Showing posts with label God of peace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God of peace. Show all posts

Redeemed in Peace

me and chris

 I've been doing live devotions on Facebook for a few months now. My goal was to be a voice of "peace" in the midst of all the turmoil. I placed a link to today's video at the bottom of this devotion in case you'd like to see it. Today, I talked about a verse in Psalm 55. As I was sharing the verse and my thoughts, I felt it was appropriate for us as caregivers. 

Verse 18 of Psalm 55 says this, He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me. For there were many against me. As caregivers, there are so many things that pull at and war against our souls and our sanity too. Our plates are more than full with caregiving tasks. We have laundry, food prep, transfers, bathing, dressing, and a wide variety of other things to do to care for our loved one. Long distance caregiving has its own bumps along the way and plenty of surprise phone calls. 

So, when I found this verse this morning, I thought of us and how time after time God has provided peace in the midst of the turmoil. As if caregiving wasn't enough, we also have other cares to add more concern. We must protect ourselves and loved ones from exposure to COVID. And our political environment is quite the mess. So not only do we have the stress of caregiving providing plenty of things to war against us, there is no reprieve "out there" either.

But here's the thing. David said that God reaches into the raging battle to "redeem" our souls in peace. I always wonder why He doesn't make the battle cease. You know? He could just make it all go away. That might be nice - but it wouldn't make us strong and it'd be a little bit boring, don't you think? 

Instead, God walks right into the things that are troubling our souls the most. He comes right into the midst of our chaos, the ugliness of life, our fears, and crazy thoughts and emotions. And He gives our souls peace. The battle may continue to rage on around us - but we are in His hands. My heart and soul can rest in His heart even when the battle rages on. That's peace.

Today, I will look past the battle. I'll shift my gaze past all the things warring against my soul and I'll focus on Him. I will accept His peace even though life rages all around. I will embrace His peace and let it reign in my heart. Will you join me?


Today's FB live devotion.


Never Disturbed

According to Proverbs and James all we have to do to receive wisdom from God is ask. Sounds simple; it is simple. We can ask God about anything and ask for wisdom to deal with any situation and He simply gives it. How do we know we have it? Sometimes it's obvious as we will suddenly have answers to questions we were asking or discover the perfect way to diffuse a touchy situation. Those are answers. But James 3 talks a little bit about the fruit of wisdom. Or maybe we could say how we know we have it operating in our lives.

James 3:17 explains: The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering without hypocrisy.

God's wisdom is of course pure because He is holy and pure. For us this purity means to be free of selfish motives, jealousy and arrogance. We can't ask for God's wisdom to beat someone else or to get ahead of someone in a competitive nature. His wisdom comes into situations to bring peace - not stir up strife.

Okay, so I get the concept of purity, But peaceable and gentle sort of trip me up. As caregivers we advocate for others and sometimes - like when someone takes the only handicap spot in the parking lot  and they don't have a placard - it's anything but  peaceful! lol And from experience I can say that dude who took that spot would not say I was gentle with him! I speak from real life experience here.

And how are we supposed to seek peace (James 3:18) when there are so many people and situations that don't seem to respond if you deal with them peacefully. (I'm still waiting on supplies for my son!) It seems like if we are nice then people tend to not do their jobs. We have to file complaints, make heated phone calls and generally go over the edge to get things done. It doesn't seem peaceful being a caregiver sometimes.But you know what? It's okay.

Over the years I have found this underlying peace that carries me through even the roughest days - and the days I make rough for others. (sorry.) At times the caregiver's life can look like it's anything but peaceful. A good analogy might be the waves of the ocean. They are never still - neither is the caregiver's day or life. Sometimes a storm is brewing and the waves grow larger and more forceful and more difficult to navigate. But down deep underneath all the surface activity - it's total peace. None of the residents on the deep ocean floor are aware of the storm on the surface. There is no turbulence down deep.

I think the peace that God gives is like this. On the surface, caregiving is rarely at peace - we are fighting for our loved one all the time. We do that without knowing it sometimes. We advocate on their behalf, we call medical professionals with questions, work to make sure they have necessary supplies - and even do daily things like range of motion to ensure they are comfortable. It's never still on the surface. But deep down - God and His wisdom provide a sustaining peace that is never disturbed.

Today I am going to look deeper at the gentle peace He gives me. I will meditate on His peace - the peace the world cannot offer; and I will embrace it. Will you join me?

Do I have to Choose?

This morning I had a couple of scriptures on my mind as I puttered about and got my tutoring done early. The one from 1 Thessalonians 5:23 is still fresh on my mind: Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely and may your whole body, soul and spirit be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  There are only about 3 or 4 times when Paul uses the phrase God of peace. He uses it here and in Romans a couple of times. And of course, Isaiah says that He is the Prince of Peace.

We have the God of peace or the Prince of Peace living right inside of us. Now that hits me as just a little bit funny since the caregiver's daily life can resemble just about anything but peace. I don't know if it's ever not hectic! I would probably use just about any word to describe daily activities - except peaceful. While each caregiver's journey differs, my days are filled with constant activities like laundry, cooking and pureeing foods, straightening the house (this really doesn't happen all that often!), talking to various health care professionals, feeding, changing, bathing, transferring, providing stimuli (without providing too much), designing and doing therapeutic activities (standing frame, puzzles, range of motion) and whew! I'm tired already. And I haven't even touched the things we have to do to keep ourselves sane and happy. It can become quite the circus.

So after I think about how He is the God of peace in my own life - my thoughts shift to another scripture. In Romans 15:13 Paul says this: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  This scripture has been I have meditated on for years. I guess I just love the thought of this God of hope filling me with joy and peace so that I have more hope in Him.

We can see He is the God of peace and  hope. Do I ever have to choose between hope and peace? It seems more like a package deal. We get all of Him when His Spirit resides in us as believers. So it seems that all of His hope and peace would be there as well. I do not have to choose between hope and peace - I get the full package deal! He fills us with His hope - AND He fills us with His peace. I think that's a pretty powerful combination and I can use an extra supply of both.

God does not give us just parts of Himself - He fills us up with all He is. There isn't a junior Holy Spirit for kids; or a senior Holy Spirit for the elderly. There is no "special editions" for special cases like caregivers. We get Holy Spirit working in our lives and He will continue to work to the degree we yield to Him - no matter what situation we are in. Ephesians 3:16 says that we are strengthened in our inner man - just by Him being present  in us.

Today I will be thankful that I get the full package deal and that the Spirit of God is at work in me - even in my situation. I will meditate on the truth that He comes with peace and  hope and I don't have to choose between the two. I will purposefully yield myself to Him and allow God to work in my life today -- and be strengthened by the truth that He still works in me - the caregiver. Will you join me?

Looking for Peace?

The caregiver's life is never dull. There are all sorts of activities and duties that demand our time and at times it can be very hectic. Some days come and go peacefully without any huge mishaps; and some days there can be one thing after another that occurs to disrupt our peace. Some think that just because we are basically home bound we sit around bored all day with nothing to do! The caregiver doesn't even have time to think about getting bored most of the time! We are more likely looking for 5 minutes to grab here and there where we can just sit and breathe! Peace can seem far away...

 I stumbled across this scripture in my reading this morning and it have given me much to think about concerning peace. Isaiah 32:17 says this: and the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness quietness and confidence forever. 

 How does one do the work of righteousness? We are righteous by the blood of Christ...this is not speaking of getting righteous; but the work of righteousness. When I yield to the work of righteousness in my heart, then the fruit will be peace. Even though the world around me is full of stress and many activities - in my heart I am full of peace. And as I am yielded to the full work of righteousness that Christ has done and is doing in my heart and life, righteousness will serve me up a full serving of quietness and confidence!

 This kind of quietness and confidence brought about by His work of righteousness in my life will reveal a strength to carry me peacefully through my day! Isaiah 30:15 reminds us that through quietness and trust  we find our strength in Him. so walk confidently through today - trusting in His work in you. He will never fail to carry you through your day! Want peace? Rest in His work...

The Hidden King

Psalm 57 has been a passage that I have held on to for many years now. I was sick in 1987 with a mystery illness that none of the many doctors ever figured out. All we know is everyone thought I was going to die and then one day I started slowly getting better, obviously touched by His hand. During that time I discovered Psalm 57:1 - Be merciful unto me O Lord, be merciful unto me for my soul trusts in You, and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until these calamities are past. Well, eventually the calamity passed but in the process I did learn much about trusting Him and hiding in His shelter.

 The other verse in this Psalm that sticks out to me is verse 7. David (hiding in the cave from King Saul) starts out by talking about hiding in the Lord's shelter and in this verse it seems to me that he is making a declaration about his own heart. The hiding king states: my heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast...I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! To me he is declaring that no matter how bleak his outward circumstances are looking he will remain steadfast, trusting in the Lord and he's even gonna sing!

I think it might read more like this if I was penning the psalm I will sing? yes...I will sing. Singing does not seem to match the situation does it? Here is the future king - and he knows it! - hiding from a mad man yet determined to stay hidden in God and to keep his heart steadfast before Him...and even thinking about singing in the cave!

He then encourages himself and tells his soul to wake up! and give thanks. He did not thank God for the cave. He did not thank God for riches, peace or health. He thanked God for the things in his life that remain even while hiding in a cave. Think about it - he certainly did not feel rich, there was no peace in the natural, and he was not too concerned about getting out to the gym that morning or eating a well balanced diet. It was far less than perfect circumstances by our American standards.

 So he began to thank God for some of His constants....His lovingkindness and His truth. Two things that never change or fail in the face of life's circumstances. So maybe we feel hidden in a cave brought about by life's harsh circumstances; let us rejoice today in His truth and His mercy that never fail!

The Lord of Peace

When Paul wrote his letter to the Thessalonians, he was writing to a group of people who had been under attack. Actually, he began this particular letter with some kudos for the congregations there. He recognized their enlarging faith and how they were growing in love toward one another. Then he goes on to notice their continued perseverance and faith in the midst of persecutions and afflictions. Is this not our goal as caregivers? To continue to hold on to faith and continue to persevere even in the midst of the things we face each day? I am sure you can admit with me that there are days when this task is easier than others!

 Paul began this letter with such warm words about them and perhaps what he shared with them near the closing is key. In verse 17 of chapter 3 Paul prays this for the believers Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all! He did not pray for the circumstances to change, or for the persecution and lies to stop. He prayed instead that even in the midst God would give them peace.

 That is my prayer today for every caregiver reading this devotional...May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace in the midst of your circumstance! We must say that He is with us! No matter what a day brings or how long a night endures - the Lord of peace is with us!

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