Monday, January 14, 2008

Let Peace Rule

Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful". I have not done a great job of letting peace rule in my heart over the past few days. Some circumstances have caused me to let worry rule in my heart. Why is it that sometimes I let my circumstances seem bigger than my God? I have spent three days worrying over something that I have no control over. I know that God does have control, but I have spent this time fretting instead of trusting. I am not normally one to get so flustered and let worry take over, but this time I have done a poor job of letting peace rule.

I have always thought that peace is the key to discerning whether someone is walking with the Lord or if they are a 'carnal Christian' (I hate that term, but I am having a problem coming up with another one right now). I know people who claim to be saved, yet chaos rules every area of their life - some of them even thrive on chaos. I am not saying a Christian's life will always be peaceful, perfect and stress-free, but someone who trusts the Lord and 'leans not to his/her own understanding' will not live their life in a constant state of alarm, turmoil, and panic. Do you know anyone who professes to be a Christian, yet shows no sign of peace in their heart because they let circumstances rule their life? I know several, but I never want to be that type of person.

I know a person who claims to know the Lord. She left her husband for someone else. They have a blended family where there is always trouble with kids and exes. There is never a time when there isn't some sort of traumatic thing going on in that family. This person thrives on turmoil and chaos. We all know people like that. People who say they are Christians, but have no peace. Am I the only one who wonders if those people are actually saved? (I know I am not the judge, but I am called to witness to the lost - can't witness to the lost if I can't discern who the lost are).

I have not mentioned my recent worries to anyone other than my mother and husband, but I wonder if people can sense my worry . Maybe I have been distant or not attentive - maybe other people have sensed that I am not at peace. Maybe I have appeared to others as one of those people who claim Jesus, but have no inner peace that passes understanding. I doubt that is the case, but inward worry could certainly lead to outward signs and lead others to believe that I do not know Jesus. It occurred to me this morning that worry leads to more worry and when we worry we create chaos in our own lives which is seen and sensed by others. (I know that was a long, run-on sentence,but I am struggling today - give me a break ;-). Which leads me to the question: Do others see peace ruling in my heart or do they see chaos and turmoil ruling?
We all know people who are so concerned and troubled that they can't seem to concentrate on anything. Their inward worry has manifested itself outwardly and everyone can see that there is conflict in that person's life.

There are so many verses in the Bible that tell us 'do not worry'. God knew that we would be a bunch of worry-warts so He made sure to tell us over and over to stop worrying. He also knew that our unbelief would lead to worry and worry would lead to us being a poor witness to His power. Not only is worrying a sin, but it makes us a terrible witness to others. The Lord has been dealing with me on this for the past couple of days--just thought I would share with you what He has been saying to me. I have had a terrible time keeping my thoughts straight this morning and as you can see I have also had a terrible time putting them into writing. Sorry for the rambling randomness. Here are a few 'worry' verses. Maybe you need to read them today or maybe you need to share them with someone else.

Matthew 6:34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Luke 12:22[ Do Not Worry ] Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
Matthew 6:25[ Do Not Worry ] "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Luke 12:26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
Luke 21:14But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.
Matthew 6:28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
Luke 12:29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it
Luke 12:11"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,
Matthew 10:19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,
Matthew 6:31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
Matthew 6:27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?
Luke 12:25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?


Renee said...

This is a very honest and real post, Bethanne. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

I will be praying for peace for you. There is a large gap between knowing that we're not supposed to worry, and actually letting that truth guide our minds. I will be praying that the gap is small for you today.

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Oh Bethanne!

I think you did a beautiful job here. Thank you for posting the verses, how they encouraged and excited me today.

I'm praying for you!


Lyndy said...

This is my first time to visit and boy am I glad I did. Great post and so timely for me. I will be praying for peace for you as well as myself.

Thank you for this post.


Kelly S. said...

sweetie, I just think you need a big ol' hug. Thank you for the confession, it was very refreshing to read and I hope it helped you to vent a little. But don't be too hard on yourself, "for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust" ps 103.14.
I just finished a Fruit of the Spirit study, and we did a week on peace. Just remember it comes with submission to Jesus....He is the Prince of Peace (Is 9.6)
John 14.27
"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." NLT

I will be praying for you.

Fran said...

I'm praying for you Bethanne. I want Him to rule all over your heart and mind right now. And, I want you to walk in His peace so others can see just how we are to be out there in the world. Then go inside and let loose with your hubby or whoever your safe person is. I think that is perfectly a-ok. Get armor'ed up friend. Remember, these boots are made for peace!

I love ya~

Anonymous said...

May He permeate your soul with peace as you continue to give over your worries to Him!
Thank you for sharing the verses with us.

Earen said...

What an honest & open post today. Thank you for sharing your heart. I know that I can struggle with worry as well & it seems especially with those things I have no control over! Thank you for those verses...when I start to worry I quote scripture over & over until the worry thought it gone, even if it's only gone for 1 second...this really helped me during my first pregnancy when I was worried about feeling him move inside me. I'm praying for you friend!

jennyhope said...

i love all of these verses and have had to have them engraved on my heart and mind almost. Even this morning I had to fix my thoughts on the greatness of God because I was looking at a situation and of course not seeing how I was going to make it. I know God will provide He always does but for some reason I was about to freak and instead I had to remember all of the ways He has come thru in the past. =)

jennyhope said...

oh about another thing you said in your post it reminded of the verse that says dont fret it only leads to is SOOOO true. When I start worrying it can turn to a whole lot of other things

Alana said...

Peace. It sure is a tough one. Sometimes I feel his inexplicable peace when you'd think I'd be running for the hills screaming "help" and other times I let the smallest things eat me alive. I think it has to do with "you know who" (and I'm not talking about Santa this time) and his ability to find "the thing" that is going to really get us and he goes for the jugular with it. Praying peace for you, my friend!

dawn said...

Hi Bethanne,

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I just returned from a trip and have not have time to read yours yet, but after just skimming it, I am hooked.

Great to meet you!