Tag Archive: Christ


Praying for Peace And It Does Not Come

  • I’ve been a committed Christian for over 40 years.
  • I’ve served in vocational ministry for over 30 years.
  • I’ve earned a master of divinity and a doctor of ministry.
  • I’ve preached over 1,000 sermons.
  • I’ve memorized hundreds of Scriptures.
  • I practice spiritual disciplines such as prayer, solitude, and fasting on a regular basis.

You’d think that with that spiritual pedigree, I should always experience God’s peace or at least when I lack it, should immediately regain it through prayer, quoting scripture, etc.

Not so in my experience.

One of my all time favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:6-7:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

That verse, as do many others, implies that when we feel anxious and lack peace, if we turn to the Lord, cast our anxiety on him, pray, and yield our wills to His, then emotional peace should readily follow.

When I’ve done these things, sometimes I have regained His peace. At other times I haven’t. Not only have these experiences perplexed me, but when I faced difficult times with our oldest daughter’s rebellion and chronic illness with our youngest daughter, no matter how hard I prayed and quoted scripture, peace would sometimes elude me.

When peace didn’t come, an accusing voice inside me would add to my misery by suggesting that something must be wrong with me.

Maybe I didn’t have enough faith (so I would try to muster more of it).

Perhaps unconfessed sin was in the way (so I’d confess any unknown sins that I may have somehow missed).

Possibly I didn’t pray correctly (so I’d reframe my prayers).

Mostly these techniques failed. So I soldiered on, figuring something was still wrong with me.

My neatly packed theology hit a brick wall. It was like when Neo in the movie The Matrix said, “Something was just not right, something was missing, something was lacking, something bothering me like a splinter in your mind.”

My spiritual coping strategies fell short. I don’t mean to imply that we reduce Christianity to pragmatism. We love and obey God simply because He is God and is worthy of our worship and allegiance. Even so, I finally allowed my honest questions to bubble to the surface.

Why, if I did the right things, did peace not come?

Then… I began to understand how our brain works.

I began reading about the brain and enrolled in a master’s program in neuroleadership (a process that applies neuroscience insights to leadership principles). I began to understand that our brain is not simply like a computer, but also like a pharmacy. It’s constantly releasing chemicals into our blood that profoundly affects emotions like peace, anger, fear, and anxiety.

I’m learning that I can be right with God in all respects, and yet not feel emotional peace in the current circumstance. What a relief to learn that lack of peace does not necessarily mean I’m messed up.

As a result of these new insights, I have begun to see how we can use this incredible gift from God, our brain, for healthy living and productive leadership.

Have you ever struggled with this issue? How are you dealing with it?

This week’s article is written by Charles Stone (www.charlesstone.com), author of the book, People Pleasing Pastors. Submitted by Russ Olmon, President of Ministry Advantage, and Deb Mertin, certified Ministry Advantage coach. For more on this and other helpful subjects, go to www.ministryadvantage.org.

Most people have no trouble finding things to complain about: traffic is slow, gas is too expensive, the weather is bad, prices are too high. Yet in every single situation, that same person also has a lot to be thankful for: he can drive, has a car, has a shelter to be protected from the weather, and has the money to purchase necessary items.

Your circumstances may not be all that great, but wherever you are it is God’s will that you give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As a Christian, that is possible because no matter what your circumstances are, you can always thank God for deliverance through Christ (see 2 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 7:24-25).

Indeed, the Israelites knew that thanksgiving was so important that part of the official duty of the tribe of Levi was to thank God: They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord (1 Chronicles 23:30). They had heart of thankfulness and were instructed to be thankful regardless of what happened that day.

The psalmist wrote: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name (Psalm 100:4). Notice that we can’t even enter God’s gates unless we’re thankful.

It certainly is possible to live giving thanks to God the Father for everything (Ephesians 5:20), because thankfulness depends on what is in your heart, not what is in your hand.

Contributed: Christ Notes

Enjoy the Fruit of Your Labor

“You will eat the fruit of your labor: blessings and prosperity will be yours” (Psalms 128:2).

fruits

Now you have worked hard, developed ideas, plans, creativity and innovation, along with your faith in God to accomplish your long desired dreams. However, ever since God has begun to bless and prosper you, there might be people around you who have become envious, jealous and hateful of your blessings and prosperity.  Regardless, you have all right to eat and enjoy the fruit of your labor.

While you were going through your trials and tribulations, only a few genuine people may have stood by your side when you needed them the most. Other than that, no one might have seen your blood, sweat and tears; but now they see the fruit of your labor and have become hateful. I will share a few lines of one of my favorite poems by Thomasine Robinson:

You See My Glory, But You Don’t Know My Story
I’ve been through trials and tribulations seen and unseen
I’ve cried myself to sleep, but I held on to my dream
My dream to rise to the top, Knowing with God, I can’t be stopped.

No one can prevent God from blessing you, unless you give them permission. With that being said, ignore the haters, and enjoy the fruit of your labor!

Most people have no trouble finding things to complain about: traffic is slow, gas is too expensive, the weather is bad, prices are too high. Yet in every single situation, that same person also has a lot to be thankful for: he can drive, has a car, has a shelter to be protected from the weather, and has the money to purchase necessary items.

Your circumstances may not be all that great, but wherever you are it is God’s will that you give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As a Christian, that is possible because no matter what your circumstances are, you can always thank God for deliverance through Christ (see 2 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 7:24-25).

Indeed, the Israelites knew that thanksgiving was so important that part of the official duty of the tribe of Levi was to thank God: They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord (1 Chronicles 23:30). They had heart of thankfulness and were instructed to be thankful regardless of what happened that day.

The psalmist wrote: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name (Psalm 100:4). Notice that we can’t even enter God’s gates unless we’re thankful.

It certainly is possible to live giving thanks to God the Father for everything (Ephesians 5:20), because thankfulness depends on what is in your heart, not what is in your hand.

Contributed: Christ Notes

Don’t Run From Your Trials

Everyone faces many trials; however, these trials are not in vain. God uses them to do a work in us, developing us into mature Christians.

In James 1:2-4, we are told, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. In other words, God uses the tough times in life to sharpen us, making us mature and complete Christians.

Furthermore, God will not permit you to remain in the same trials all of your life; in His proper timing He will deliver you. Psalm 34:17 says, The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

So don’t run from your trials, because the testing of your faith develops you into a mature and complete Christian.

Contributed: Christ Notes

In Matthew 13:3-6, Jesus told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.” One point Jesus makes in this parable is that people without deep roots in God will fall away from faith whenever persecution or trials come on account of the word (see Matthew 13:20-21).

Similarly, Jesus encourages his followers to build their house (i.e. their life) on “the rock” (see Matthew 7:24-27). Even though the wind and storms beat against that house, it did not crumble because it was founded on the rock. If you have deep roots in God, your life will be built on the Rock—Christ. As one hymn says, “On Christ alone I stand, all else is sinking sand.”

It is no surprise, then, that Paul encourages believers to be rooted and built up in Christ, strengthened in the faith (Colossians 2:6-7). If you are strengthened in faith, then you won’t crack under the pressure of difficult situations because you will be able to dig deeply into the word of God on which you are firmly grounded. Unfortunately, too many Christians have a cracked foundation.

Make it a priority to have deep roots in God so that you will not wither under the heat of life. Invest time into reading and memorizing God’s word, praying, and communing with God. Be rooted in God.

Contributed: Christ Notes

Most people have no trouble finding things to complain about: traffic is slow, gas is too expensive, the weather is bad, prices are too high. Yet in every single situation, that same person also has a lot to be thankful for: he can drive, has a car, has a shelter to be protected from the weather, and has the money to purchase necessary items.

Your circumstances may not be all that great, but wherever you are it is God’s will that you give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As a Christian, that is possible because no matter what your circumstances are, you can always thank God for deliverance through Christ (see 2 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 7:24-25).

Indeed, the Israelites knew that thanksgiving was so important that part of the official duty of the tribe of Levi was to thank God: They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord (1 Chronicles 23:30). They had heart of thankfulness and were instructed to be thankful regardless of what happened that day.

The psalmist wrote: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name (Psalm 100:4). Notice that we can’t even enter God’s gates unless we’re thankful.

It certainly is possible to live giving thanks to God the Father for everything (Ephesians 5:20), because thankfulness depends on what is in your heart, not what is in your hand.

Contributed: Christ Notes

Most people have no trouble finding things to complain about: traffic is slow, gas is too expensive, the weather is bad, prices are too high. Yet in every single situation, that same person also has a lot to be thankful for: he can drive, has a car, has a shelter to be protected from the weather, and has the money to purchase necessary items.

Your circumstances may not be all that great, but wherever you are it is God’s will that you give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As a Christian, that is possible because no matter what your circumstances are, you can always thank God for deliverance through Christ (see 2 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 7:24-25).

Indeed, the Israelites knew that thanksgiving was so important that part of the official duty of the tribe of Levi was to thank God: They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord (1 Chronicles 23:30). They had heart of thankfulness and were instructed to be thankful regardless of what happened that day.

The psalmist wrote: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name (Psalm 100:4). Notice that we can’t even enter God’s gates unless we’re thankful.

It certainly is possible to live giving thanks to God the Father for everything (Ephesians 5:20), because thankfulness depends on what is in your heart, not what is in your hand.

Contributed: Christ Notes

It can be difficult to find people of integrity, because so many people make mediocre compromises. At work, such people take every shortcut possible in order to finish the task as quickly as possible, even though they do a terrible job in the process. At school, mediocre people copy homework from friends and copy essays from the Internet just in order to avoid work while hoping to get a good grade, even though they’re cheating and don’t learn the material.

Unfortunately, many of the people who lack integrity are Christians. Yet, this is clearly not how God wants us to live. He desires that we be people of integrity.

Integrity means doing what is right when no one is looking, and it means going the extra mile, knowing that God sees everything and that what he sees in secret he will reward in the open (Matthew 6:4,6,18). Jesus told his disciples, “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs” (Luke 12:3).

Whatever you do now, even if it is hidden from others, will be brought out into the open and made public. If you are wondering whether or not to do something, consider whether or not you’d be willing to do it in front of your boss, your teacher, your parents, or your pastor. If you have to hide what you’re doing to feel comfortable, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t be doing it at all.

Contributed: Christ Notes

We all experience difficulties, problems, and trials throughout life. Usually, we also look for ways to solve those problems. All of the various solutions basically ask one of these two questions: “What can I do to solve this?” Or, “What can God do to solve this?”

In other words, we either try to solve the problem on our own, or we let God solve it. Obviously, it is much wiser to give your problems to God.

Therefore, in the midst of your problem, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Trust God to solve your problems. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal (Isaiah 26:4).

During your trials you should frequently quote Psalm 91:2: I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Furthermore, when you’re truly trusting in God, there is nothing to worry about. Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1).

Make this your cry: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God(Psalm 20:7).

Trust the Lord God Almighty in every area of your life, even during problems, because every problem gives you an opportunity to trust God.

Contributed: Christ Notes

Benedición

God's blessings through his word

Beholding Him Ministries

Grace, hope and Truth for each day.

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

Francine In Retirement

Seeing Life Through Photography

somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.

Karina's Thought

Encouraging and inspiring through God's word

deeclarknz.wordpress.com/

Woman to Woman and Heart to Heart...helping each other on our journey

Living For Jesus Christ Alone

Get accessed to sound biblical teachings regarding how to fruitfully live the Christian life that God intended you to live.

S.P.I.R.I.T Ministries

Inspired by: GOD

Christine's Poetry Blog

SHARING GOD'S LOVE THROUGH UPLIFTING POEMS OF FAITH BY CHRISTINE V MITCHELL

The Minstrel's Wife

A worship leader's missus and her views from the pew

Becoming the Oil and the Wine

Becoming the oil and wine in today's society

"Fresh Oil"

Fresh Oil is a secret place that is continuously being filled by the spirit of God. Fresh Oil will stay purpose driven to deliver compelling writings related to social injustice and spiritually rich revelations.

Distance Is Not A Barrier: Emmanuel TV Testimonies

A blog dedicated to sharing faith-building testimonies from the ministry of T.B. Joshua

The TB Joshua Blog

The Best Is Always Yet To Come...

66 Assurance Way

Spiritual Encouragement & Empowerment

Jesus Is My Joy Ministries/Devotions

My site has inspiration for you and TRUTH.

Empowerment Moments Blog

Empowering Minds To Believe!

Cross of Christ

By whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world

Phoenix - The Rebirth of My Life

Raise mental illness awareness. Stop the stigma. Save a life.

Precious Jewels

Every individual is precious to God. Each soul is priceless.

advocatemmmohan aksharaalu

A great WordPress.com site

Equipping The Saints

"equipping the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ," (Ephesians 4:12)

Good Time Stories

Inspiring and Heartwarming Stories

humanangle

A fine WordPress.com site

The Bottom of a Bottle

Trust me, I've been there, I've looked, I've searched and I know now, that there are no answers to be found in the bottom of a bottle or on the edge of a blade! Fighting Hard, Recovering, Rebuilding, REBORN. Moving on from addiction to a new life.

Jubilee Journey

On the Road to Freedom, Reconciliation & Restoration in Jesus

Kev's Great Indie Authors

Supporting Indie Authors Worldwide

Mustard Seed Budget

FINANCES FOR YOUR MINISTRY

Redbird's Roost

The Future Is As Bright As The Promises Of God

Silence Teaches Us Who We Are

Silence, Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer, Jesus, God, and Life.

Living to Live Again

Exploring true identity in Christ

Laughing in Jamaica

the evolution of rodni

Life as an Alexander

Wife. Graduate Student. Jesus Follower.

hallelujahart

Biblical Calligraphy and Christian Art

GRAVITY OF GRACE

UNEARTHING THE VAST RICHES OF THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST

Annettejaco's Blog

Inspiring Articles

youngspark2

A topnotch WordPress.com site

a collection of writings

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Betty's Verse Of The DAY

Into His Arms I Fall

Prayer A to Z

Prayer A to Z excerpts, Bible studies on prayer

.....and a sprinkle of love

If only I had something witty to say.....

Rebecca Duvall

Author ~ Speaker ~ Blogger ~ Child of God

Petal Barclay-Smith Ministries

DELIVERANCE AND HEALING

VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES.COM

Taking the World one soul at a time

Men of One Accord

Just another WordPress.com site

%d bloggers like this: