Personal Peace in the Middle of Problems

23 12 2009

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

Jesus offers to us peace of heart and mind as a gift, because He knows that peace is something that we all desperately need. He doesn’t say He is going to take away all our difficulties so we can have peace. Life is always going to be a series of problems, but He promises something better: Peace IN the middle of your problems. But what holds us back from experiencing that kind of personal peace? There are four things Christ has been teaching me…

1. Accept What Cannot Be Changed

Acceptance is the key to personal peace. When you are struggling with a situation, do what God gives you the strength to do, but when you hit a wall and there is nothing more that can be done, accept what cannot be changed. Acceptance says “since there are many things that are outside of my control, I am going to put my trust in the One who is in control of everything.” (See SERENITY PRAYER post.)

2. Learn from Christian Mentors
When Mary heard she was going to be mother of Jesus, the first thing she did was to go spend time with Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-40, 56). Over the next three months, Elizabeth, who herself had been through a lot of ups and downs in life, mentored Mary spiritually to become the person God wanted her to be. We all need a Lizzy in our lives to teach us how to live at peace in the middle of problems. If you are struggling with peace, seek out a Christian mentor who you can learn from.

3. Focus on God’s Mercy
Did you ever notice how you can be perfectly content, but one trip to the mall ruins all that. What happened? Your focus changed. Instead of focusing on what you have, you begin to focus on what you don’t. If you are struggling with peace, focus on the things that God HAS done for you. Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. Philippians 4:6-7

4.Lean on God’s Faithfulness
A number of years ago, Jesse Ventura (formerly “the body” and governor of Minnesota) stated “Christianity is a crutch for weak people.” He was so wrong. Christianity is not a crutch for weak people; Christianity is more like a wheelchair for disabled people. We’re all disabled with sin and struggles. And relying on our own strength and faithfulness, will alway lead to more anxiety and more stress. If you are struggling with peace, stop trying to do life on your own and lean on the One who has always been faithful to you.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; 
 His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:22-24


Money: Separating the Lies from the Truth

22 09 2009

life money hope box1. LIE: It’s My Money

TRUTH: It’s All God’s

The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours – you created it all. Psalm 89:11

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him. Psalm 24:1

2. LIE: Before this Economic Collapse, I Was in Control

TRUTH: God’s Is Always in Control

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Phillippians 4:20

3. LIE: Financial Security Exists

TRUTH: The Only Thing Secure in This World Is Christ

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2

4. LIE: The More You Have the Happier You Are

TRUTH: The More You Give Away the Happier You Are

God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. John 3:16 There is more happiness in giving than in receiving. Acts 20:35

Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor. The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 22:9, 11:25

5. LIE: If __(insert job, raise success, etc)_____ Would Happen, Then I Would be at Peace

TRUTH: When You Put You Life In God’s Hands, You Will be at Peace

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep…My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:15-16, 27-39

Starting on Easter: Worst Case Scenario

8 04 2009

worst-case-scenarioLAYOFFS. STRESS. ANXIETY.

When you feel like you are holding on for dear life, where do you turn? In this “worst case scenario” economy, faith can make all the difference between holding on and giving up. Starting this Easter at Epic, we’ll crack open God’s spiritual survival kit and take a fresh look at how Jesus can help you find the peace and strength you are looking for. You’ll learn practical ways God can help you stay determined and emerge from these circumstances stronger than before.

Apr. 12 EASTER CELEBRATION: Break Free From Your Doubts

Apr. 19 Survive a Financial Freefall

Apr. 26 Fend Off Depression

May 3 Hang on at the End of Your Rope

May 10 MOTHER’S DAY: Build a Foundation of Faith

Quote of the Week: Warren Buffet

10 03 2009

“The people that behaved well are no doubt going to find themselves taking care of the people who didn’t behave well,” Warren Buffett

In an interview the other day, he stated the the economy has fallen off the cliff and we are in what he envisioned was the worst case scenario for the country…nothing new, except for this little quote halfway through the article.

What do you think?