by Marlys Popma · December 16, 2015
(Reprinted with permission from The Christian Conservative)
I am continually blessed by Christian radio. I cannot tell you how many times just the right message comes to me through the airwaves. The other day I was listening to a message by James McDonald from Walk in the Word. He was talking about things that we do that forfeit our peace and it really hit home. Then I was reading a message from Elisabeth Elliott that dovetailed with his message perfectly so I decided to share a bit from both with you.
Elisabeth Elliott was an amazing woman. Her husband was killed while witnessing to the Auca in Ecuador. After his death she spent two years as a missionary to the same people who had killed her husband. Later she wrote more than twenty books sharing her biblical wisdom. She wrote an essay called “Don’t Forfeit Your Peace.” In it she cited eight things we often do to forfeit our peace. I thought it was important tonight to share them with you.
First, we resent God’s ways. We ask, “Why is this happening to ME?” If He is a good God why is he letting all of this bad stuff happen to me? We must understand that God’s ways are perfect. His timing is perfect and we must believe, that as His children, He has in store what is best for us.
Second, we worry as much as possible. We worry about things we have done and we worry about things that may never happen. Worry will always rob us of our peace. We must understand that God is in control, that He loves us more than we will ever know and that He cares for every detail in our lives.
Third, we pray only about things we cannot manage ourselves. We seem to only go to Him when we are in a bind. We must pray to Him when things are bad, when things are okay, and when things are great. We need to depend on Him for EVERYTHING!
Fourth, we refuse to accept what God does. God may give us trials to strengthen us. He may allow strife in our lives to teach us lessons and He may bring us to our knees when we attempt to defy Him. But in all of these times, we must accept what it is He is doing in our lives.
Fifth, we look for peace in places other than God. We try to find peace in things. We try to find peace in what it is that WE can do. We try to control everything around us, rather than giving everything to God.
Sixth, we try to rule our own lives. We want to do what we want to do. We want to go where we want to go. We want to be with who WE want to be with. But that is not God’s way. He needs to be the king of our lives. He needs to be the one who rules everything in our lives.
Seventh, we doubt God’s word. We doubt that God will care for us. We doubt that He will do what is best for us. We doubt that He will sustain us. We doubt that with the faith of a mustard seed we can move mountains. We doubt.
And eighth, we carry all of our burdens ourselves. We are told in I Peter 5:7 to, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Yes, He really does care for us and if we acknowledge that we can feel at peace.
If you think you might be forfeiting your peace, heed these words. God is in control, He cares for you more deeply than you will ever know, He wants what is best for you, He wants a relationship with you and you can trust Him, really trust Him. Tomorrow, I will tell you what Elisabeth Elliott says we should do in order to make sure that we are at peace. And until then, remember the blessed words of this hymn, “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”
Finding Your Peace
by Marlys Popma · December 17, 2015
(Reprinted with permission from The Christian Conservative)
Last night I wrote about 8 things that Elisabeth Elliott said could make us forfeit our peace. Tonight I want to tell you the eight things she said could help us find peace. But before I do that I want to tell you one more thing that many of us do, maybe all of us, that forfeits our peace. That one thing is an ungodly attitude.
Have you ever gotten VERY angry when your four year old spilled his milk at the dinner table and from then on the whole evening meal was a destroyed? Your spouse was upset at your response, your child was crying all because you lost your cool because a four year old was a four year old. You just forfeited your peace.
Have you ever gotten angry when the person in front of you in line at the department store decided they needed to go back for one item they had forgotten? Your foot started tapping, your hands went on your hips and you were angry. YOU just forfeited your peace. What about the time when someone in the office was praised for a job you believed happened because of your hard work. The rest of the day and maybe the week were a mess. YOU just forfeited your peace.
We need to ALWAYS keep our tempers and our attitudes in check or we will forfeit our peace!
Now, what does Elisabeth Elliott have to say about ways to FIND your peace?
First live within the laws of God “Great peace have they which love the law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165
Second, stop worrying. Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything whatever.”
Third, listen to the words of Philippians 4:6-7: “In everything make your requests known to God in prayer and petition with thanksgiving. Then the peace of God… will guard your hearts.”
Fourth the words of Matthew 11:29 say, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me…and you will find rest.” Everything that wears a yoke has a master and let the master of your yoke be God!
Fifth, John 14:27 states, “Peace is my parting gift to you, my own peace, such as the world cannot give.” Jesus was a man of great peace. He remained silent before His accusers and He was gentle with sinners. He even asked that God forgive those who put Him to death. As Christians, He lives in us, and we have the capability to have the same peace.
Sixth, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” Colossians 3:15. Notice how this is stated, LET the peace rule in your hearts. We need to LET that peace rule. We need to give way to that peace.
Seventh, Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” Yes, because we believe in Christ we can be filled with hope and that hope brings joy and peace.
And eighth, “Cast all your cares on Him for you are His charge.” We need to give EVERY burden we have to the Lord for He is our charge. When someone is our charge that means they are responsible for us. God is responsible for us, He cares for us, and He loves us. We just need to accept that care and love, and rest in His peace.
Remember this, “Christ died. He left a will in which He gave His soul to His Father, His body to Joseph of Arimathea, His clothes to the soldiers, and His mother to John. But to His disciples, who had left all to follow Him, He left not silver or gold, but something far better – His PEACE!” – Matthew Henry. To US He left His PEACE! What an inheritance!