be against us. He is for us. He is for you and for me. He promises to be there for us, and we can trust Him to live up to His word. Put your trust in Him and let Him help you out of the trouble you’re in. Cling to Him that you might know freedom from the pains you’re feeling. All things are in His power and control. Turn your junk over to God. Truly give it to Him to take care of and expect Him to show up in amazing and unusual ways. God is good.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Ephesians 2:14-18 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
For He Himself is our Peace
In the verses above, we hear about how Jesus came and broke down the walls between Jews and Gentiles. The Law was set aside so that all could have the inheritance of eternal life. He created a new humanity that he reconciled through dying on the cross. That’s how He put to death their hostility. And now we have access to the Father by one Spirit.
This is a beautiful section of scripture that really points out the trinity (God is three in one – Not Three Gods – One God with three persons). All of the persons of God are present in this scripture, Jesus, God the Father and the Spirit.
He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
Jesus came to bring the Jews (the religious people of the day) together with those who had been worshiping other gods or no gods at all. Jesus came and went far and wide to spread the grace of His Gospel. He didn’t hold it back from anyone. Some people didn’t believe, but that wasn’t because He didn’t tell them.
God is our Peace
Normally I think of peace as a spiritual state of being. Something we feel or don’t feel. In these verses in Ephesians, it is an interesting look at the fact that Jesus brought peace through reconciliation. He reconciled all people Jews and Gentiles by dying on the cross. He made amends. He worked peace, bringing people back together. Not just the peace in your heart, but the getting along with your neighbor kind of peace.
Every Conflict is an opportunity to witness
I went to a Women’s Leadership Institute conference a few months ago and one of the things I think about almost daily since I went is the idea of reconciliation. The last speaker of the conference was from the Ambassadors of reconciliation. One of the things the gentleman said that will likely stick with me for a long time (yes there is more than one) is that for Christians, every conflict is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to witness for Christ. To react as Christ would react, not as the world would react. In the verses above we get a sense of what that reaction might look like. It is a reaction of peace; bringing people together not pushing them apart.
How we respond says a lot about our God
Could you be like Gladys Staines? Gladys Staines had not heard from her husband, Graham, a respected missionary, or their two sons, Philip, 10, and Timothy, 6. They were at a religious retreat in a village four hours away. Had they been the ones killed by an anti-Christian mob, the ones burned beyond recognition in a jeep. She forgave the killers their deeds.
Could you be like the Amish in Pennsylvania? When their children were shot and killed by their milk delivery man, how did they respond? They responded with forgiveness. The media went crazy. Forgiveness in these difficult times points people to Christ. They wonder why and how Christians can forgive, and in these verses we see it is because that’s what Jesus does, he brings peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding.
What do you do when someone does something bad to you?
And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
What is peace?
Is it simply not having wars? That may be what the Jews at the time of Jesus thought. They wanted a Prince of Peace to come and free them from the Roman Empire. And God can do that no doubt. But they were looking for a political figure, a warrior or a rebel that would come up from God and lead them to victory as a nation.
For me when I read about God being the Prince of Peace, I think more of another part of the definition of peace – cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension. You know, the Peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
I’m kind of a mess mentally
That’s not very fun to write, but it’s even worse to live. I let the worries of this world get in my way. I let them stop me from enjoying the moment, from letting my boys grow comfortably without a helicopter mom, and my husband from having me second guess him. I live in worry.
I strive to know Him more
The peace of the Lord is one of the things that I long for most. I have glimpses of it, and it’s glorious. To be able to fully rely on God. Trusting that no matter what everything I do is in His hands and will work for His glory. Amazing.
So what does it take to have this Peace that surpasses all understanding?
Ok – truthfully this is coming from a girl that doesn’t always get it, but not because I couldn’t. God’s promises are always true. I could have that peace right now. It’s available to everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. I trust the Lord. I love Him, but then… then I take things back. I think I should be able to handle them. That God doesn’t want to be bothered. I lie to myself and say but this isn’t important enough for Him to focus on (disregarding the fact that He can do infinitely more than I can, all at the same time). His peace is available for us if we let go of the worries.
Do we stop working or striving to get better?
Whenever I’ve had a conversation like this before (usually with women who are pretty in control of their lives), the next question is – how do I do that and keep working and raising my family. How do I get rid of the worry and stress. Anyone who knows me will know that I’m not perfect at this – especially if you ask my boys. But I think the key is to keep our eyes on the prize. Keep our eyes on Christ and that all things on this earth are temporary. We’re going to heaven one day, and all of this will be in the past.
So put off your old ways – work hard, but leave the results up to God. Spend time with him, pray, read the Bible and soak in the peace. Stop and Breathe. Allow the Lord to work his peace that surpasses all understanding in your life today and heaven tomorrow (ok, not literally tomorrow – I don’t want you to die tomorrow).
How would having peace that surpasses all understanding change your life?