Friday, October 16, 2015

I’ve Got the Secret for World Peace

That's right, I’ve got the secret ... it's easy, make the world go away and there will be peace.  Really?  Not buying it, me neither.

Do you remember the old song “Make the World Go Away” that was made popular by several recording artists? 

The opening of the song is a description of how the lyricist must have felt at the time.  I think it sums up what a lot of us have experienced: 

“Make the world go away, and get it off my shoulders. Say the things
you used to say, and make the world go away.” 

When it comes to the worries of the world, that’s exactly how I feel ... get them off my shoulders.  I want to celebrate all the wonderful things that are happening around me, and then someone feels it necessary to hand me the cares of the world in one explosive conversation. 

Right about then I’m thinking, Lord make them go away, get them off my shoulders with their poisonous words … but I don’t let on, and before I know it I’m smack in the middle of their world. 

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Another World 

In preparing for this post I thought that getting out of the house would give me a chance to ask a few questions to some innocent bystanders. My husband and I went out for about an hour in pursuit of people (that’s what I had in mind).  That turned out to be a bust. I never got the answers I needed, so my thoughts began to change concerning what I was to share this week. 

After we returned home and ate lunch, for some reason both of us grew really tired.  I suggested that we put our heads back on the couch while the computer booted up … in our case that would take about thirty minutes.  

Upon exiting the relaxing world of sleep I woke to hear my hubby talking to one of the cats:
 
“Do you see Sealy Posturepedic® written on my chest?  Do I step on you while you’re sleeping?”   

He looked over and saw me laughing and continued, “You didn’t feel her licking your head while you were asleep?”  Touché honey!

Now that I was really tired from the “nap” I got to work and looked at some notes that I wrote a few months back (which was not for that time). I knew what I was supposed to share with you.

The World Is Really Heavy 

Gia had a lot going on in her life at the time; every situation around her seemed to weigh her down with fear, concern and worry.  Several family members were experiencing physical problems, one was out of a job and another had marital difficulties. 

Her church split, the best friend was in the hospital and she was worried about my husband’s health.  If that weren’t enough, Gia had more to worry about in her world. 
 
The prices going up, the weather, politics, pets, home and about anything else you can think of was continually on her mind.  My heavy laden friend never gave herself a break from the events of the world, nor did she let those she socialized with rest from them either. 

You see, my friend is one of those people who will take on all the cares of others, only this time it caught up with her. Gia will admit to you that she has allowed these problems to enter her thoughts to the point she cannot function in the peace of God. With so much to “pray” about she developed stomach pains and colitis.  

Needing to Worry 

If someone asked you to drink straight poison, would you do it? Of course not, that would be crazy.  I agree, but have we ever stopped to think about the stuff our mind “drinks in” each day?  When you actually take into consideration all that we absorb in our mind on a daily basis it is quite staggering, and most of it is literally poisoning us out of a blessed life from the Lord. 

When I talked to Gia about all her concerns, she admitted that they “weren’t all her problems” as she put it.  Bringing every matter before the Lord was the right thing to do, however, she felt compelled to do something besides praying. It is as if worrying was another option, and trusting God to do His job required a little help. 

Our times together made her laugh, my friend shared with me, but she couldn’t help giving in to her thoughts and listening to the worldly bad news even though she knew it caused her to worry.  

Gia loves God and believes He will answer prayer, but in the mean time she has to worry.  Somehow it makes her feel she’s doing something I think.  If you think I’m squealing on my friend, don’t. She is the one who inspired this writing and knows all about it. 
 

Poisoned Minds 

I have been guilty of the same thing as Gia, especially when it comes to my family or friends. Sometimes we drink other people’s poison, meaning we take the problems of everyone else until it poisons our system.  We become angry, frustrated and stressed, which is the total opposite of what walking by faith should represent.  

Refusing to listen to all the woes of the world doesn’t mean we’re not supposed to care about others, because we are. What we aren’t supposed to do is get caught up in the drama becoming non-effective Christians. If we are falling prey to every situation, how can we be a source of Light, salt and hope to a dying world? 

All day long we soak in the poison of media, the news, negativity and hopeless emotions thinking it won’t destroy our faith.  Our mind becomes a doom and gloom venomous cocktail as we swallow the devil’s world.  If we follow that path our mind also becomes poisoned, and we stop seeing the goodness and favor of God. 

Give the World Back 

Understanding that wanting to take on God’s job as a “world care giver” is something out of our league, then how do we stop doing it?  This is something that even King David dealt with when he shared the emotions he was experiencing in Psalm 55. 

“Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.
Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest.”

What we’re to gather from this is that he’s having an anxiety attack.  Although his fears were valid (because he was being hunted down to be killed), David had a slew of people that cared about him right there by his side.  He was focusing on the wrong thing and forgot that the peace of God was available to him. 

“I leave behind with you – peace; I (Jesus) give you My own peace
and My gift is nothing like the peace of this world. You must not be
distressed and you must not be daunted.”
 (John 14:27 Phillips Bible version read to verse 31) 

If we operate in a calm manner when the world is in chaos, we demonstrate that the gift of peace Jesus gave us is working.  Showing our trust in Jesus to care for us is what others will see and it’s what will draw them to Him.  

If we act on what we say we believe, what people see will be God’s peace, not toxic minds in panic.  After all what do we really want others to see – our state of unbelief or Jesus? 

The song I mentioned from the introduction goes on to ask for forgiveness because the man strayed from the one he loved. I think we could ask Jesus the same thing with us not following His instruction when it comes to worry, fretting or casting our cares on Him. 

Dump the Poisonous Thoughts  

We all experience anxiety, stress and levels of depression, but it’s how we respond when it tries to take effect in our lives that matters. 

It’s one thing to have Christ in our heart, but has He taken over our mind and thoughts? Here are four things to help redirect our thinking when the mind wants to take on poisonous thoughts. 

First - Love the Law of God 

“Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.  LORD, I hope for Your salvation, and I do Your commandments.” (Psalm 119:165-166 NKJV) 

We need to recognize and obey the principles of God.  His Word isn’t given to bring us down, but to free us from stress, worry and fear. When we disregard the Word of God He can’t help us, so no wonder we get stressed trying to carry the world on our shoulders. 

Often we go to people and spill our “guts” to them and they give us the wrong advice, which adds to the stress.  When we mess up we need to remember the grace of God is ours. 

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell your  needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers.  If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.”

Stop worrying and start praying. If you are falling into stress or worry bring it to the Lord and trust Him to give you what you need.  Thank the Lord in advance that you will receive the answers, which will bring back that peace you’re missing.   

There isn’t a time we won’t have problems.  They’ll be various levels, but we’re never going to be without them Jesus said.  The problems will be there, but how we handle them is the key. 

Every situation comes with its own problems, but Jesus told us in John 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me”  

If we’re always worrying, then we’re not trusting, it’s that basic. 

Second – Trust God Will Provide  

Don’t be afraid to ask God for what you need or want.  Maybe it has to do with relationships, financial, job, home or whatever it is.  In prayer ask and then thank God for providing it.  If we really believe that God will answer our prayer then we trust He also has the solution. 

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall
direct (make smooth or straight) your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV) 

By trusting in the way we “understand things”, we’ll never get past the problem, stress or worry.  We will keep asking questions like, “Why did this happen? … Why didn’t it happen? … Why, when …”  

Isaiah 26:3 says our mind has to be steadfast and that it will stay in peace if we remain in trust.  Take a look: 

“You (God) will keep him (us) in perfect peace, whose mind is
stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV) 
 
“God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble.
Be still, and know I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:1 & 10 NKJV)
 
Something my husband always says is: "If we are exalting the problem, then we aren’t exalting God or trusting Him."

Third – Trust God’s Plans 

Trust that God’s plans are the right ones and He is in control.  God acts on His word, He doesn’t react to our emotions.  We have to believe He has our best interest in mind and it will come to pass when God says. 

He will always lead us into the best to help us complete our journey.  Even if it looks like the worst things are going on in your life, there is another side that you haven’t experienced yet.  He will never abandon your life or His plan for it. 

Fourth – Trusting God Is the Secret to Inner Peace 

In the worst time of Paul’s life (while in prison), he began to write letters to the churches that followed his teaching about Jesus.    

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”
(Philippians 4:12-13 NIV) 

In other words, Paul learned that the secret wasn’t making the world go away, but to live in the peace of God that was available to him as a believer in Christ.  He chose not to worry, be afraid or get stressed out due to circumstances that were subject to change. 

The apostle Paul was continually reminding himself while encouraging others to rise above the situation.  He knew the secret, now so do you. Believe God will give you what you need to not only endure, but to thrive.  He has the answers, so all you need to do is ask for them.  What He did for Paul, He will do for you. 

If we don’t encounter difficult situations we won’t experience the power of God that “overcomes all the world” (John 16:33).  We’d rely on our own resources and think we can do it on our own.  The favor of God would never be available to us. 

Get those poisonous thoughts out of your thinking and mind of “How am I going to get through this, pay for it all, what if this doesn’t go my way?"  Stop taking the cares of the universe on your shoulders; after all there is only so much Clairol rinse to cover all the gray hair in this worry world! 

God has your back.  Although you can’t imagine how things will work out, God already has it completed.  He knows what is about to happen even though you don’t.  No matter where the Lord leads follow Him and He will direct you right to the answer (solution). 

If you focus on how you think things will work out, you will never have peace.  Keep peace in the middle of whatever you’re experiencing. 

“There is no greater witness than to keep peace in the
middle of your crisis.” (quote Pastor Bill Cornelius)
 

This Week’s Challenge:
Share the Secret  

Have we received the message of what we’re supposed to do when we start to consume poisonous thoughts and take on the cares of the world? 

Our God is limitless when it comes to His gifts, so we need to embrace what is ours through Christ Jesus.  The officials thought that Paul was doomed, but God had different plans every time they tried to kill him.  Satan is trying to convince the church that God isn’t concerned about us and that He doesn’t hear our prayers; the devil is a liar. 

For this week we have a writing challenge to share the secret of God’s peace that comes when we trust the Lord in times of crisis, difficult situations and in all circumstances.  We want to lift people out of the mind of despair and into the power of God. 

I've used items like these
Blank Scripture Notecards
We're going to share that trust is the secret to finding favor and receiving answered prayers from God.  Write to someone who is taking on the world’s problems along with their own.  Send a word of encouragement in a card, letter or email and be sure to include some of the scriptures (or the link) from this post.  

Don’t call or text … it could be a trap!  If you’re not sold on this you will get sucked into the words that may come out of their mouth and not be of any help.  We’re following directions and writing like the Apostle did to the church. 

It may not seem like a difficult task, but the question is, will you be like Paul and share this message even if you are in a “prison” (seems to be no way out) situation?  Miracles happen in the prisons of life and they aren’t always literal ones. 

Whatever you are going through, there is purpose in it.  God wants to show you what really matters.  Maybe you’re the one who slipped and fell, having your thoughts captured by the “trending now news feed of negativity” world.  Ask for Him to forgive you for being consumed by stress, worry and doubt. 

Lord, forgive me for allowing poisonous thoughts that are contrary to Your Word to fill my mind.  I believe and trust You to work this out for your glory. 

Enjoy sharing this trust in God secret and then go relax.  The world is not on your shoulders but His. Take a nap, but be sure to put the cat in another room first! 
 
Remember the Four Thought Redirectors: 

First - Love the Law of God
Second – Trust God Will Provide
Third – Trust God’s Plans
Fourth – Trusting God Is the Secret to Inner Peace 

 
 

Until next time, God’s peace is His favor on believers! 

Check Messages throughout the week.  

“My peace made available is no longer secret.”
Jesus Christ 

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries by Kathy Collard Miller

 
Box of 12 blank cards of Proverbs 3:3-6 on front cover.
 

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
 
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