By Elizabeth Pitman
Peace resides when we fully recognize that God is in control.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
What is keeping you up at night, causing your heart to race, and elevating your stress level to sky-rocket status? At the mention of “it”…you cringe. We all have that “thing” or “things” – whether it is a short or long list – can occupy our attention and welcome anxiety in our lives.
Let me invite you right now to take a deep breath…literally.
I am joining you at this very moment while I write. Put your feet up if you are able and take time to slow down and reflect on the power of God.
After spending a rather hectic week multi-tasking and burdened with several stressors, ranging from medical to everyday items and everything in-between, I realized the importance of this. Seeing a difference in my behavior, a precious family member lovingly told me that I had been “talking a mile a minute” (the rate of speed that might suggest I had simultaneously had four cups of coffee…although I promise I hadn’t). The comment wounded me a little, at first. But, God reminded me of the Scripture: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6). So, after the constructive input I received, the comment made me prayerfully evaluate the source: stress. Then, my Spirit spoke and said, “Speak peace to your soul; GOD IS IN CONTROL.”
Wow! Breathe that in…Just saying these words makes me feel lighter. Fifty-pound weights that have rested on both of my shoulders decided that they don’t want to take residence there anymore. I believe someone reading this may have also felt their burdens drop as they, too, began focusing on the sovereignty of the Creator of the universe.
I wish I could tell you that I have completely mastered the art of being completely free of stress and anxiety, but I haven’t. It is a daily surrender to turn off my mind, to recognize I am not in control, and to trust the ONE who is. If you, too, can relate, and like me, haven’t gotten your master’s degree in “Stress-Free Living”, then I have GREAT NEWS! We can join together and fix our thoughts and hearts on the Bible, the best book to get our “master’s” in this area. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Then verse 30 states that God can carry our burdens! His yoke is easy, and His burden is light! The LORD doesn’t want us weighed down with the cares of this world. He wants us to trust Him enough to lay each care at the foot of the cross and let Him handle everything that concerns us—from the little things to the big things.
Peace resides when we fully recognize that God is in control.
He has already gone before us and behind us. As we come to Him with child-like wonder and praise, the atmosphere shifts and our circumstances minimize as we focus on the greatness of God. Recently, I had the privilege of witnessing a little two-year old worshiping Jesus while he was being carried by his mother. What a sweet and beautiful picture! It reminded me of how – spiritually – our Heavenly Father wants us to come to him with child-like dependence and allow Him to carry us. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” When we submit to the Lord and trust Him with His plans, our eyes are opened to the fact that He can accomplish more than we can ask, think, or imagine in our lives (see Ephesians 3:14-21). Praise is evidence of our trust in God and focuses our attention on the ONE who can move mountains on our behalf. With Him all things are possible (see Matthew 19:26b).
So, as you breathe these truths in, Friend, if you can personally identify areas you have been trying to handle in your own strength, release the weight and hand it over to the ONE who loves you the most. As you focus on the Truth, the fears fall. As His peace floods your heart, may you be encouraged that God is completely able to take care of everything that concerns you.
My prayer over you is 1 Thessalonians 3:16: “Now may the LORD of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The LORD be with all of you.”
Soak in these Scriptures:
“Quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
“The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11)
“LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us.” (Isaiah 26:12)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
“Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, 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.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Another gem I found just in time! It is all so simple yet seems out of our grasp to much of the time … God is in control! Why is it so hard to simply yield control to God? Things we struggle with and stress over that wear us down to sickness and despair were never meant to be carried alone. The bigger control freak we are the more damage we do to ourselves and still we do it. I speak on behalf of myself. I’ve spent most of my life in control mode and it is very hard to break out of even if you have help! If we simply said, “God I can’t do this, please provide the help I need,” … and then gave Him the time to arrange something it would happen. My prayer is that we all can learn that truth before we do more damage to ourselves and others by trying to remain in control.