peace



                               

palmsunday

As we near Palm Sunday our focus will be on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

We’ll wave palm branches at church and sing Hosanna.

We’ll read about how the needed donkey was handed over simply because the answer was, “The Lord needs it.”

We’ll feel the crowd’s excitement as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John recount the jubilation of that day.

But we might miss a part of the account that only Luke records:

He approached Jerusalem. When he saw the city, he began to sob. He said, “I wish you had known today what would bring you peace! But now it is hidden from your eyes.”

~Luke 19: 41-42

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Peace.

Our Lord so desires for us to look to him for peace that it brings him to tears when we don’t.

It’s a peace that Philippians 4:7 tells us surpasses all understanding.

It’s a peace that only Christ can offer.

Often we struggle to find that peace because, like the people of Jerusalem, it is hidden from our eyes.

Our hearts become bitter and hard as we are battered by life’s storms and we become blind to what Christ offers.

Fear and anxiety overwhelm us when we haven’t learned to leave that at the cross.

Temporary highs from happy moments and good times mask our need for peace, just as that festive Palm Sunday did for the people long ago.

But when the moment is over, the yearning of our hearts for peace still shouts.

Jesus desires for us to know his peace today. Today.

No matter where life has taken you or what difficult road you have walked you can know peace.

What if today…you surrendered your heart to God?

What if today…you let go of bitterness, anger and resentment that hides Christ’s peace from your eyes?

What if today…you walked in the Spirit and let God cultivate peace within you?

Today can be that day you find peace. This is my prayer for you during this Lenten season.

Blessings,

~Yolanda

“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

 



                               

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When Waiting for Answers and the Indwelling of Peace

Winter Sky

I cannot begin to remember and count all the different times I have wanted to know how God is working in and through a particular situation and also wanting to desperately know when I will have answers. I think it was my pattern for life especially as a younger Christian without a lot of spiritual growth under my belt, so to speak.

Too numerous to count are the times answers did not come on my timetable, but as I have walked longer with the Lord, I have learned more about the process of waiting. Learning about waiting is not an easy or pleasant experience.

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When the Waiting Gets to Be Too Hard

Psalm 62.5I remember as a child waiting in anticipation for my birthday or for Christmas to arrive. Time moved slowly and the waiting dragged on forever.

As an adult, that time moves much more quickly. It seems like Christmas is around the corner again before last year’s gifts are put away. And birthdays…well, each one is not quite as exciting anymore. The anticipated wait doesn’t drag anymore. Now it flies by.

Waiting for the calendar page to turn—that’s not so hard. Unless time ends, one month will flow into the next, guaranteed.

But waiting on God? It. Is. Hard. Some days waiting on God feels impossible.

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Setbacks and Relapses

LonelinessOne step forward, two steps back.

That’s the way it seems to go sometimes, doesn’t it? I’ve just recently been there, and it is so frustrating. The encouraging buildup to change becomes short lived. Progress is fleeting, and patience is in short supply.

So, what do we do when our slow movement forward quickly slides backwards?

Remember the positive change we did see. Change takes time. Whether we’re waiting for emotional healing, improvement in a health condition, a job offer, changed attitudes, an ease in difficult finances, or whatever it might be, it often usually takes more time than we would like.

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Peace That Comes Only from God

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Sometimes God stops us in our tracks…for our own good.

I was recently on my knees in prayer…over a situation I have no control.

A situation that was getting the best of me.

I didn’t know what to pray anymore, and I’d moved to just trying to prepare myself for whatever might happen.

While I talked with God, something changed in how I was praying.

“I know what you’re doing here God, and…”

Immediately, I felt God ask me…

Do you know what I’m doing?”

My breath caught sharply, and I thought of the book of Job when God gets fed up with Job and challenges him with a lot of questions.

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Free Falling

Life seems to be all about learning, implementing, revising, relearning…
Some of those lessons are ones I wish I just had to sit through once and, perhaps if I truly learned the message the first time through, that would be the case.

He’s been teaching me these past many months the art of letting go. Letting go of the old in order to embrace the new. Letting go of what is not working so that He can bring to me what will. Letting go of trying to fix it or work it out on my own, instead allowing Him to bring His perfect will and plans into my life.

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Controlling My Inner Crusader

I spent some time visiting with a dear friend the other day. We each have things that are heavy on our hearts. Issues that we see as being potential problems for God’s people. Situations where individuals are investing themselves in things that could ultimately hurt them spiritually, and also have a ricochet effect on the lives of those closest to them.

How do you handle this kind of conversation?

I have a few tips to share should you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

1. Don’t Gossip

  • Be very careful to discuss the problem without names.
  • Details are unnecessary, stick to the big picture.
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Forgive – A Hard Word

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

Does this verse give you a little knot in the pit of your stomach? I am always so grateful for God’s amazing grace, for His overwhelming love, and for mercy given in undeserved forgiveness. I only wish I found it easier to extend the same mercy, grace, and love to others.

Do you struggle with memories of offenses that have hurt you? Words that betrayed? Cruel comments that left you with a broken heart? Do you feel justified when you replay those memories again and again?

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