Need Peace in Your Life? Come to Christ!
“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
Difficult trying times! We’ve all been there a time or two - wouldn’t you say so? Some even stay with us a lifetime!
Even in my most difficult times - God has always allowed me to 'choose' the path to take - giving me ‘free will’ - (Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, "Let Us make man in ‘OUR’ image, according to ‘our’ likeness…”). He gave me strength by seeking His grace and counsel - (Psalms 28:8 “The LORD gives his people strength…” and the best part of the experience? I wasn't walking alone...He was walking the difficult path with me to the end…and even carried me when I thought I could not go any further – every time!!! (Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
'My Testimony' - How I Found Personal Peace Within
"...He even 'carried me' when I thought I could not go any further!"
One night my wife and I were talking about our times when growing up and the trials we’ve faced thus far. We talked about how we survived and I’m sure everyone has many a tale or two and quite sure mine may ‘pale’ in comparison. I also believe God assigns ‘Guardian Angel(s)’ to watch over and protect until we’ve finished His plan - or our ‘purpose for being’.
Honestly – and with no reserve – I must have ‘nine lives’. ALWAYS by some ‘miracle’ and some miracles being within just ‘split’ seconds of making a quick response - the ‘accident’ or major ‘trauma’ didn’t take my life.
(Some personal stories I'll share)
As a mountain biker, I went off the path one day and hit a 2 x 3 hole covered in leaves then landed 20 feet away between four sharp twelve inch protruding stumps and laid there in the park for 30 minutes trying to get air with a dislocated clavicle. With no-one in the park that particular day, after getting my air back, I then rode the bike 3 miles to get the van. In 2007 I had major neck and nerve surgery that would have left me in a wheelchair with no right arm use IF I hadn't made the decision the month before. At age seven, I was hit by a car and pretty bruised up. I’ve been robbed with a cocked 38 pistol at my head – and once - from being just plain stupid and making bad friend choices - was circled by an opposing
six-member gang with a sawed-off shotgun up against my chest which ended up really bad for him (long story) – been in two car wrecks riding as a passenger; one of those taking my best friends’ life – have been pulled off a loading dock by truck driver while still on the forklift (with no roll-bar back then) and could feel my head brush a knife-sharp 1/2” steel gang plank that would have chopped my head off. Another time I “just happen” to pull my head back with split- second timing while looking for a certain pallet load while another forklift was immediately passing by that would have chopped my head off. Another time the forklift was sliding on the smooth wet concrete making it impossible to stop - it went over the gang plank and through the open boxcar and dropped 15 feet as I jumped off the side. A friend was showing me her mother’s 38 pistol and thinking it was unloaded aimed it at me. I immediately pushed it away yelling at her for doing something so stupid and watched in horror as the gun went off by accident and blowing a hole in the wall. I was the new kid in Jr. High School and got jumped in the men’s restroom by supposedly three of the school’s toughest…and happy to say…with a ‘flight or fight’ choice facing me - I decided to ‘fight’ and whipped all three (and why I hate confrontations and ANY form of bullying).
I’m not necessarily some tough guy but did, however, find it odd that I had previously taken up ‘boxing’ that year and learned enough judo (new at the time in America) - and had a big brother who ‘taught’ me for years to ‘prepare’ me for that particular moment. God seems to ‘prepare’ you for life’s situations…the hurts…the disappointments…the pains, traumas, and tragedies and we’re given ‘free will’ - a choice - as how to respond and 'learn' something from the choices we make.
I could even tell you 30+ more “life’s stories” like this that upon reflection gave me a better or deeper understanding of events, issues, loved ones and other people…some through simple observation. For example: My father, a very loving father, was an alcoholic and eventually took his own life when I was nine years old. Now…after years and years of misunderstanding, reflection and taking personal blame in my teenage years (also) the most depressing times of my life - as an adult - I now have a better understanding of the "why?" and know I had absolutely nothing to do with his death. I strongly believe that in order to 'see the light' - you have to hit 'rock bottom' to be willing to call out to God for help! As a teenager, I was in a deep depression and conflict internally for years carrying around this ‘excess baggage’ that damaged my school grades, my friends from being withdrawn and my future! It had been harboring potential positive growth. I realized one day that Dad was an 'individual', with an 'individual soul', with his 'own' personal life story - with the ability to make choices. The positive! The ‘experiences’ in life thus far resulted in me having a better understanding, empathy and compassion for those who have been there or are going through it or any other ‘issues’ I can relate to.
It’s no different for any of us. When you think about it…we’re all ‘related’ and if it takes “life’s issues” to bring us together - then maybe it is as it should be - or how could we relate and be able to understand in offering our help? Our life, every single detail, has already been ‘mapped out’ and/or our ‘reason for being’ or our ‘personal book’ – already written by an unimaginable ‘intelligent designer’ with great power – our Creator! God has and had a plan for every man, woman, and child He’s ever created whose ever lived…after-all…HE’S GOD and we are ‘HIS’ creation. Sometimes it truly ‘humbles’ me to think what could have been…especially if the wrong choices were made. I’m just thankful He’s with me 24/7 – otherwise – many of those times…one time in particular - I would not have made it and ‘wanted’ to give up. It took sixty-two years of ‘schoolin’ but I’m the happiest man I know and ‘blessed’ by God for the ‘experiences’! I think I speak for many - “Thank you Father for your guiding hand…your protection…your saving grace…and your love. I can’t imagine a life without you!”
Life! Yes it is very difficult. We all have pains and sorrows mixed with times of joy and happiness. Are you struggling with an issue that you just can’t seem to control? Do past experiences from your past haunt you? Are you in an abusive relationship? Do you sometimes feel alone, maybe even unwanted or even undesirable or unattractive? Maybe you have an uncontrollable addiction that you know deep down is a problem that has completely ‘taken over!’ every part of your life…and you want help but it’s uncontrollable. Were you abused as a child? Were you ‘bullied’ and ‘cast out’ of desired friendships?
Have you served in our country’s forces, protecting the freedoms we cherish and have seen or had to do things that you will never be able to remove from your memory that show the darkest side of man? Did you lose close friends that you could call ‘brothers’ while serving? Did you or a friend lose a limb or maybe your hearing or other permanent trauma doing what you had to do to protect our country? How did you feel coming back home only to find no jobs and no ‘real’ help to what you may feel deep down within - as an ‘ungrateful’ and ‘unsupportive’ country?
Just about everyone has ‘baggage’ that’s keeping them from the peace they seek. Our society seems to thrive on depressive ‘negativity’ in all the media that only contributes to the ‘depression’ and misery - because it doesn’t stop! Have you watched some of the overly popular 'sexually oriented' music videos of some of the 'biggest' pop music stars in the industry? Sex sells and marketers know it! The question is however - what influence or message does a video have on our youth when a naked girl for some unknown reason is swinging on a 'wrecking ball' totally nude and exposed? She chose 'money and fame' to override the 'morality' traits that God expects from us...that also influences our children - "Well! It must be okay! She's on national TV and she's making all this money! Someday I want to be just like her!" Frankly, I didn't get it and the unexpected 'shock' or 'visual'
detracted from the lyrics - whatever they were!
(Yawn! Who remembers? Do you?)
When we are bombarded daily with negativity and ‘evil’ – through constant exposure and simply trying to adapt to survive, your ‘subconscious mind’ begins to accept it as a ‘normal’ way of life. It’s been like that for centuries...and like a timetable, prophesy is simply being fulfilled right before our very eyes.
There is hope however!
I'll repeat a past sentence again! I strongly believe that in order to 'see the light' - you have to hit 'rock bottom' to be 'willing' to call out to God in desperation for help!
These 'issues' we face each day - it doesn’t have to be this way! God doesn’t want his creation to suffer as we do. One of the greatest gifts or blessing he gave his ‘special’ creation – we humans – is the power of choice, the God given ability to make personal decisions.
Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.”
God created humanity in God’s own image, in the divine image God created them, male and female God created them. – Genesis 1:26-27
The way to the peace we seek requires using the heart within – instead of the reasoning power of the mind. To think that we have all the ‘answers’ and feel that we can compete with God about all the knowledge and mysteries of the universe that He endures is simply foolish. When we do, we become ‘haughty’ which means arrogant with a feeling of superiority – or blatantly and disdainfully proud. It's a straight narrow path to personal destruction.
The word is always used in the Bible in the evil sense of “arrogant, disdainful and setting oneself above others”; it is often set in contrast to being humble.
In Proverbs 6:16-19 is a list of “six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him.” Abomination means a thing that causes disgust or hatred. The first one listed is “haughty eyes,” followed by such things as a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a false witness, and feet quick to run to evil. Haughty eyes are said to be sin in Proverbs 21:4 along with a proud heart. To have haughty eyes is to have an arrogant demeanor; it’s an overall attitude of one’s heart that causes one to scorn or “look down on” others. The haughty person sets himself above others, and ultimately above God. This was the cause for Satan being ‘cast out’ of heaven.
When we are haughty, we become the center of our universe; everything revolves around us. There is little, if any, concern for what others think and no consideration of the will of God. Pride, haughtiness, is the trunk of the tree from which all other sins sprout. When we are at the center of our world, then nothing that we want is unlawful to us. Here’s the bad news! God is resistant to haughtiness.
So let’s return to a sentence in a previous paragraph. The way to the peace we seek requires “using the heart within” – instead of the reasoning power of the mind. We must ‘humble’ ourselves before God the Father, the Creator of all things and ask the Holy Spirit to enter our hearts through the power of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He’s the Son of God because of his ‘selfless act’ of the giving of His life on the Cross for us as a sacrificial 'lamb'...he was the 'Lamb of God'. Because God is a Holy God and incapable and intolerant of sin – when we sin He requires a blood sacrifice as was done in the Old Testament days. Jesus Christ resolved all sacrifice for sins by taking on ALL the sins of man, past, present, and future – so we would be presentable and sinless to a perfect and holy Creator. This is what God desires for man and demands of man. After all! We are the 'created' – and not the Creator! We are to live by His laws and by doing so the result always produce harmony, love, and peace.
Seek peace in your life! But, if you seek a way out of your situation or want to get help from God, then you must first 'humble yourself' then ‘turn off’ the ‘doubt’ and reasoning abilities of your brain and enter His world by the way of your heart. God is described as a God of unconditional love, mercy, and grace.
Children are the litmus paper to expose the presence of pride. He made this statement to the Disciples concerning pride – “Don’t be proud, become like children.” Matthew 18:3-4 – Then he called a little child over to sit among the disciples, and said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
God offers you his hand but the decision is yours and yours alone. He wants you to be at peace. He wants to ‘heal’ you. He wants to ‘love’ you. He wants you to enter into His Kingdom as a ‘child of God’. He wants and desires your company – the reason for his creation. When you 'humble yourself' and ‘give in totally’ with your heart, with a sincere 'repentant' heart,
He opens the door for you to receive his peace - a peace that only Jesus Christ can give. He’s a God of love – He’s a God of goodness and grace – He’s a God who has the power to ‘heal your wounds’ – He’s a God that you can cling to when you go through personal ‘trials and tribulations’. He can be a personal God who will always walk with you along the way and even ‘carry’ you and never leave you when those ‘trials’ overwhelm you. But it takes opening your heart to Him and using your heart and soul, and telling him with your mouth, “Lord! I need you…today…right now!” If you want to have this profound peace, say it out loud - and if you're alone - even 'YELL' it out!
You must have the desire and it must come from your heart. You must be willing to 'give in' and 'trust by faith' that God will bring you this peace within. For some, the experience will be like having a good cry which releases the bent up pressure that's been building and that you’ve been dealing with...possibly...all of your life. For others, you may not ‘feel’ any change – but if you 'truly' mean what you say deep-down with a repentant heart, a repentant heart that is sorry for the sinful nature of your past, God will hear your plea. The Holy Spirit will come and enter your heart and ‘plant the seed’ and like a beautiful garden, will soon bring about the beauty of color, light, peace, perfection and understanding.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you..." Matthew 7: 7-8
Until you 'Ask'...the answers won't be given; until you seek answers, you won't find any; until you 'knock', the door to the answers won't be opened to you!
This Simple Prayer of Faith and Belief Is All It Takes!
"Heavenly Father, I need help. I can no longer depend on myself for answers. I confess that I have been a sinner all of my life. I want to believe in the promise of your Son, Jesus Christ who said, “Confess your sins and believe in ‘Me’ and you shall be saved”. I now ask for your forgiveness for every sin I've committed, and ask you, Jesus Christ to come in to my life and be my Lord and Savior…the Master of my life. I want the Holy Spirit to live within me and fill my heart with the love of Christ. I ask you Lord to change me and heal me so that I might be pleasing and acceptable in Thy sight…a Holy God!
You are my Creator and my God.
Thank you Lord. Amen!"
If you truly meant that prayer within your heart – be assured that you can call yourself – a ‘Child of God!’ You are now what is known as ‘saved’ – meaning if you were to die today, you can also be assured that the first thing you’ll see when you open your eyes is – God’s beautiful kingdom.
You've planted the seed in your heart and Christ is there right now. He will cultivate and care for that seed continuously, and like any beautiful plant or flower, the leaves will slowly and gently begin to unfold and blossom into the beautiful, peaceful, loving inner-being God wants us to be.
The Bible states two beloved and well-known verses that say it all:
In John 3:16 the Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
In John 14:6 the Bible (God's Word) says that “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
With Christian love - "May the peace of Christ fill your heart now and always...until His glorious return!"
Note: Whenever you are faced with 'opposition' or 'temptation', as a 'child of God', you can assuredly say with truth and conviction...
"Leave me Satan! You have no power over me! I rebuke you by the authority and power given to me by Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Saviour, the Master of my life!"
(Don't be surprised with the sudden 'chill ' or the quiet 'calm' that follows and comes over you! That's the 'signature of the Holy Spirit!')