Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 021 Peace That Passes Understanding
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #021 – Peace That Passes Understanding
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you today to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
Our topic today. Peace that passes understanding. Who doesn’t want to claim that?
In the midst of writing this particular podcast episode, I experienced a morning that was far from peaceful. Are you a believer that there is spiritual warfare in the world? Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” It was real today.
But, as we know, God always has the final victory. Does it mean things always turn out the way we want them to? No. In fact, sometimes things get worse before they get better. But God has already and will always be the victor.
Several things went wrong as I attempted to start my day and work on this episode. After I had breakfast I tuned in to listen to the podcast I had just released. I don’t always listen after the episode releases, but I kept having little thoughts that I should. About three minutes in, I realized the unedited version was aired instead of the final cut.
“Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh, No, no, no.” I kept repeating. Stunned that the wrong version was being played to anyone tuning in, I was so upset. After the podcast episode was removed and the correct one aired, I realized I was still sad inside and wondered how many people had heard how terrible it sounded. I strive each week to write, record, and produce episodes that I believe God is calling and directing. I want to quality to continue to improve each week. When I heard the episode with several mistakes, it really hurt. I didn’t want people to think I didn’t care about what went out or to get too focused on the errors to hear the value behind what I was trying to say.
Anxiety does not visit me often, but oh, I could feel it rising in the pit of my stomach that morning. I had to make myself focus and sit down to pray. I asked God to remove the feelings I was having and to allow me to absorb His peace, knowing that this mistake was not the worst thing that could ever happen. I stayed, and resting in God’s presence, talking to Him, until I felt His peace cover and protect me.
Although it was distressing to have, and to work to quickly resolve the episode mix-up, the person most affected throughout the day was my husband. It seemed that everything he tried to do brought more problems that he had to tackle or correct. One after another issue popped to his attention and took up his time until evening arrived and it seemed he received a reprieve. You know those days. We all get to experience them.
While we cannot escape the dreaded, “bad day,” we can monitor and shift our attitude and heartitude to remember what Jeremiah 12:3a says, “But as for me, Lord, you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts.” We must continue to train ourselves to allow obstacles to extract bitterness, anxiety, and dissatisfaction from within us. We must pray for them to as we place them in God’s capable hands.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
When we, as believers, release our anxiety to God we are trusting Him, believing that our Heavenly Father will give us His peace. Even more than just calmness, we receive God Himself, the Holy Spirit within us extending His presence, comfort, and protection.
Have you felt it? The deepest tranquility flowing through you, extending past our level of understanding.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.”
When our mind is fixed on Him, when it “stays” on Him, He is faithful to His word. We have to remember Him – His strength and not rely on our own limited abilities. The verse from Isaiah relays the truth well. He keeps us in perfect peace when our mind is fixed on Him. When we trust that He will carry our loads, that He is able and desirous, we readily release our burdens to Him. Whenever I experience the slightest awareness of fear or stress, I must remember to immediately stop what I am doing and realize that means that I am attempting to carry concerns or hardships myself, which prompts me to pray.
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
God’s peace cannot be defined by the standards of the world. His ways are above our logic or limited understanding.
John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”
Pay attention that Jesus did not say, “If you have trouble.” He said, “When you have trouble.” Afflictions, burdens, irritations, and concerns will come. Even Jesus had hardships and troubles. Why should we expect anything less? Remember, obstacles are opportunities that press us into the arms of Jesus. We have the freedom to choose to let the experience, whether large or small, cause us to draw nearer to Him and grow in Him.
Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Peace is a gift extended as we believe and ask our Father to carry our loads.
Hebrews 13:20-21 says, “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
God so intensely desires peace to inhabit us that He is called “the God of Peace.” Peace is part of Who and What our Heavenly Father is. As believers carrying the indwelling Holy Spirit, we have that peace within us. As frail, sinful humans, we often forget that power and source because we rely on self unless we intentionally focus on Him and live with an eternal perspective mindset that pertains to all that we have been given or that affects us.
Peace is absent in many, yet each of us desire it.
When peace is not present in our life, it is often due to the pace we are living. Are we moving too fast? Do we set ourselves up to experience calmness or tranquility?
Peace cannot exist when we move too fast to fix our spirit on God.
Busy schedules and lifestyles don’t allow us time to fix our gaze above. Our heart must be given the opportunity to seek Him above all else.
2 Thessalonians 3:16a says, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way.”
To experience peace we must abide in the Source.
Isaiah 48:17-18a says, “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river.”
God knows what is best for us, and because He is a loving Father, we should listen to Him. Peace flows to those who pay heed to what God teaches and directs. We must seek to know Him in order to obey Him.
As believers, it is our duty to seek Him. The closer we draw to Jesus, the more deeply we desire Him to lead our life. As we allow Him to work through us and we begin to experience the riches of a Christ-centered life, our love for Him deepens, causing us to aspire to higher obedience.
Therefore, if peace is absent from our lives, there are certain questions we should stop to consider.
1. Who do I rely on? Self-reliance and reliance on God cannot co-exist. Peace cannot be present when we rely on self instead of God.
2. What do I hold in my heart? Are bitterness or unforgiveness weaving a thread through the tapestry of my emotions? Forgiveness is sometimes easily extended, but at other times, the hardships and pains of this world are too excruciating to release without total reliance on Jesus. Without erasing the disobedience of unforgiveness and bitterness from our spirit and heart, we cannot carry peace.
3. What are you afraid of? God does not give the spirit of fear.
4. How do I handle mistakes? Am I a perfectionist? Only God is perfect. Stop trying to be Him.
5. What do I value? Does materialism have a grip on me? What do I value? Where do I spend my time and money?
6. Who do I choose to grant time to? Who are the people I am with most? What kind of influence do they have on me?
7. What do I choose to grant time to?
8. Am I able to handle my emotions? Am I even-tempered?
9. What does my heart seek?
10. Where do I find my worth? Does the world carry more weight with my thoughts and actions or does the Holy Spirit living inside me influence my emotions and behavior?
1 Corinthians 13:11-13 says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
As we intentionally mature in our Christian relationship through Jesus, we see more clearly all that the Lord has for us. Our walk leads us closer to Him in fresh ways as we discover life is not about our selfish whims and desires.
Through study of His holy word, we learn ways to grow in and through Him to understand Him more clearly to please Him. As we do so, we draw the peace promised by God into our lives.
1. Know the Bible. In order to develop and deepen our on-going relationship with Jesus, we must read His word. In order to know Him and all that He desires, we have to know His word and seek and recognize His truths. Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.”
2. Pray. Prayer is an integral and continuing responsibility and privilege for believers. Pray for God’s will and purpose in our life. Pray to see, know, and understand Him more clearly. Pray to make Him known to others. Pray for His peace and guidance. Psalm 85:8 says, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.” We hear God speak when we are close enough to listen.
3. Search our self and motives to ensure we live according to God’s ways and purposes. Proverbs 16:7 says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
4. Release our dreams to Him. God created us and knows exactly what will truly fulfill us. Trust Him and His design for our life. If we live in opposition to what God desires for us, we never find peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33a says, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace.”
5. Believe that obstacles are opportunities. Treat them as such. Our positive mindset allows the peace of God to reside within us. Allow Him to carry the burdens and fears. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
6. Obey God. Seek to please and rely on Him. Seek Him to know His will and ways and put them into effect in our life. Turn away from sin that may be restricting the peace of God. Ask God to seek your heart and reveal areas to you that need to be turned away from or repented and given to Him. 1 Peter 3:11 says, “Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”
7. Gratitude, despite surroundings or events should be reflected in our heart, mind, words, and attitude. Isaiah 26:12 says, “Lord, You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our works in us.”
8. Serve others less fortunate. When we look at others with a heart for and from the Lord, we seize the ways we can shine Him to others and it allows us to live with more grateful hearts. When we serve others, it causes us to examine our relationship with those we serve, and with God. Serving erases division and unites. James 3:18 says, “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 14:19 says, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 says, “Finally, brothers rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
9. Go outdoors. Sometimes a steady heart naturally flows through us when we seek solace in His creation. Ezekiel 34:25 says, “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.”
10. Relax. God never called us to perfection. Learn to distinguish between what does not matter and can be let go. Concentrate on what God calls to attention in your life to reduce anxiety or stress.
Psalm 29:11 says, “The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.”
Other important questions to ponder are:
Where do I find my peace?
Is it ever-lasting?
Does it come from trusting Jesus and my relationship with God through Him or from my surroundings and circumstances?
God says He will give peace to His people. He longs for harmony and contentment to be fixed in our spirit and life. His encompassing peace truly can be well with our soul when we surrender regularly and naturally to God’s sovereignty over us and maintain a closeness that remains committed to keeping Him on the throne of our life.
I want to share one more verse that is actually a promise from God.
Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Prince of Peace.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace lives within you when you are His. There is absolutely no greater power to give you or restore peace within you than Him.
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