This past week or so, I was on vacation with my family and we had a wonderful time together. Not only did I enjoy the fact that we were seeing beautiful parts of the TN and visiting family and friends that lived there, all five of us were together and enjoying spending time with each other. Even with the unfamiliar humidity, it was a peaceful and relaxing time together! My daughters are 22, 20, and 16 and they are hilarious! We truly had great times and they are so fun to be with! I remember traveling with them when they were little ones, and it is so challenging…so if you’re reading this and you have littles…hang in there! You WILL reach a day when you don’t have to pack a stroller, diaper bag, three changes of clothes, and a pack n play! But while you have your littles…enjoy those moments too…they really are fleeting!
While on this trip, I had the opportunity to go to two different churches with family there and loved how God gave me insight to even more truths in His Word. Hearing from a pastor that is not from your home church, sometimes makes you pay a bit more attention because it’s all new. The setting, the people, the worship team….I love seeing how God’s people come together with the main goal of soaking in knowledge and pursuing the truths of scripture, and making them a reality in their lives.
One of the pastors went through several verses in Psalm 27 ~ which I love! Such words of encouragement painted a picture of hope on a backdrop of the fear King David was up against. The pastor was talking about what we do in life to combat fear and how we can allow the Lord to take away those fears and replace them with peace.
Psalm 27:3 says, “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.”
There are so many verses in the Bible that speak about peace (over 350 of them actually), but I believe that this verse above completely encapsulates what it is to have real peace in our lives.
It doesn’t say that we can be without fear and fully confident because nothing bad is happening to us or to those around us. No! In this passage, David was literally surrounded by an army of bloodthirsty jealous men and a King who was completely out of his mind, and their goal was to find David and kill him. Why? Simply because God the Father had called David to be the next King of Israel and the current King didn’t want to let go of his title. You may not be crowned the next King of your country, but I would venture to say that the feeling of being surrounded by people who want to see you fail, is probably something most of us are familiar with.
The word peace means ~ “
How do we get to a peaceful place? If you think you can accomplish this on your own…let me encourage you to take a new tack.
We are not called to manage our emotions or feelings…nor are we called to keep them “in check.” When you have a relationship with the Lord as your Savior, we are called to give over all of our anxieties and worries to Him and trust Him to cover them and all the fears that go along with them. We are not promised a stress free life, but we are promised life everlasting. We are not promised a life without pain or struggle, but we are promised a life of grace and mercy, through the salvation we find in Jesus Christ.
So when we submit our fears to the Lord and truly allow Him to take them away from us and give us peace in return…remember that it is not peace that we have mustered up for ourselves. It is HIS PEACE that we are given.
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
This verse in John mirrors the verse in Psalm 27 ~ the Lord does not intend for us to walk around with troubled hearts and minds. He knows that we will encounter incredibly difficult times and situations, but He wants to give us His peace so that we can endure those moments.
Recently, my heart has ached for those around me that I see who are ruled by fear. This doesn’t mean they necessarily hole up in their homes. Fear can present itself in the form of: control, anger, bitterness, regret, self-righteousness, or pride…just to name a few. Honestly, I see right through these attitudes and know they are based in fear because I recognize them in myself. I have battled with all of these negative attitudes and have hurt those I love. It has taken years to repair some relationships, and sometimes only a short time. God is good and He wants me to live a peace-filled life.
So because of knowing the pain of being controlled by fear, I want these friends to experience the pure joy and freedom of God’s peace, but I cannot force them to take His peace. They have to want it for themselves. Instead of being frustrated with how their fears manifest them-self, I must instead be in prayer for them and seek the Lord on their behalf, that they will one day soon give over their fears to the Lord and live in peace.
I love Psalm 27 so much, that I feel led to just print the whole thing out right here for you to read…and this is how I will end today’s blog. Before you read them, I would like to ask you to pray and ask the Lord to see these verses anew and for Him to show you deep meaning in them that pertain to YOUR LIFE TODAY! The Lord wants to show you how much He loves you, and He can accomplish so much of that when you read His Word. Soak in these words and let them resonate in your heart.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
9 Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!