Peace Brings Rest

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

This verse was penned by our friend David. It comes at the end of Psalm 4, which is not but 8 verses long. David wrote this Psalm to pour out a complaint to God against his enemies. However, he begins by recognizing that His righteousness comes from God alone. He also reminds himself of past mercies of God. 

“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!” Psalm 4:1

We can learn a thing or two from David in this Psalm. We can be like David and bring our complaints and our prayers for different and better to God. However, we must never forget that He is our righteousness and we should always remember what He has already done for us. Remembering God’s past mercies to us are what builds our faith. Knowing what He has carried you through in the past will help you to know that He will continue to carry you into your future. 

In verse 2 David is asking God “How long?” Have you ever been there? I know I have. I have wondered how long I would have to bring the request to God and feel like I was getting no answer. This is where the faith comes in. And it seems to me that the next few verses are David giving himself a pep talk so to speak. Oh I’ve had to do that too. 

“But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.” Psalm 4:3-5

David was reminding himself of all the things he knew already. That God had already set him apart, that the Lord has answered him in the past and that He would continue to do so. To be angry at injustices but do not sin. David also told himself what to think about and to keep silent and let the Lord handle whatever was on his heart. 

I was talking to a friend the other day about a thing that has been on my heart. This reminds me of that conversation. I was giving her an update on a situation that has been on my heart and I recounted to her that many times, I will feel the anxiety of the unanswered prayer come to mind and I will start wanting to tell God how I really need this answer and exactly what needs to be done and then I remind myself. He has brought me this far and even now the ways I have seen Him working have been greater than I could have come up with. So… I change my prayer and I take a deep breath and just pray “carry on Lord!” I don’t know but maybe this was what was going on with David too. His anxiety was building and he at first wanted to not only pray for an answer but to tell God HOW to answer. But instead, he changed direction and he was giving himself the pep talk to just trust the Lord with it. 

“There are many who say ‘Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!’ You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” Psalm 4:6-8

So now because David renews His trust in God he is receiving the blessing of God. The blessings that he is recognizing are already his for the taking, are the joy that is in his heart, yes even in the midst of circumstances and the peace of sleep just knowing that the Lord has whatever is concerning him!  The blessings of joy and peace are already ours even while we are still waiting on answers to specific requests. We can live in that joy and peace simply because of his past mercies upon us and the trust that we have that He is still working on our behalf. Yes, even when we don’t see it. Peace that comes from this trust will bring you rest when you need it most! 


“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

This little blessing comes at the end of a passage of scripture about welcoming each other in Christ and serving each other. But as we are nearing the end of our word studies I think it is fitting here too.

We have learned a lot over these past few weeks on Fear, Truth, Faith, Trust, Joy, Praise and Peace. All of these things when put together will bring us Hope! As we cling to God and we know what to fear and what not to fear. As we stand on His truths and let it build Faith and we learn more and more to Trust God. We will be filled with Joy and Praise which will bring us Peace and Hope. 

I know that it seems there is a little word play going on here. But I truly do believe it to be true. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be getting up and returning to His word every day. I know for a fact that bringing my every day stuff to Him as well as my big stuff to Him is the only thing that keeps me on the right path some days. Oh what a wretched woman I would be without Him. I can honestly tell you He is my Lifeline! 

This kind of joy and peace is for anyone who has a relationship with Christ. But it can only be obtained with that relationship. This blessing comes after the instruction to the Romans that Jesus came for the Jewish people and the Gentiles. It is ours for the taking, ours for the asking. But it comes through belief and being filled with His joy and peace. And when you are walking in His joy and peace then you will abound in hope. Let’s pull in another translation here. 

“Now may God, the fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!” Romans 15:13 TPT

Isn’t that beautiful. This is my prayer for us, for me and for you today. That God who is the fountain of our hope will fill us with his uncontainable joy and perfect peace, because we trust in Him and that the Holy Spirit will surround us and we will radiate with His hope! And as we allow those words to surround us today and we radiate with hope, we will be a blessing to those around us. And really, truly maybe the world will want what we have! Go be radiant with his joy, peace and hope today! 

Peace and Quiet Trust

“And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” Isaiah 32:ll

This verse is taken from a passage in Isaiah that is prophesying the coming invasion of Assyria. God was using this invasion as a preparation for His people of an outpouring of His Spirit among them. But we have some things to learn as God’s people today as well. First of all, this is one that I think we should look at a few verses to get the context.  I’m going to back up a couple of verses. 

“until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” Isaiah 32:15-17

Now I’ll be honest, I had to read this passage several times, and look it up in commentary to really feel like I was gaining understanding from it. But what I see here is God’s people were in mourning over the invasion of Assyria and their circumstances. This was prophecy to them to prepare them for God to pour out His Spirit upon them. That’s what would make a difference for them in their circumstances was when God’s Spirit would be poured out. When that was done the then the wilderness (the tough times) would become fruitful. 

Then when God’s Spirit is poured out among His people it will breed things like justice and righteousness (right-living)! And where justice and right living are there will be peace. And peace results in quietness and trust. 

The cool thing here to me is this. This was written in Isaiah, it is Old Testament. Back in the Old Testament God’s people had to wait on the outpouring of the Spirit. But when Jesus came, he left us with the Holy Spirit, that if we are His, is with us ALL the time. My take away is this, they were being assured God was going to come into their circumstances and He would bring peace based on their right living and justice. We don’t have to wait on God to come into our circumstances. We have to recognize that He is with us! We invite Him into our circumstances. And then when we are living justly and rightly in the midst of our circumstances, God will be there and will bring peace to whatever those circumstances are. And the results of that peace for us is a quiet trust in our Savior who will carry us through whatever we are going through. 

Friends if you feel like you are in the wilderness, keep seeking Him. Ask God to pour out His Spirit on you. Seek His justice and righteousness and He will bring you peace! 

Pursue Peace


“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

I wanted to include this verse that is tucked away in Hebrews because while it is short it is definitely to the point and it actually says a lot. First of all, there is really no way you can have peace with God if you are not striving for peace with everyone. Now when I see this word striving, many times to me it makes me think of difficulty, hurry, trying to attain something unattainable. Quite frankly it makes me tired just to think about it. But this kind of striving is the way to obtain true peace from God. 

You see, we can’t have peace with God if we are not attempting to live in peace with everyone. That does not mean we will always agree, nor does it mean we will always like what other people are saying or doing. But it means that we are trying to see their side. It means that we are trying not to be judgmental or too opinionated about a thing. I am often afraid when I get into discussions about things that I am coming off judgmental. I truly do not mean to be. So I feel in those situations I must strive to be peaceful. I can get excited about a topic and I know my voice will get louder and I will talk fast to make my opinion known. Why do I do that, what is the point? When all God has really called me to do is to love other people. It’s not my job to tell them how they should and shouldn’t think. My job is to love them and not start an argument just because I think they should think like me and do like me. What a boring world we would all live in if everyone thought alike. Where would the ideas come from if we all thought alike?

The other thing this verse tells me to strive for is holiness. Now this is something that we will never fully attain until we are home with Jesus. But it is something we should always strive for. Striving for holiness just means we are doing our best to live right with and for God. We want our lives to point to Him and to mean something for Him. It doesn’t mean we will never mess up. We most certainly will. It just means we get up and brush ourselves off and keep on trying. 

The bottom line is this, not being at peace with others and not living a holy life will be obstacles to your relationship with God which is our goal. If we want to walk closely with the Lord, if we want to see Him in our everyday, we must strive for peace with others and for holiness. That means sometimes we agree to disagree and we just keep loving people. That means we do our best to live right with God. The NKJV puts it this way 

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14 (NKJV)

My end goal is to see God and I want to see Him in my every day so I will make it my practice to pursue peace and holiness. 

Peace OF God!

“And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ……… What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:7,9 

These two scriptures are so close together I wanted to use both of them. Sandwiched in the middle of them, is the list of praiseworthy things that Paul gives us to think on. 

According to scripture there are three great aspects of peace in relation to God. There is peace from God. We know that the peace we receive from God is a gift from Him. There is peace with God. Which describes our relationship with Him as we walk with Him and lay our requests down to Jesus. And there is peace of God. This peace is the kind that transcends our understanding. It is beyond all comprehension of ours.

Have you ever been in a whirlwind of circumstances that were totally beyond your control and in your mind you were thinking “ok this is about when I am supposed to be falling apart?” But your heart was calm and steady. You knew that humanly speaking there was no reason for you to be calm. But there was an overwhelming peace surrounding you. I have had this a few times in my life. At that time, it is beyond comprehension as to why I can breathe much less think straight. This my friends is when the peace of God has taken over. 

I am thinking of one such circumstance that surrounds other people so it’s not really my tale to tell. But I can honestly tell you that  during that time, I would think it’s time to be falling apart, to be crying to really throw myself a good old fit but I couldn’t even work myself into it. It was a peace that surpassed any comprehension I had. The language in our first verse “will guard your heart and mind” is true. I truly felt that Jesus must guarding my heart and mind, because I could only take in one step at a time and my thinking was clear. 

The second verse here is our instruction of how to know that we can have that peace when the need arises. It’s to already be in practice of the things we know. Paul set himself up as an example. Paul was following Christ with everything He knew. And what He was telling us,  I think is that this peace of God, the kind that will come on you and will surpass our understanding is the kind that we get when the need arises when we are already practicing the things of Christ. The thinking on the lovely things and the already laying our requests down to Him, walking with Him every day. We know that we live in a fallen world. We never know when the things are going to happen that we will need this kind of peace. Therefore, we need to stay in practice ahead of time. Not in a waiting for the other shoe to fall sort of way, but just practicing, just walking, just thinking on the praiseworthy things. That’s our role and when we need the peace OF God. It will be there. 

Let Peace Rule your Heart! 

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Paul has been giving the Colossians instructions on how to live in this chapter. He starts with telling them that if you have “been raised with Christ” in other words if you are a Christian, you are to set your minds on things above. Some days when you have to grind out the day to day, it is hard to keep putting your mind on things above and not on what’s happening around you. But when you give your heart to Christ, everything is checked by things above. Now I am not saying that you look for a devil behind every rock so to speak, but there are always spiritual battles going on around us and setting your mind on things above is the way to get through them. 

So you set your minds on things above, and you “put to death” (Col. 3:5) what is “earthly in you”, and yes he gives us a list of things. I am not one to want to give a list of rules and dos and don’ts when it comes to this Christian life, but I do think if we are Christians we are supposed to look and act like Christians and the things in Paul’s list are definitely things that would not characterize the Christian life. So we do have to look at this list and ask Jesus to help us put off those things. 

And when we do that we, ask Him to help us put on the things of Christ. And Paul gives us this list too, “Compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” And love, we put on love for each other, above everything else, we love each other. Through our hurts, and our mistakes and our downfalls, we still need to love each other. And that is what will bring us to our focus verse. 

When we are throwing of the things that are not of Christ and putting on the things that are of Christ, that’s when the peace of Christ will rule in our hearts. My heart is in turmoil when I am not walking in step with Him. That’s the bottom line. But also take note of the second part of this verse ~ “to which you were called in one body.” When we are walking, letting the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, we also will be walking in step with others who are in Christ. And that brings peace to the community of Christ! 

You know I love to quote from other translations. I just like the wording of some of these translations to simplify things in my simple brain. This time, I really liked the simplicity of The Message. 

“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness.” Colossans 3:15 (MSG) 

We were made for community, not going off and doing our own thing! When peace rules in our hearts and we walk in step with each other, peace will rule in the heart of our community as well.

Peace Be Still

“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was great calm.” Mark 4:39

I’m not a huge fan of thunderstorms. Or let’s just say I have respect for them. Enough respect to not want to be trapped outside in one and certainly not on a boat. That’s where the disciples and Jesus found themselves on this particular night. Jesus had been teaching all day and when evening came He said let’s go to the other side. There were several boats on the water going to the other side when the storm arose. Jesus was sleeping in the stern, even in the midst of the waves crashing into the boat. The disciples were frightened. Now I’ve always pictured that when Jesus woke up He calmly said “Peace be still” and everything got quiet. But there is a word here that says it was a little stronger than that. He rebuked the storm. 

Now when you rebuke someone you are usually using a little more force. Some strong words may be spoken, with authority and firmness. It doesn’t mean you have to raise your voice or be mean, but the other party will know that you mean business. When my grandchildren do something wrong, my son and daughter in law get on their level and they are firm with them. They want them to know that Momma and Daddy mean business. 

Jesus woke up and he rebuked this storm. He didn’t just wave His hands. He spoke with authority. He was firm. I read that the same terminology is used when Jesus rebuked and silenced demons. Wow! That also suggests that this storm may have been a spiritual battle as much as a weather crisis. But you know what else that suggests to me and I hope to you? If Jesus was addressing this storm as a spiritual battle, He can address any spiritual battle going on in me and you too. 

What storms of life have you battered and you feel like the waves are crashing in? Night time is my worst time to succumb to the spiritual battles in my heart and mind. Things that I wish were different will creep into my nighttime thoughts and dreams until I am just like those disciples in the boats feeling like I am just shoveling water. When what I need to do is call on Jesus and pray for Him to quiet the storm in my heart and my mind, just like He quieted that storm on the sea. I need to rebuke the storms that make me anxious and turn them over to Him. I would like to tell you that I have mastered this but I can’t. I had another sleepless night last night where I simply could not shut my mind off. But this morning I am asking Jesus to come in, and quiet these storms and say Peace be still in my heart and mind as I go through this day. If you have felt that yourself, please join me and let’s take on His peace for this day rather than turmoil! 

Peace that Overcomes!

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus has been teaching His disciples and as He is wrapping up this teaching He is literally just moments away from His arrest. Yet He is making this offering of peace to His disciples. They had no idea how much they would need Jesus peace in the coming days. Jesus has been telling them that He would be going away yet they couldn’t grasp all of that in these moments. But along with the offering of Jesus peace, he also tells them that there will be troubles. But that He has overcome the world. 

This offering of peace is coming at the same time that Judas is making a deal with Jesus enemies to arrest Him. Jesus would have known all of this. He knew what was coming next. He knew the torture He was about to endure, yet He had peace in the moment and He had peace to give. 

The commentary I read made a point I almost missed. Jesus didn’t promise peace, he offered it. The disciples had to take that peace on. This made me stop and think of how many times I don’t live in the peace that Jesus is offering because of my own anxious thoughts. It is mine for the taking because I am His and He is mine. But I have to claim it. I have to choose to live in the peace or to live in the turmoil. 

Wouldn’t it be great if life could rock along and we could always live without a worry or a care in the world? But as we talked about yesterday life is not like that. And if it were, our human brains, or at least mine would be waiting for the other shoe to fall so to speak. It seems like if I get too caught up in my thoughts even when things are going good, I am looking for that thing to be worried about. 

Jesus tells us in this verse that we will have tribulation in the world. We have the benefit of knowing that when He said these words that the darkest days of history were upon Him. The disciples didn’t have that knowledge when they heard the words. But Jesus proclaimed then, just as we can know now that He has overcome the world. He overcame death that He died on that cross, when He walked out of the grave! And because of that He can make good on that offering of peace! 

Jesus doesn’t promise us an easy life. But what He is offering us is peace that can co-exist with our troubles, our sorrows and our hurts. If we just bring all of those things to Him and lay them at His feet and claim the peace that only He can give! 


“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

The results of all the things we have been talking about the last few weeks, truth, faith, trust, joy and yes praise bring about peace! And what Isaiah is talking about here is perfect peace. In Hebrew it is actually translated shalom shalom. Shalom is peace, This isn’t just peace it is perfect peace. And it is ours for the taking IF we keep our minds on Him. God will keep us in the middle of shalom shalom when we focus our minds, our thoughts on Him and not on our circumstances. 

Believe me I know that this sounds so simple but it may feel like it is unattainable. But I promise you it is. I have dealt with fear and anxiety.  That’s what we started this little series off with, talking about fear. And out of necessity at times, I have had to dig in to scripture to keep my mind on Him in the midst of some hurtful and hard circumstances. But I can promise you too that when I do that, when I keep dragging my stuff to the cross, and I keep laying it down to Him and I keep digging in to scripture and I keep trusting Him, that there have also been times when I could actually think “I should be falling apart about now.” And I’m not! And the only thing I can attribute it to is Jesus! 

I love the way the Message puts this verse: 

“People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit. Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.” Isaiah 26:3

Keeping our minds set on Him takes action on our part. You have to take captive those thoughts that bring you anxiety. You have to fight them with scripture and trust in the one who can and will keep you. There are ways to do this. We talked about praise and worship last week, keep praise music going in your background to combat the fear and anxiety. Also, when I find a scripture that means something to me, I will write it on sticky notes and/or index cards to keep with me. I love those little index cards that are spiral bound. If I am going through a season where I am praying intently for something or someone I will get me one of those and I will write scriptures that speak specifically to my situation and I will pull it out and just read through scripture whenever I can. And it’s practices like this that I feel are keeping me completely whole, and steady on my feet. 

Friends we all know that life can be hard sometimes. We weren’t promised an easy life just because we started following Jesus. But the fact is life would be hard even if we weren’t following Jesus. We live in an imperfect world. But because we have Jesus and when we keep our minds and our focus on Him, and we keep at it and we don’t quit, we can have shalom shalom in spite of our circumstances. Because we have a sure thing in God. 

Praise worthy thoughts!

Praise and worship has been our focus this week. We have talked about Worshiping in spirit and truth. We have talked about everyday worship. We have talked about not letting rocks take our place and we have talked about praising Him even in our pain and that He will inhabit our praises. Praise and worship is an action. It is an act that we give to God and it invites Him into our circumstances, whatever they may be. It requires us to take action toward God. This verse helps us to refocus our minds toward praise. 

Paul wrote this verse and the entire book of Philippians when he was under house arrest in Rome. Physically speaking he was not a free man. But he had written this letter to the Philippians to encourage them in their faith. He had given them instructions on living for Christ. He had told them how to live in the righteousness of Christ and how not to live under the law. And he had pointed them toward the goal of pressing on to Christ. In this passage he is telling them a practical way to keep all of the rest of that in mind is to think on good things. 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

I know that my mind can be a battlefield at any given time, but especially in hard seasons of life. If my mind is left on it’s own to wander I will nit pick every thought, every encounter, everything I say and probably everything you may say to me to see if there is an underlying hidden meaning. “What did she mean by that?” “She doesn’t like me.” “My job is harder than yours.” “What are my children doing?” “Why don’t they call me more? It must be because they don’t like me.” Am I the only one. I don’t think I am, at least I hope I’m not the only one crazy. 

But over time, I have learned when my mind goes off on one of these tangents that I need to take Paul’s words to heart and to my mind. I need to think on the things that I know to be true. I am loved by my family and friends but most importantly by Christ. What is honorable, I do the best job I know how to do and that is all that really has to concern me at my job. Whatever is just, I can want justice for things that are wrong, but there is a fine line between justice and judgement and I want to be on the side of justice. I want to focus my mind on purity and commendable and excellent things. And if I keep my mind focused on these good things in this list, I will find things worthy of praise. And I will praise Him the giver of the good things in my mind and in my life. Even when things are hard, if you look, you will find things worthy of your praise. I believe it to be so. 

When I am in practice of thinking on praise worthy things, when I am thanking Him for the good things He gives me, even in the midst of some hard seasons in my life, I will turn my thoughts to praising the giver of these gifts, the sustainer of my life. I will praise the one who is worthy of all my praise ~ Jesus! I will be grateful and I will show Him my gratitude in the way I live and the way I praise!