Choosing Peace

It’s amazing how quickly small things can grow into big things and then instantly become huge. Worry can turn to fear which can quickly escalate into anxiety and then full-blown panic is just around the corner. This is not what Christ has for me. In fact, I’m not supposed to worry at all!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-9)

God, who is faithful and true, promises me peace beyond my understanding and He will guard my heart and mind in Christ. No more worry and no more fear! BUT, I have a responsibility first. In order to fully receive this gift of peace and protection, I must choose to not worry and I must turn to God in prayer. He already knows my heart but he wants me to talk with Him and give Him my worries, concerns and fears. THEN I will experience His peace.

In the moment of fear, this can be difficult. If I’m not careful, my mind spins and the “what-ifs” begin to attack and before I know it, I can jump to the worst possible outcome. I must let Christ take every thought captive and surrender my thoughts to Him. I must stop, choose, and pray. Stop the negative thoughts, choose to trust and obey my Lord, and pray to Him in truth and with thanksgiving.  And every time, without fail, He fills me with His perfect peace- the peace that cannot be explained. The pain or trial is still there, but I have reassurance that my God is in control and He loves me.

So how do I turn my thoughts over to God in the crisis? How do I choose to trade worry and accept His peace? Our loving God tells us exactly how in the next few verses!

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

I must fix my thoughts on Jesus! I must look to Him, focus on Him, and praise Him. When I do this, putting it into action,  I have peace! I cannot wholeheartedly praise God in spirit and truth and be worried at the same time. I can’t be consumed with troubles and fear at the same time I am consumed with Holy passion and devotion. So I choose to praise Him and worship Him. I turn to Him with thanksgiving and He fills me with His peace, calm, and comfort.

Are you hurting right now? Are you scared? You are not alone. Left unchecked, my thoughts and fears can be all-consuming leading me down a very dark spiral. But, when I focus on my God and praise Him, I am consumed with an all-encompasing peace. I want His peace and its up to me to live in it. I can wallow in fear or I can soar in peace- I choose peace!

Father, help me to believe Your word and act on it, to live in the peace You and You alone can provide. Help me fix my thoughts on You and give You every anxious thought as You fill me with Your peace. Help me shout from the rooftops about Your unending love and be consumed with your complete and total peace. Thank You Jesus!

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