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No one, outside of God, is equipped to handle the problems we face today. He never meant for us to be strong on our own. He wants us to find courage and hope and strength in Him and His Word.
You may not be experiencing a difficult time right now. From your perspective everything may be sunny and clear. However, storms come. At times, they roll over our lives with bounding blows. How do we maintain a sense of peace and spiritual balance when trials strike?
The answer is found in a close abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. And the words of Helen Lemmel's hymn, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus," contain a vital and exciting truth: an unshakable peace is available to all who turn the eyes of their hearts to Jesus.
Chances are when adversity strikes, one of the first things you do is to wonder why. The second thing may be to question what kind of impact it will have on your life. Reactions such as these are normal, but there needs to be another response included, and that is to turn to the One who holds all comfort and security firmly within His grasp.
Ask yourself when you were a child who brought the greatest sense of security into your life. Chances are it was a parent, grandparent or another significant individual. It was here, in times of reaching out and finding a firm hand to which you could hold on to, that you experienced security and peace.
As we grow, we find that life is not always this predictable. There are sorrows and tragedies built into the framework of our existence. If our peace and security are only within ourselves or some other person, when trials come there is a greater chance we will experience disappointment.
No one, outside of God, is equipped to handle the problems we face today. He never meant for us to be strong on our own. He wants us to find courage and hope and strength in Him and His Word. Many wonder what they can do to change the feelings of anxiety that come under pressure.
One of the first steps in dealing with anxiety is to recognize it for what it is, the opposite of peace. It is the fan that flames the fires of doubt and confusion. And it has the ability to leave us helplessly bundled up in worry and fear. When we cave in to thoughts of anxiety, we lose our spiritual focus and mindset. The key to overcoming anxiety is found only in the presence of God.
Paul admonishes us: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
Isaiah's words are simple but true: "In repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength" (Isaiah 30:15). If we are going to be spiritually successful, we must come to a point where we realize that nothing surprises God. He knows when tragedy is going to strike or when disappointment is going to hit, and He has a plan for handling these.
Nothing is too great for Him. He has promised to provide for your needs ? perfectly, completely, and on time. (Philippians 4:19) If He does not answer a certain prayer immediately, it is for a reason. Usually if we are willing to wait for His timing, we will find that He has a greater blessing in store.
Accepting His timetable and the limitations He places on a given situation helps to dispel rising anxiety. Therefore, let Him provide for you in His timing. Keeping a daily journal of your prayers and how He answers each one is a good way to build your faith and trust in Him.
When you accept life as being given to you from the hand of God then you will do what Helen Lemmel's song says - you turn your eyes toward Jesus. You will look full into His glorious face and find mercy and grace, forgiveness and hope, peace and everlasting security.
Peter wanted to walk on the water to Jesus. Like a child, he wanted to imitate his teacher. Surely Peter's faith made God's heart glad, especially as he stepped out and began walking to his Savior. But suddenly the roar of the wind and the crashing of the sea became monsters in his mind. Fear swept through his being, and he began to sink. This is when he cried out: "Lord, save me!" and Jesus reached down and took him by the hand. (Matthew 14:30-31)
What would you give to experience the peace of God in your life? Would you give up worrying? Are you willing to lay down the anger that haunts your soul because someone has done something to hurt or wound you? God knows the hurt you have experienced. Will you trust Him in quietness knowing that He has not forgotten you, but stands ready to heal you?
We call God's peace unshakable, because there has never been a time or an event when God has been disturbed. His peace and presence are sure. They are immovable.
Jesus did not remove His peace from Peter during the storm. Peter made a decision to turn and look away from the Lord. Had he kept his eyes focused on Jesus, he would have made it safely to the Lord's side. You will accomplish many things - great and mighty - when you keep the focus of your mind and heart set on God.
At one of the most difficult points in his life, David wrote Psalm 91: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!'
"For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place" (vs. 1-9).
How could David write words like these, especially with King Saul hunting him down in order to kill him? David had a peace within his heart that was unshakable. It was from God. He knew he did not have the ability or the right to battle Saul. This was God's responsibility and David allowed Him to be the One to protect his life.
The safest place for you when trials come is in the everlasting arms of Jesus Christ. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples. As He stepped back through the veil of human existence, He would say to them: "Peace be with you." This was not just a trite greeting to the Lord. He had a specific point in mind by using these words. The peace spoken of was God's peace - immovable and eternal. It is the peace you need today.
Is there something that troubles you? A conflict, a sorrow, a situation that has escalated beyond your control? Here is His word to you: "Peace be with you."
Let His peace invade your heart. Tell Him all that you are feeling. He understands and knows that life can be difficult, but He has a solution. Our peace resides in the fact that we have a Savior who loves us unconditionally. And He has promised to keep and deliver us into the Father's loving arms.
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