Sunday, July 14, 2013

Peace on the Battlefield

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." [Romans 15:13]

One of the many blessing that God freely gives us is peace.  Have you ever experienced peace, not just any peace but the peace that Jesus left with us.  The peace that surpasses all understanding.  First let us attempt to define what peace is according to several sources.

Peace (n): A state of tranquility, calm, and stillness.  Freedom from quarrels, disturbances, and disagreement.

So now that we have an idea of what peace looks like, let us take a deeper look at the peace that God offers.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." [Philippians 4:7]

"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]

According to these verses, there are a few things that stand out that the cookie cutter definition of peace does not include.  Number one the peace that the bible talks about is "of God", it "transcends (surpasses) all understanding", it "will guard your hearts and your minds", and it's not like the peace of this world.  So in so many words the peace that is of God is a peace that is beyond ourselves and our circumstances.  The cookie cutter definition of peace mentions that peace is the freedom or absence of disturbances or problems, THAT is the peace of the world, but our loving gracious God has given us His peace, peace that is so great and out of this world that regardless of what we're going through or what we're up against we can still rest and have peace.

So if you're wondering what does peace that surpasses all understanding feel like?  Well normally I'm not big on feelings when it comes to God's word because even our feelings can have a mind of their own, but I will say this...real peace feels like cotton candy, joy, and still waters.  See...I'm not so great at explaining peace lol, but that's the point!  God's peace isn't something you can describe, it "surpasses all understanding".  It's just this state of "everything is going to be okay" accompanied with no fear or's just beautiful like our Savior!

Moving on from describing peace and unto the battlefield.  What I've observed is that our God is not phased by issues, situations, problems, or whatever you want to call them, it just doesn't phase Him.  Why?  Well for one thing He's always in control, nothing surprises Him, and He's all knowing.  God knows what will happen before a situation even gets to you, while you were still playing in the sandbox at 5 years old and playing tag with your friends, God knew all the trials and situations you would ever encounter and He already had the solution way before you ever became aware of problem. I say all of this because regardless of what you're going through or what you will go through, you can be full of peace because our God is fully aware and allows everything to work out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).

So how do we tap into this marvelous peace that God gives regardless of up or down days? Trust.  We trust God with all our hearts, we trust that even when we can't see a way out or don't even understand what in the world is going on...we trust that God knows what He is doing and my friend when we trust God, I mean really trust Him then the peace that surpasses all understanding begins to fill our hearts and minds.  Now, depending on where you are spiritually you may be asking, "Well how do you trust God"?  There is no step by step instruction manual on how to trust God, but it all begins with your faith in God, faith in His word, and faith in who He is.  Depending on how much God has brought you through you can remember on past trials and seasons and how faithful God was during that time.  (I recommend learning more about trusting God and His character if you're struggling in this area). God can be trusted because He is good, His nature is good, and He wants to do good in our lives!   We must remember that God is for us, and not against as you place your trust in Him, you will experience His peace.

That situation that use to make you stressed out and angry, now becomes a mole hill because you know that nothing is too hard for God, so you enter into God's rest...God's peace. The peace that God gives is such a gift, we don't have to just tap into it when things are going great, we can live peace daily, despite the battle.  We are called to live a life of peace, it's one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).  We can go about our days with a mind blowing peace that only God can give because we know that He loves us and He covers us!  

My prayer today is that you live a life of peace...always.  Let us remember that trouble don't last always, but we don't have to wait until the trouble is over for us to be at peace, instead we can be at peace in the midst of the battle.  Regardless of what you're up against, you can have peace in the middle of the battlefield by trusting God to work it out, and He will...He always does.  Let me also remind you, that the battle is not yours, it never was yours to begin with, it's God's battle and He's always victorious   My friend, with God we are on the winning side...all the time! Praise and glory to God!  I want to end this blog entry with the beginning verse found in Romans 15:13.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." 

Accept God's gift of peace and live it out everyday, regardless of your circumstances...let us remember that Christ came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10) so let us live this life trusting God and living a life of PEACE!  

P.S: If you're having a hard time believing or standing on God's word, ask God to help you stand firm regardless of what your circumstances look like.  I also recommend reading God's word daily and meditating on verses on peace, trust, & God's love (like the ones mentioned in this entry) so that it can saturate your heart and mind.  God's word is the living word, it breathes life into our lives, our hearts, and situations.  It's powerful, tap into that'll change your life. :)


Tonya S.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Season of Sowing...

 "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." [James 1:2-4]

Often times I would come across this verse and think what an awesome verse this is, but it didn't have much meaning to me at that time because well I had no troubles or trials.  I didn't need to consider it great joy because my faith was pretty solid (so I thought) and what was there to endure when everything was going how I thought it should.  Sure I had a few dull moments here and there, but for the most part life was great!

Then February 2013 came and life went from great to :O (for the lack of a better expression). In the beginning of the season it was tough and just when I thought I was getting to a place of "Oh yeah I got this!", down came that tower and I was back to playing in the rubble.  Little did I know God was up to something greater than myself.  Almost 6 months later, here I am today still in the season of sowing, but changed.  I no longer wish this season was over and I'm no longer begging God to make it end, now I'm content in this season, me and my Jesus. My circumstances have not changed, but my heart has.  I am not the same woman I was back in February...God has been working on my heart, forming me, building my trust & faith in Him, and so much more than I can even begin to describe in this entry.  

I am amazed at how much God has taught me in this season alone, and I am so excited to share those lessons from God to you!  I'm so humbled, that God is using me as a vessel to encourage you as we walk through the narrow gate to eternity, and He gets the glory!  As topics are laid on my heart will I post.  I hope you get a chance to follow my blog or if you're just stopping by to see what this is all about thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, God bless you! :)

-Tonya S.

P.S: This song describes my journey, its called "If you want me to" by Ginny Owens.  This song comforts and encourages me to continue to walk this path God has prepared for me. If you are currently in a season of sowing, growing, or trial, I pray this song encourages you and reminds you that you are not alone wherever you are in this season of your life.  Remember...trouble don't last always, be encouraged today!  Close your eyes, listen to the song, and let God speak to your heart.