Thursday, January 10, 2013

Peace in His Promises

When I did my word study on peace I didn't necessarily read every verse that had the actual word "peace" in it. Instead I read passages that illustrated or taught it. Today I want to share with you what God showed me in Genesis.

First lets get a picture going...
Let's just say you are a fly on a camel. You are watching a heated exchange go on between this REALLY old lady and this younger, pregnant girl. The old lady turns and now she is yelling at a REALLY old man. Now if you really were a fly you would probably just buzz off and find another camel to bother, these folks aren't that important anyways...right? Wrong, this is Sari, Hagar, and Abram; three of the most important people in history. I'm sure you already know their stories, but lets sum it up.
God called them to leave their home, but wouldn't tell them exactly where to go. They were wandering the desert when God told Abram and Sari that they would have a son. Mind you, Sari is SUPER old, and has never been able to have children. They wait and wait, but nothing happens so they take things into their own hands. Sari gives Hagar, her maid, to Abram so that they can have a son in Sari's name. Well, things get heated between everyone. I mean, how could you Not be stressed? They have no idea where they are going, why they really left, how much longer they have to live, God's changing their names, and making these strange promises and covenants that so far have been pretty empty, so there's bound to be some strife.

Then we come to Genesis 21.
"The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."

Just for second imagine you are Sarah. Your old, you have just been through labor for the first time, and after all that you have been through in the past 10 years, all the worry, tears, and fear, you look down into the face of a miracle. God had kept his promise! Imagine the peace that would flow through you.

Part of the scripture that stuck out to me was this. "Who would have said?" and "Yet" Think about it. Fill verse 7 in with your own words. Whether from past experiences or something you hope to soon be true. "Who would have said.........? Yet.........!" It's that feeling of knowing that God is in control. Did you know that no matter how much we worry it will never change God's will, His plan, or the outcome? Sarah tried to take it into her own hands yet God's will still came to pass. Loosing sleep at night, and biting our nails does absolutely nothing for our situation except make us tired and have short nail beds.

I want to share with you what the commentary in my study Bible says.
"After repeated promises, a visit by two angels, and the appearance of the Lord himself, Sarah finally cried out with surprise and joy at the birth of her son. Because of her doubt, worry, and fear, she had forfeited the peace she could have felt in God's wonderful promise to her. The way to bring peace to a troubled heart is to focus on God's promises. Trust him to do what he says."

So my questions to you are these. What are you troubled about? What has God promised you? and Are you trusting him? Why should we, like Sarah, spend time in fear and worry when we could be enjoying the peace that we get from trusting God? At the end of a trial we never tell ourselves "Wow, I'm sure glad I stressed my way through that one. It might have had a different outcome if I hadn't!" Enjoy the peace that comes with being God's child. It just might change the way you live your life.

May you have a blessed and peaceful day in the Lord

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


A few years ago I was really struggling with the whole reading the Bible every day thing. Every time I would miss a day I would  get so discouraged. I felt like I would never get it together. I would get so frustrated when I would think about EVERYTHING  that I couldn't do right. You see, in my mind if I was going to read the Bible everyday, I would also have to start getting up on time every day, eat healthy, be kind to everyone, keep my chores done, have all of my school done, never get get the picture. Anyways, if any one of those ideals weren't fulfilled I would just give up. And because I was so upset with myself, not to mentioned embarrassed, I would turn into this angry monster...
A normal conversation between my mom and I would go something like this...
"Hey Gracie, did you do your chores yet? It's 5:00..."
"(growl) NO MOOOOM...NOT YET!"
"Honey why do you always have such an angry spirit? Is there really something wrong with me asking you about your chores?"
"(sigh) No Mom, there's not, and I don't ALWAYS have an angry spirit I'm just frustrated right now!"
"Gracie, did you do your devotions today?"
"Ok, well why don't you go do that now and then we'll talk"
"(mumbling and grumbling all the way to my room)"
"(from the kitchen) Oh Gracie, I'm making dinner are you eating good today?"

That was a pretty common day for me...and my mom. After some time it hit me that I couldn't do this forever, and I needed to get right. My then youth pastor and his wife, after seeing me come to church all too often in my Hulk get-up, challenged me to do a simple word study. He subtly suggested the word "peace," and after receiving a study Bible for Christmas I decided to give it a shot.

HOLY COW!!!! I had taken maybe 15 minutes one night and read one section about peace, and  I couldn't wait for it to be tomorrow so that I could do the next one. God was working in my heart and I was falling in love with Him. I found that I probably wouldn't be able to just wake up and do everything right all day, but I also found that it was ok. I was growing, and when I fell God picked me right back up and was walking with me. For a while there I think my family thought that I had forgotten to take my angry pills. No, I just had a new perspective on life and God. I realized that the peace I was looking for didn't come from being perfect, but from being in a close relationship with my Savior.

My reason for telling you this is to explain what you will be seeing for the next few days. Everyday for the next little while I will be posting one of the devotions on peace that I did. Hopefully it will be  an encouragement to someone, or maybe it'll be a challenge to do a word study of your own. Let me know what you think.
Finding peace in Christ was one of the most spectacular things that has ever happened to me, and I feel honored to share it with others.
Thanks for letting me be a part of your day, and may the rest of it be amazing.