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Christian Living

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Grin and Grow with Kathy 02/24/21

The Peace Swap Out

Because of God

STORY: Mind your “P”s

I love a good alliteration. It helps me remember things better. I need that when my mind and heart are overwhelmed. Here’s a good one:

Because of God’s provision, protection, presence, and power, peace replaces panic.

Let’s think of this list in the way of opposites. You might ask these questions.

  • What causes me to feel like I have a lack of provision today? Unemployment. Power outages. Bankruptcy.
  • When do I feel insecure? Dangerous roads. Dangerous people. How can I experience God’s protection when life makes me feel unsafe?
  • What makes me feel like I’m doing life all alone? How can I tap in to God’s presence today?
  • What makes me feel powerless? When circumstances outside my control overwhelm me, how can I have peace through God’s power?
  • What panic situations are going on in my life? Will I take the time to switch my focus from panic to peace?

God’s Word gives us many instructions to knowing peace. As we follow these steps, we follow Christ more closely. In doing so, we experience a peace that surpasses anything that makes rational sense. It takes intentional focus on God’s attributes to secure this peace, but it’s worth the effort.

God is very clear that he doesn’t want us to be dismayed. Instead he wants to inhabit us with his peace. Look at these verses and develop your own action plan for swapping out panic with peace.

STUDY: Don’t Be Dismayed

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9 NLT)
  • What is the reason we know we can learn to be strong and courageous instead of afraid and discouraged?
  • Where does our strength come from? (We know the answer to this, but honestly we try so hard to do things ourselves that we forget to lean in to what we know about God being our strength.)
Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men. “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies.” (Joshua 10:25 NLT)
  • Who will take care of your enemies for you?
  • Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, and God works on our hearts and minds so the space is clear to deliver us his peace.
For you will be successful if you carefully obey the decrees and regulations that the Lord gave to Israel through Moses. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart! (1 Chronicles 22:13 NLT)
  • What happens if we obey God’s Word? (This Bible passage was directed to a specific group, but we know this is a biblical concept also for us today.)
  • When we focus on exercising strength and courage, what does it cancel out? How will you obey in strength and courage today?
Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. (1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT)
  • If we follow the same principles God set up for this Old Testament group, what is supposed to happen after we choose to be strong and courageous?
  • When we enter into his work, God tells us not to be afraid or discouraged.
  • What reasons (according to this verse) assure us that we can let go of these fears and defeated attitudes?
He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15 NLT)
  • This verse tells us one reason we have for not being afraid or discouraged. What is it?
  • What happens to our mindset when we remind ourselves that this is not our battle? When we remember that this is God’s battle?
  • See how a change in our thinking leads to peace?
But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” (2 Chronicles 20:17 NLT)
  • This passage was for the people of Judah and Jerusalem at a specific time of war. What reasons did they have to not fight or fear? Does that awareness help you today?
  • When we realize that God brings the victory, we can enter into a power-packed peace!

Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! (2 Chronicles 32:7 NLT)

  • This verse goes on to remind us even more about the mighty power of God. When you focus on his ability to take care of your circumstances, does that help deliver peace?
  • How can you evacuate fear and discouragement and receive God’s strength and courage?

STEPS: Take Action toward Peace

  1. Evaluate the unrest going on in your mind and heart. Take inventory. Once you have them listed, rather than allowing your mind to push REPLAY as you rehearse what is creating an anxious heart, hit the STOP button. Then as you silence the worry, let God fill that quiet space.
  2. Pray away your worries. The situations you are concerned about might still exist, but as you specifically talk about them with God you will sense his peace despite the trials.
  3. Put your best mind forward. As God fills you with peace, use that renewed positive mindset as you speak to others and as you post on social media.

Copyright © 2021 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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