Friday, April 3, 2015

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Peace

I really love the devotional book "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. The readings seem to somehow speak right to where I'm at most days. That can only be a Holy Spirit thing, I think. God knows what we need to hear and provides those thoughts through devotions, the Bible, songs on the radio, or something we hear someone else say.

Lately the devotions have been mentioning "peace" and I've been pondering just how much peace I feel in my heart. I have to admit that it's been difficult over the last several months, or has it been years and years? I could blame my frequent lack of peace on the depression I've been experiencing or the occasional times of stress that happen in the life of a family in ministry, but those would be poor excuses.

From Sarah Young: "Your deepest, most constant need is for My Peace. I have planted Peace in the garden of your heart, where I live, but there are weeds growing there too: pride, worry, selfishness, unbelief. I am the Gardener, and I am working to rid your heart of those weeds."

She goes on to say that Jesus works in various ways to rid our hearts of those weeds. One of the best ways is just sitting quietly with Him. As He shines the Light of His Presence into our hearts, Peace grows and the weeds shrivel up.

This challenges and encourages me. I don't have to feel bad for the times when I choose to worry, but I need to recognize that God does not want that for me. He wants me to feel His peace even in the midst of difficult times. 

Today is Good Friday. We remember Jesus' terribly painful death on the cross. It was such a bad day, and yet we call it "Good" because His death was the only way our sins could be wiped out and God could welcome us into heaven. Focus on that today. Focus on the fact that He suffered and died just for you. May that thought bring you His Peace, no matter what is going on in your life right now.

"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 NIV)

Do you feel Christ's Peace in your heart, or is it being choked out by the weeds of worry, pride, selfishness, and unbelief? How can focusing on Jesus get rid of those weeds and allow you to feel His Peace instead?

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