Peace Doesn’t Equal Perfection

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
As a follower of Jesus, be comforted in the fact that your salvation brings you peace with God. And then, with each day that you follow Jesus and allow Him to lead your life, you’ll experience the peace of God. But even when we have God’s peace in our lives, it doesn’t equate with perfection in the world. Until we reside in our heavenly, eternal home with God, we won’t know or experience perfection. 
So, what causes us to think God’s peace equals perfection on earth? Our expectations. Pastor Steven Furtick said, “If I’m going to live at peace, I’ve got to surrender my expectation of perfection. Peace isn’t found in a place or in a set of circumstances that are problem free.” 
While earth is our home, we will have hardship and difficulties. We’ll go through seasons where the pain is intense because pain accompanies struggling relationships, struggling economies, and struggling health crises. These outside pressures don’t have the power to take away God’s perfect peace through Jesus Christ. Furtick goes on to say, “It’s not that He delivers me from it; it’s that He meets me in it.”
He meets us in our deepest time of need with an unexplainable, unfathomable, and inexplicable peace. This peace of God is unrivaled, and it’s beyond compare. No one or no thing is even in the same class as this perfect, mysterious peace. Even though it’s beyond our comprehension, we know when we have God’s peace and we know when we don’t. 
We experience it in the midst of unspeakable pain and yet somehow, we have this calmness over us. We experience it when we’re in financial struggles and are unsure of how to pay the next bill, yet we’re amazed we can rest in God’s provision. We experience it when our health is in jeopardy and we don’t know when healing will come, yet we can’t explain the serenity we are living in. That’s the peace of God in imperfect situations. Life is not perfect, but our God is.  
God doesn’t always take us out of our valleys, but He will always bring us through them. It’s often in the unknown that God shows us the most powerful revelations about who He is and who we are. We can still trust and rest in our good God during life’s challenges and exhibit faith during our own torrential, situational downpours. It’s this kind of faith that pleases our God.  
When I read this devotion it struck close to home. I pray you are encouraged today, no matter what you may be facing at this very moment, remember these two very important facts as your going through whatever it is, “Life is not perfect, but our God is” and “God doesn’t always take us out of our valleys, but He will always bring us through them”. Trust Him.
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

Peace Be With You

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (John 20:21)
Not long after Jesus’ resurrection, His disciples hid in a locked room, fearing that the same people who crucified Jesus would come and arrest them. It’s in the midst of their fearful circumstances that Jesus appears to them collectively, speaking words of peace over them.
But He doesn’t stop there.
He then tells His disciples that He is sending them out into the world. This means they are going to have to leave the safety of their locked room. But although their future is unknown, they are known by the One who holds the future. So wherever they go, and whatever they face, Jesus’ words will remain true: peace will be with them.
And Jesus continues to offer us this same peace.
We will all face hardship and difficulties. We all will go through seasons where we endure intense pain caused by struggling relationships, struggling economies, and struggling health crises.
But God’s peace isn’t based on our feelings or circumstances, which is why it’s something we can consistently experience.
God’s peace sometimes feels like a calmness in the midst of an anxious situation, or hope despite a discouraging diagnosis. It might look like unexplainable joy, or an unshakeable feeling that, regardless of what happens, God is still in control.
When our world rages, or the doctor shares something alarming, or the news reports are terrifying, God’s peace enables us to walk forward with confident assurance that the One who gives us peace goes with us. Jesus might not remove us from difficult situations, but He will always help us walk through them.
Outside pressures don’t have the power to take away God’s perfect peace that’s given to us through Jesus our Savior.
So take a few minutes today and thank Jesus for His peace that passes all understanding. Talk to Him about any concerns or worries you’re currently experiencing, and as you give them over to Him, envision Him saying to you, “peace be with you.”
Amen, Hallelujah! The moment I read this devotion it brought uplifting tears to my eyes. I pray you are encouraged and filled with His peace that passes all understanding, no matter your circumstance or situation.
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

Trade Fear for Peace

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
Can you imagine never having fear?
What if you didn’t have to be afraid of finances, relationships or afraid of being hurt, disappointed, or alone? What if you could rest knowing that despite what the future holds for you, you could have peace?
God’s Word tells us that we don’t have to fear judgment or eternity when we belong to Christ.
Once we put our trust in Him, we can rest in His love and forgiveness.
Then, as we turn to Jesus daily, His love envelopes us, comforts us, and gives us peace.
The more we draw near to Him, the more we understand His ways and can rely on Him to meet our every need.
And God doesn’t want you to keep His love all to yourself…He desires that you love others with the love you have experienced from Him.
Today, ask God to give you opportunities to show Him to others. Trust Him to put people in your life who need to know His all-powerful, saving grace and who need to trade their fear for His peace. Amen.
I pray this devotion blesses you as it blessed me. Pray for opportunities.
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

Hope in Christ

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) 
We live in a world wrought with pain and suffering. 
Disease, divorce, death, and loss happen every day.  

And many times, when something tough happens, it is totally out of our control.  
So, how do you rejoice, much less, give thanks in every situation?  

As an heir and child of God, your hope isn’t in the things of this earth. 
Your hope is in Christ and the eternal life you have with Him!   

Your pain and suffering are momentaryin light of what is awaiting you in eternity.  We are to fix our eyes on Jesus. 
He knows and understands every hurt. 
He aches with you, and the Holy Spirit groans and intercedes for you.  
God promises you that He will give you the grace you need to handle every situation.  
Even though you may not understand why something is happening, you can trust the Lord.  
There is a song by Babbie Mason that says, “When you don’t see His plan. When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.” 
Remember that what Jesus did on the cross is real, and His Word is true, let nothing steal your joy!  
When I read this devotion it blessed me. Remember this today, To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark, that is faith. He sees the things you can’t. 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

Carrier of Peace

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4) 

The prophet Isaiah describes the crucifixion and the suffering Christ would endure. 
Here are highlights from Isaiah 53.
  • He was despised
  • He was rejected
  • He carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him not 
  • He was stricken
  • He was afflicted
  • He was pierced
  • He was crushed 
  • He was oppressed 
  • Upon him were the punishments that brought us peace. 
Jesus chose the cross with all its’ agony so we could have peace. 
During times of calamity we can model His peace as a way to share the gospel!
I will not add to fear! I will be a carrier of peace! 
I felt this devotion needed to be shared today. May we choose not to add to fear but carry peace. Amen! Isaiah 53:5 goes on to say, He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. With his stripes we are healed, physically, mentally, spiritually, we are healed. Trust Him for the healing and embrace the peace that passes ALL understanding. 

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:7)

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

Pursue Peace

Seek peace, and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14) 
My computer crashed one night and oh, the feeling of anguish and loss that came over me.  My husband and I tried hard to work on it, reboot it and reinstall the system, but to no avail. I was reading and studying Psalm 34:14
when the computer went down, “Seek peace and pursue it.” Obviously the verse and my state of mind were not in the same place, so I started reasoning with the Lord over it. 
To seek peace means to search for it like you are looking for a lost child. Have you ever had that happen to you? One minute your child is right next to you and the next minute, gone. Oh the feeling of panic that overwhelms you as your heart starts beating faster, a burning sensation moves throughout your body, your eyes become fixed and your voice raises as you firmly and seriously call out your child’s name. Nothing is right until you find your child. That state of mind is not very peaceful and yet we are instructed to seek peace like we are seeking a lost child. What does that mean? 
A missing child isn’t normal for the parent as much as missing peace isn’t normal for the Christian.  Jesus left us His peace as if He left it in His will for us to claim, own and enjoy. However, it doesn’t come naturally. Jesus says that He gives us His peace not the world’s peace. If we don’t have peace, we need to find out why and then pursue it. 
I pursue peace by meditating on Scripture, and thinking on the verse over and over. I pray the verse back to the Lord asking Him to reveal His will for me from the verse. So when the computer crashed, I felt my peace being traded in for panic. Because the contrast was so evident, I sought for my peace first and then focused on the computer. You have to put yourself in that place to claim your rights to God’s peace regardless of the circumstance at hand. Peace is yours. Seek for it, pursue it, claim it and own it! 
When I read today’s devotion I could relate to the feeling of panic and complete lack of peace when my child went missing, it was but only for a few seconds but it felt like an eternity. That state of mind was in no way peaceful and so to read today’s devotion and be challenged to find peace despite the circumstances made me truly reflect on how often I claim my right to God’s peace regardless of the circumstances at hand and although I may have felt I handle situations just fine I do need to work on seeking it, pursuing it, claiming it and owning it in the midst of my circumstance. Today, take a step back, seek peace first and then focus on your circumstances. I know it will make your days so much better. Seek peace and pursue it! 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is John 8:32 

Persevering with Peace

I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. (Psalm 3:5) 
As I continue trusting God through my struggles with chronic pain, even the simplest setback can feel like a fierce enemy attacker. Problem One jabs me from the right. Problem Two shoves me from behind. Problem Three punches me square in the nose. During these times, when my strength wanes and immediate relief evades me, running and hiding can seem like a good idea. But since I can’t escape my pain, change my circumstances, or ignore my emotions, I’m learning slowly to rely on God to carry me through. 
When I need encouragement, comfort, and courage, I prayerfully read through the songs of the psalmists, who honestly bring their situations to God. In one of my favorite psalms, King David flees from Absalom, his son who wanted to kill him and take his kingdom. Though David lamented his painful situation (Psalm 3:1–2), he trusted God’s protection and expected Him to answer his prayers (vv. 3–4). The king didn’t lose sleep worrying or fearing what could happen, because he trusted God to sustain and save him (vv. 5–8). 
Physical and emotional pain can often feel like aggressive adversaries. We may be tempted to give up or wish we could escape when we’re weary and can’t see the end of our current battle. But, like David, we can learn to trust that God will hold us up and help us rest in His constant and loving presence. 
Lord, thanks for giving us rest in the peace of Your constant presence and assuring us of the victory You’ve already won. Amen. 
No matter the trial your facing today, remember, He is faithful. God offers us peace as He holds us up and carries us through every trial. When I read this devotion I was reminded of Philippians 4:7, And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Persevere with peace! 
Have a beautiful day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Matthew 6:33

Miracles in the Everyday

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19) 
There are many times that I just want to quit. There is no real reason but I just don’t feel like continuing on the same path. I want to see new things, do new things, feel new things and think on new things. I look for the miracles to come and, at times, I seem to end up more miserable than when I started. Sounds like moments of a mid-life crisis, doesn’t it? Maybe some of you deal with similar feelings at times. Wouldn’t it be great to have a relationship that changes from being filled with tension to all of a sudden being filled with those loving feelings? Wouldn’t it be great to suddenly wake up every morning early, bright-eyed to spend an hour with the Lord and to hear Him answer you? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to eat whatever you want without worrying about gaining weight or needing to exercise? That would cause a whole new way of thinking and feeling and doing and even living. Those miracles can happen–and do. I have seen the Lord do those things, which is why I look for those kinds of miracles every day. But I have come to realize that God uses the boundaries in our lives to teach us victories in entirely new ways. I hate to admit it, but I have come to learn that the victories in life come mostly in the everyday things. 
I was reading the book of Zechariah along with the book of Revelation and cross-referencing similar passages. I knew that the Lord was speaking through them to me. I got this great feeling that He was going to be doing something great in my life that day. As time went by, I was looking for the miracle. And God is so faithful; I realized that He did do a miracle that day. There was something I have dreaded to do every week, but all of a sudden, I was excited to go and participate. It was a miracle. I didn’t have any of those feelings of dread or insecurity, just excitement. Why did God choose to reveal His blessing to me in this way? Because He values our everyday lives and wants to have us enjoy His blessings in them. That new thing may seem so small but it yielded so much peace. God is in the business of granting peace. Look for the Lord in the little things. He wants your revelation of His works to become bigger as you look for Him in the every day. And believe me, living on the same path but now with peace is living in the miraculous. 
When I read this I couldn’t help but think how we all go through things in life like this devotion expresses but we must look for The Lord in the little things. Don’t loose faith or trust just because He didn’t answer your prayer the way you felt it should be answered. Look for him today and every day in the small things, for you will realize they were so great. Allow Him as today’s devotion says, to teach you victories in entirely new ways. When you do, it will open up an entirely new perspective on finding peace in your life. 
Have a beautiful day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Hebrews 12:2


And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

We all want peace. We want peace in the world, and sometimes we fight for it. We want peace in our countries, so we vote for the person we think will do the best. We want peace with our friends, so we do what we can to not offend them. We want peace in our family, so we work hard to provide for their needs. Lastly, we want peace in ourselves, so we compare ourselves to others and say we are much happier with what we have. People spend their whole lives working for peace. Unfortunately, true peace is not something that can be achieved, it can only be received.

True peace can only come from God (John 14:27). This peace doesn’t affect our surroundings, it affects our inner souls. Paul says that it will go deep into our hearts and minds. It isn’t something that can be explained in a self help book or with a few simple steps, it is only something that can be received from God.

Ironically he brought us peace through an act that was not peaceful at all, the death of His son (Romans 5:9). As a follower of Jesus, we should be the ones looked to when others need peace. Not because our surroundings are peaceful, but because our hearts and minds are at peace with God through the death of Christ on the cross. We no longer fear death, hunger, or not having enough possessions. We know that our treasure is in heaven and we will one day reign with the one true Peace Maker.

Where does your peace come from?

I’m honestly not sure what more to add to this. When I read it this morning it blessed me and inspired me to hold even tighter to the one true Peace Maker and to reflect on where my peace truly comes from. I pray when others see me they see that my heart and mind is at peace with God that I may help, through Christ, shine light and peace into there lives. Here I am Lord, use me.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Philippians 4:6-13


If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)
Of those who celebrate freedom, how many truly experience it? We as a society enjoy high paying careers, wonderfully large homes and interesting hobbies. But meanwhile our pursuit of happiness has yet to be satisfied. The reason being is many people, despite all the “things” in life they accumulate, remain prisoners internally. Anxiety, depression or fear of loosing those “things” they’ve worked hard to possess consume their lives day in and day out. Liberating circumstances may seem externally but we must learn that freedom must be realized within. 
The answer is Jesus Christ. He has come to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound (Isaiah 61:1). When we trust Him as Savior in our lives, the chains holding us back from true joy and happiness are broken. We are free from years of anxiety, depression and fear and we begin to see things from God’s point of view. We truly realize that our needs, desires, and overall well being rest securely in the arms of a loving heavenly father. His name is Jesus, King of Kings, Messiah, Emmanuel, Alpha and Omega the Bread of Life. 
Is the weight of anxiety, depression or fear weighing you down? Look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and in those moments of overwhelming anxiety, depression and fear, don’t allow the enemy to take hold of your mind, put on the Armor of God, the Helmet of Salvation, because the enemies blows are directed at the believer’s security and assurance in Christ, the enemies job is to make us lose confidence in the love and care of our heavenly Father. 
Heavenly Father, Give me your peace that passes all understanding in my heart. Your peace, which alone can set me free from the worries and anxieties that this world offers. Help me to realize that I am free indeed but only when I choose You. Walk with me today, help me to be an example to those around me that my light may shine in a world that is becoming darker. Amen. 
Today’s Reading is John 8:31-37
Have a wonderful day in The Lord!