Here is an introduction into Mary’s newest book for adults, Antidote for Anxiety, soon to be published in April of 2018.
Isaiah 48:22 (NIV) “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”
As Christians, we understand that verse in Isaiah, having come from wicked lives ourselves before Jesus saved us. Our lives lacked peace and so much more. But now that we have come to Jesus, and have His Holy Spirit living inside of us, shouldn’t we always have that peace?
Romans 15:13 (NIV) “ 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.”
We should be living in perpetual peace with the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Yet, so often we are in a state of anxiety and fear. I wonder about that a lot because there are times in my walk with God when peace seems to be missing. I believe the promises of God, and He is not going back on His word. So what makes my peace evaporate into thin air at times? I have come to realize that I am the cause of my anxiety and loss of peace.
Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV) “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
There are several reasons why peace is sometimes missing in my life. The first reason is that I sin and I feel guilty. How long do I need to stay in that spot agonizing over my sin? If I trust my Savior, I can go to Him as soon as I realize my mistake and ask His forgiveness. That is the best way to live, but my remorse makes me think I must suffer and be filled with anxiety for a long time. Remorse is part of repentance, but we don’t have to stay there. We thank God for his power to remove our guilt through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and believe God’s word is true. So whenever we sin, we need to seek God first and remember the truth of His word. That will restore our peace.
Hebrews 10:22 (NIV) “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
The second reason that peace leaves me is when I don’t tell myself the truth, when I listen to the lies the devil whispers into my ears and make them mine, this is what I think: “I’m going to have a terrible day today. I’m alone and there is no one who really cares about me. I can’t do the tasks before me. I might as well quit now and get back into bed.”
If I listen to this destructive self-talk, I sink into anxiety and self-pity. There is no peace in that spot, so to bring back God’s peace, I have to tell myself the truth. “God cares about me and He will get me through this day. He will give me the strength to do everything that needs to be finished in this twenty-four hours and He will protect and love me through it all.” Reading the truth from God’s word and then saying it to yourself is even better. I keep a list of verses that speak truth into my soul.
Philippians 4:7 (NIV) “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Taking life one day at a time is really a good way to live. Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow, and sometimes we take Him at His word on that, but we also need to remember that He doesn’t want us to worry about today either. If you find yourself feeling anxious and seeking peace, remember that tomorrow is not promised, and God loves you more than the sparrows who spend the whole day just trying to find something to eat. He cares about all of you, even the hairs on your head, and He is going to love and protect you. What peace that thought can bring! The God of the universe loves and cares for me!
Luke 12:7 (NIV) Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
What do you feel like when you are in the middle of a song service at church? When you are praising God, are you anxious or afraid? I hope your answer is “No, that is when I feel at peace.” There is a reason you feel at peace when you sing worship songs. It is because you are centered on praising your Heavenly Father and He inhabits those praises. He is there in the middle of your praise.
Psalms 22:3 (KJV) “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”
When you feel anxious, and peace seems far away, think of these four letters; STOP. S- Seek God first, T- Tell yourself the truth, O- One day at a time, and P- Praise God. Give Him thanks. If you do this, peace will not be missing any longer. Our God wants us to experience peace. Peace is a gift to His children.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”