My heart and my mind—my emotions—can be at complete peace. Complete peace! I cannot even wrap my futile mind around that truth.
How perfect can peace really be? As perfect as its Creator!
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6, 7
By simply choosing to bring every concern to God in prayer with a grateful heart, I am promised a peace so deep, so sweet, so complete the thought is incomprehensible!
I have felt this peace of God’s fleetingly at times, but not in any long term state. Why? Because I haven’t always come to Him and trusted Him with all my “stuff” before.
In the midst of various situations I have cried out to Him in utter desperation and actually felt peace physically wash over me—quickly bringing rest to inward restlessness.
But it hasn’t lasted. I haven’t stayed in that place. Why?
I know it can’t be God checking out on me. He “is the same yesterday, today and forever” Hebrews 13:8. He cannot be faithful with His peace one moment and fail to supply the next.
No. So we’re back to me again.
It seems pretty simple. Bring my concerns to Him and receive peace. Why don’t I do that more?
I flounder when I focus on how something is affecting me, hurting me, causing me to be worried or anxious. When I bring the matter before God I focus on His faithfulness, His consistency, His goodness.
It’s a matter of where my focus is placed. Focus on God and I’ll receive that promised peace. Focus on the problem and I’ll receive anxiety. Focus on myself and I’ll receive an ugly disposition—short temper, frustration, anger, fear, despair...all because my focus is misplaced.
“In all things give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thes. 5:18
God’s will for me is good. His will for me has a grander purpose than I could ever imagine. When I look at my situation negatively I have a negative disposition towards it—hence, a negative reaction. If I look at my situation positively as the place God has placed me for a purpose I can truly respond in thanksgiving, give Him the requests of my heart for the situation and rest in His peace knowing He has it all taken care of. He has me taken care of.
It is not about positive thinking. It is about positive focus.
The natural man naturally wants to focus on the “me” in the matter. But if I muse over how this could affect my life versus how God could receive the most glory, I miss out on the blessing that was sure to rain down as a result.
Contrarily, focusing on and trusting God with my self will always be in my best interest. I will always receive blessing when I focus on God, ask Him what I should do, trust Him to respond, then do what He says.
I walk in and rest in peace because there is safety and rescue in His direction...as I learned the other day. He will rescue me because He delights in me. (Psalm 18:19)
Self focus will not rescue me. I will only flounder in the sea of “potentials” grasping at those I can reach in a desperate attempt to keep my self from drowning.
Where is my focus today? Where am I focused in the small issues as well as the big? Do I take everything to Him? Are my requests made with thanksgiving? Is my heart at peace? Is my mind at peace? Are my emotions at peace?
If peace is the desire, I better check the focus!