Welcome GraceBreak Cycles, Embrace Grace
I’m sharing a few thoughts via video today. Click the link below to watch it.
Here is the link to the article at iBelieve.com:
Peace seems fleeting and difficult to catch. It’s vapor and mist. I wonder what it would be like to know peace without having to wrestle for it? What happens when our days become night and what was once bright is now dark?
Our flesh may fail, but God never will. God’s plans will come to pass. We will know his healing for our brokenness. Once again our hearts will sing God’s praise. But what do we do in the meantime?
What do we do when we wait for God to move? Or when he does move, he moves us in the wrong direction?
His faithfulness is great. His steadfastness is consistent. He holds us in his hands and that is where our confidence, our peace, rests.
God guides us in ways that are for our best and for his glory. Hence, the struggle with peace. Sometimes it seems as though God is guiding us down a path that is not in our best interest. Then we stomp our feet, and attempt a detour, which sometimes lands us in the belly of a smelly fish.
After Egypt, the Israelites had cloud and fire. They only had to look up to be reassured of his presence. But I’m sure when they looked at their circumstances, they had to wonder. God took them down the desert road to freedom. Then he had them wander before leading them to the edge of the sea with their enemies behind them.
How many times do we want the direct route to a destination ordained by God? Yet, it seems as though we get sent down the desert road to wander here and there. We wonder if this is the best road.
We get so caught up in what is for our best that we forget that our lives are for God’s glory too. And a life for God’s glory may not always look like a “best” life on the outside. It just might mean tragedy, relationship aches, financial challenges, or dealing with personal wounds.
Finding peace in situations like these require us to look beyond our own capabilities within the circumstances and look straight at God.
It means coming to the complete, and total end, of ourselves and finding ourselves in the very best place to be: God’s heart.
He doesn’t fail you. Even when life is failing you, God is still for you. He holds you in his hands and cups you close to his heart. Can you hear it beating? It’s beating a rhythm of peace. It’s the whoosh-whooshing sound of a heartbeat that bled and died and rose again for you.
That’s where you find peace. That’s the place where you can be in an awful situation, and still know God’s peace. It truly is the peace that passes all understanding.
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.
Peace comfort and guards. If we revisit the Israelites, we find that God battled on their behalf. He guarded their backs while he led the way through the sea. They acted confident until they had no where to go.
He knows what we need. Sometimes he calls us to the battle and other times he calls us to stand still. He knows when we’re acting confident, but inside we quiver like jello. Maybe the next time you feel that way, God is wanting you to be still so he can shock your socks off.
Peace comforts and guards. We reject his comfort because life hurts, and we don’t understand why God doesn’t just do something already. And when we step away from the comfort, we cannot know the protection peace brings us.
Life screams at us, but God whispers. Lean away from the scream and lean into the whisper. And when you lean into God, he will give you the strength to bring glory to him in your life.
Write down one way that peace comforts.
Write down a way that peace guards.
Listen to Do It Again and think about the ways that God has shown up in your life.
The battleground holds secrets. Wind and rain unearth things best left buried. The battleground turns into a hiding ground, and more time is spent reburying things found rather than standing strong.
This battleground could be a physical battleground, but more often than not, it’s the battle in the mind.
It’s a battle that rages for peace. It reveals hidden things that I don’t want to address. The enemy reminds me of my failures and asks, “Are you sure God really forgives you?” He is an accuser and his weapons are accusations, shame, and deceit.
The wounds from these weapons are insecurity, doubt, and condemnation. I lie bleeding in the shadows and struggle to find healing. My peace is stolen and I spend more time negotiating with the enemy than I do standing firm in the truth of God.
What if we were to stop giving the enemy so much power in our life? What if we quit negotiating or arguing?
There are two common responses in conflict: denial and blame. The innocent victim who denies any wrong doing. And the counter-attack, which says, “Well, you . . .” and blames the other for the wrong doing. Isn’t it easy to do this with our enemy? He throws a grenade and it explodes with a reminder of our failures. Do we play the innocent victim or counter-attack?
What if there was a way to diffuse the situation and still retain your peace?
The next time you’re faced with a reminder of your failure, take a moment to remember your failure and then re-remember the forgiveness God poured out to you. Sometimes we don’t like any reminders of our shame and failures, and so we hide them from others and ourselves.
This places us in a glass castle. It’s dangerous and not safe.
It leads to pride and works and hate. It robs us of compassion for others and gratefulness for forgiveness.
The story from Luke of the sinful woman bringing her expensive alabaster jar to anoint Jesus’ feet and then wiping them with her hair is a beautiful picture of the power that remembering brings to our lives. Our hearts soften in remembering our forgiveness. A tender heart is one that knows the depth of its forgiveness.
A tender heart also knows peace.
When the enemy hits you with accusations, remember rather than fight. Remember and reject the condemnation.
Remember that God has forgiven you. Remember how he turned your darkness into redemption. Feel the forgiveness again. And as you feel the pain of remembering and remind yourself of God’s forgiveness, peace will flood your soul.
Read Luke 7:36-50
Write the following on a 3×5 card:
I,(Your name here), hereby declare peace in my heart and mind. When the accuser wounds, I will acknowledge the pain and re-remember the forgiveness God granted. I will walk in peace in my mind and my heart, knowing that God forgives so that I might know peace.
Sign your name and hang it up in a prominent spot.
You see, the risk a glass castle on a battleground brings is separation from the power of God in your life. God calls your name and when you stand firm in the peace he gives you, which comes through remembering his forgiveness, you become strong in your vulnerability.
Listen to Stars.