Something that everyone strives for to some degree or another. Something that national leaders desire to attain - or at least pretend to desire to attain. Something that couples chase after, families chase after, clubs and committees chase after. Something that sounds so simple and looks so appealing, but ends up appearing quite complicated and hard to reach.
As usual, God has the answer!
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord...." 2 Peter 1:2
Peace is multiplied towards us through "the knowledge of God." When we really know God - how big He is, how loving He is, how in control He is - then everything else in life will fall into place.
When we run into problems...when we become flustered, upset, yes, even angry...when we get depressed, sad, hopeless....when we get scared, fearful, start worrying...when life seems like too much and nobody understands and that was just the last straw!...it's because we aren't really believing what is true about God.
If we really understood how great and grand He is and yet the many ways He is working for our good, we would never have these problems!
Who needs to be worried when the One who made the world and controls every single little thing that happens is watching us and working for what will be best for us?
Who needs to get upset when the kids don't listen and the phone's ringing and the dog's barking and a water line just broke if God still loves us?
If the statement "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God," (Is. 41:10) does not dispel all fears and anger and doubts and worries, then we don't really know Who it is who is saying "I am your God."
With the women in our church right now, we are doing a study called "Taking Time To Quiet Your Noisy Soul" by Dr Jim Berg, and it is so good. I wouldn't have told you that I had a very "noisy" soul, but I do! To my surprise, I have found out that I am a worrier. I hate conflict in any way, shape or form, and if life is not flowing along smoothly and peacefully, it rattles me.
Not that I mind taking off on a road trip without a map, ready for adventure! Not at all!! But when my family is all at odds with each other, or there's a situation where people are unhappy, I feel like I need to fix it. And if I can't, I worry.
How liberating it has been to meditate on the truth that God is ALWAYS in control of everything. Always. Everything. Nothing escapes Him!
Because, you know, something can't be true and not true at the same time. "Duh, Lisa," you say, but so often, we believe that. If God always loves us, He can't love us sometimes, and sometimes not. If God is faithful, He can't be sometimes faithful, and sometimes not. If God is in control, He can't be in control sometimes, and sometimes not. He either IS or he ISN'T.
And, glory be, He IS!!!!
Throughout this Bible study, they give you verses to memorize and meditate on that are truths about God to help us rearrange how we view Him. I just wanted to share some of these truths that have meant a lot to me. I love just reading through them with the mindset that they are always, always true.
God is always good - which means that He will always meet my genuine needs. Always.
~ Phil. 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
~ Phil. 4:19 - And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
~ Matt. 6:31-33 - Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
God will always forgive my sin. Always.
~ 1 Jn. 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
~ Ps. 51:10-13 (the whole chapter is good as well) - Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.
God is always up to something good in my life. Always.
~ Jer. 29:11 - For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
~ Rom. 8:26-34 - Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
God will always love me personally. Always.
~ Rom. 8:35-39 - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.~ Jer. 31:3 - The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
~ John 17:23 - I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
God will always give me the grace I need. Always.
~ 2 Cor. 9:8 - And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
~ 1 Cor. 15:10 - But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
~ 2 Cor. 12:9-10 - And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
God is always great - which means He is always in control of all things. Always.
~ Ps. 103:19 - The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.
~ Is. 14:27 - For the Lord of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out,
And who will turn it back?
~ Is. 46:9-10 - Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure...’
God is always present with me. Always.
~ Ps. 139:7-12 - Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
~ Is. 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God
God is always the same. Always.
~ Mal. 3:6 - For I am the Lord, I do not change...
~ Heb. 1:10-12 - You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.
God is always trustworthy. Always.
~ 2 Tim. 2:13 - If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
~ Ps. 36:5 - Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
~ Num. 23:19 - 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? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
~ Deut. 7:9 - Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments...
~ Deut. 31:8 - And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.
God is always wise in what He does. Always.
~ Rom. 11:33 - Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
~ Col. 2:3 - ...in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
~ Rev. 15:3-4 - They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:
“Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.”
The true knowledge of who God is will bring us peace!!