We can experience PEACE even when things are not going the way we plan. Once we accept His will for us, God can take away anxiety where we no longer have to worry.
Have you ever felt anxious to the point where you were sick to your stomach? I recently did. I was going through a period of not knowing if my kids would be going to the school they have been going to for the past four years. The very first time when I prayed about my kids coming back to the school, I had a calm still voice reassure my heart that “Everything is going to work out”. I had complete peace about the situation. However, somewhere down the line I started to doubt and lost my PEACE, questioning if any of it would even work out. If you can relate to doubting, we apparently are not alone.
Peter, although he walked with Jesus, doubted his own steadiness, after taking a few steps on the water he began to drown. We can’t forget the “doubting Thomas”, also one of Jesus’s twelve, had to literally touch Jesus’s side in order to believe. So if these two had walked with Jesus, heard from Jesus, but still doubted, we can have the assurance that we are definitely not alone. We can hold on to the promise that Jesus will love us and will rescue us regardless of our instability. In both cases, Jesus acted with love towards His followers. When Peter was drowning, Jesus stretched out his hand, caught him and then questioned Peter’s faith. Jesus knew that he needed to show Himself to Thomas physically; He appeared and allowed him to touch Him. Jesus told Thomas to stop doubting and believe. Jesus goes on to say that those who have not seen and believed are blessed.
Every time I thought about the school, I would get a sick feeling in my stomach but
Even though my faith was unstable, I kept repeating the promises that God had spoke into my heart.
“Everything is going to work out”. I was losing the battle in my mind as different thoughts creeped in. I became more anxious as I tried to control the situation, (which really I couldn’t do anything to fix) I thought about how unfair it would be for my kids if they would have to switch schools.
For four months I tried to take matters into my own hands, but was not successful. I was told that I simply had to wait and that there was nothing else that can be done. This is learning to be patient but that’s for another topic. At that point, I had lost ALMOST all hope and I was running out of time as school was starting in a few weeks. I told the people on the phone that I would be praying for a miracle and told my kids that they had to pray because there was no OTHER hope and that they sadly might have to go to another school.
Worrying and stressing was not helping the situation at all, I was just causing myself to be sick to my stomach. I submitted the entire situation to God. (That’s what I should have done from the beginning). I am not sure why I was worrying; it had been a battle between my mind and my heart. So I prayed for Gods will into this situation. I was very honest with God, telling Him about my doubts, fears, and anxiety. I told Him that I fully trusted and was ready to accept what ever His will was.
God reveals to me the reason why I was anxious
Like Peter, I had been drowning in disbelief and I didn’t like it. Why do I do this to myself? So I prayed open heartedly and gave it to God and I heard a calming voice saying to me that the reason for my anxiety was because in the last few days I had not spent time in fellowship with God. I love the nature of God. He speaks so calmly to us no matter how bad we mess up as He did with Peter. Thank God we are not God. We would be saying “really” you still can’t trust…
16 Rejoice always,
17 pray continually,
18 give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
After stressing and being anxious is when I finally gave my worrying to God (I wish that I had not waited that long to have peace in my heart). He came trough as He promised from the very beginning when He said "Everything is going to work out". We prayed for a miracle and that it was! Three days before the deadline, all our paperwork came through and the kids learned that they would be going to the school that they wanted to go to. We all thanked God for being true and faithful even when we were not.
I was a bit embarrassed for myself because I already knew that MY PEACE ONLY comes from the Lord! HE is the only source!
In our culture, we are expected to feel anxious when we go through the hard stuff.
But in my past experiences, when I fully trusted Jesus, with my eyes on Him, I didn’t experience any anxiety at all, only peace. I think If Peter would have kept his eyes on Jesus THE ENTIRE TIME rather than the storm around; he would have walked straight to Jesus without doubting or worrying. I notice how easily influenced I get from our culture. When I was going through a really hard decision in my life recently, and had the peace of God, I thought that something was wrong with me. I didn’t understand why I was not worrying. That is messed up thinking if you ask me. I want to encourage you as well as myself to strive for being in “Gods peace” and staying in it always. To keep our eyes on Jesus even when the storm seems too scary.
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
You may ask how did I start gaining back the peace into my life? My situation had not changed but my anxiety was gone because I gave all my anxiety to God. The steps that I took were: by first, studying Gods word. Secondly, I was back on track with simply being in His presence while I listened to worship music, and third, I thanked Him for everything and enjoyed the marvel of His Great Name.
What I learned from the school situation was that the worries of this life can take over my heart and thinking at anytime and I always need to stand firm on the promises and follow the examples of Jesus. Although I had heard from God, I somehow lost faith along the way by allowing my mind to think thoughts that were not true and allowing my heart to accept anxiety. This stopped me from CONTINUALLY hearing from God.
6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7. And the PEACE OF GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7
We don't need to worry about our situation/s any longer because we can bring everything we are going through to the throne of Grace, which allows God to fully take control. Thank God we don’t have to worry about it any longer. We have God to help us.
What do we need to give to God today? Job, school, a friend, our finances, our purpose or calling? Lets remember to lay everything down before God. He wants us to have an anxious free life.
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with PEACE. Psalm 29:11
I pray that the Peace of God will be on you!
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