Don't Worry, Be Happy!

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7


Have you ever wondered why so many Christians struggle with stress, worry and anxiety? It shouldn’t be a secret as it isn't to God. God knows we are prone to worry about many things in this life, seen and unseen alike. That’s why we find the words “fear not” all through the Bible. The question isn’t so much why do followers of Jesus worry. The more important question we need to ask and find the answer for is what do we do when we begin to worry.

You can say that worry and this world go hand in hand. A quick study of our bible reveals that ever since the fall of man the whole world has been under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19). It’s no wonder then that there is no lasting peace in the world around us and people are literally wearing themselves out searching to find it. The cure for worry and anxiety isn’t a pill or a place. It’s a person. If you are needing and wanting peace, lasting peace you need to come to God.

Six hundred years before Christ was born the prophet Isaiah described for us the names of God that only Jesus could fulfill. One of the names for God is “Prince of Peace”. The peace that Jesus brought into this world is a peace the bible teaches us that the world cannot know for it doesn’t know God. When the bible speaks of peace it means a completeness, a soundness of heart and soul. The peace of God is reference to the condition of our inner person that is insulated from the cares of this world because our peace is never tied to a season of life or our current circumstances. Our peace comes from a presence, the very presence of God.

You recall that as Jesus prepared to depart from this world via the Cross, He gathered His disciples together to give them a gift. Jesus told them in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” How and why could Jesus say such a thing? Easy, Jesus isn’t offering us something external, some formula to memorize or even a prayer to pray. Jesus was offering us Himself, eternal peace. There is no reason to fear when you realize that you are never alone. I think back to growing up as a child and being afraid of the dark. My fear of the dark was all but vanquished when my Mom would lay in the bed beside me. Her presence provided peace for me that no night light ever could and her being with me calmed my fears as I fell fast asleep.

Jesus peace is ours when we receive Him. Where God is, His peace is present too. We must not forget that. You recall the night Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The angelic hosts of heaven knew that to know God’s Son was to know peace. They watched in awe as the earth was blessed with the Prince of Peace as they sang for the shepherds the night our Jesus was born: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).

We live in a world that knows only circumstantial peace at best where as within the heart of every believer there is lasting, abiding peace. The key to your peace and mine today loved one, is don’t look around for peace. Remember true peace isn’t found in a place or a pill. True peace, lasting peace is found in a person, the person of God. If you have opened your heart to God, look within as Jesus is right there, right beside you, living in you, and He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. Jesus is your night light when the darkness tries to set in. Rest in Him!

 
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.”

Psalm 139:6-12

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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