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Praying for Peace?

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Praying for Peace?

Post  Admin on Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:00 pm

Divas of the Divine--Spirit
Snack


"I just want to move, so I can finally have
Peace!" my friend sighed in desperation.

How you ever felt that way? Like
you just needed to move away or change something in your life, so you can have
peace?

Maybe your office is a place filled with tension, politics and
back-biting. Or maybe your family is constantly quarreling and full of contempt
for each other. Or maybe you are in a marriage that at times feels like you are
sleeping with the enemy. Or maybe you live in what feels like a war-zone, where
the physical safety of you and your family is at risk.

With so much
crazy going on in our world, at our jobs, and in our homes, sometimes it feels
like peace is this illusive thing. We pray for peace, sometimes with
tear-stained cheeks. "Lord, please give me
peace
!"

But when we pray for peace, what exactly are we praying
for? Are we asking God to change our circumstances, so that we can live a
peaceful, unchallenged life? Is that what God promises in His Word?

The Unchallenged Life

<blockquote>When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
--Isaiah 43:2 (emphasis
mine)
</blockquote>It is important to know
and pray
the promises of God. He has made us so many wonderful promises
in His Word, I encourage you to research them as a source of encouragement and
hope.

However, God did not promise us a life without challenges. On the
contrary, Isaiah 43:2, says 'when' (not
if) you walk through fire, you will not be consumed. The word 'when' implies
that troubles are a certainty in this life. However, the lasting promise of God
is that He will be with you during these trials, so you will not be overcome.
Because of this, we can have peace.

Yet, many of us struggle to find
peace, maybe because we are not looking for peace in the right places. In order
to have peace, we need to understand what true peace is.

In Mary
Southerland's message The Missing Peace,
she writes:
<blockquote>God's peace is not the absence of conflicts, trials or difficulties
and has nothing to do with human beings or human circumstances. In fact, the
true peace of God cannot be produced on a human level at all. Any peace that can
is very fragile and will be destroyed instantly by the storms of
life...

If we rely on this spoiled and fallen world for any measure of
peace, we will forever be disappointed. The only source of peace is God. It is
only through an intimate relationship with Him that we can know
peace.</blockquote>Based on what you just read, how would you define peace? What
is it NOT?
What are some ways we try to create peace on our own?

Peace in the Storm

<blockquote></blockquote>
<blockquote>And the peace of God,
which
transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ
Jesus.
--Philippians 4:7
</blockquote>

For centuries,
the world has marveled at the incomprehensible peace of some Christians. When
outwardly it seems their lives are unraveling, they remain joyful and at peace.
Such was the case with many of the early Christian martyrs, persecuted by the
Romans for their beliefs. Such is also the case with Christians you may know
today, whose faith seems unshaken, even in the worst circumstances, like
sickness, the death of a loved one, and financial turmoil.

The Bible
calls God's peace, the peace which surpasses understanding, meaning the world
won't understand it.

How can someone be at peace when her world is
turned upside down?
Have you ever observed this 'strange' behavior in a
Christian you know? In yourself?

The Key to
Peace



<blockquote>Grace and peace be yours in
abundance

through the knowledge of God
and of Jesus our Lord.

--2 Peter
1:2
</blockquote>
In
my own life, I have seen troubles and I have yearned for peace--external peace.
But external peace, achieved by our own efforts is temporary, and as soon as
another trial comes we are shaken again.

Then something strange happened. My world,
once again felt turned upside down. My
family had no source of income, and the rent and other bills were due, but
(Praise be to God!) this time, I was unshaken. Internally, I was secure and at
peace...real peace.

People who cared about me called; many of my friends
were more panicked than I, asking, "What are you going to do?"

And I
answered, "I'm am going to trust God."

There is real peace in knowing and
trusting in God. We do not have to be overcome
by our temporary circumstances.


Prayer:

Dear God,

<blockquote>Please help me to grow more
intimate with You, learning to do more than simply believe in You with my head,
but learning to truly TRUST in You with my heart and TRUST YOU with every aspect
of my life. Give me the peace and joy that surpasses understanding, even in the
midst of my trials. Use my struggles and trials to grow my faith in You and lead
to real lasting peace.


We thank
You, God, for the hope we have in You, for Your love and faithfulness.


Amen.
</blockquote>


Reflection Questions:

  1. Consider Romans 8:6, which says: The mind
    of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.
    How do reading and meditating on God's Word lead to a life of peace?
  2. What is the greatest area of stress in your life right now?
  3. In what ways have you looked for peace or relief? What has been the result?
  4. Read and recite Romans
    15:13. What does that verse say to you?




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