Posts Tagged "Peace"

Finding a Sense of Peace in Unsettled Times

Posted by on May 19, 2020 | 4 comments

Finding a Sense of Peace in Unsettled Times

A sense of peace is hard to come by in these strange days we’re living. Life has a surreal quality and I’m not alone in wondering if things will ever be close to normal again.

 

 

 

 

Finding a Sense of Peace in Unsettled Times

A 2MefromHim Devotional

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

A sense of peace is hard to come by in these strange days we’re living. Life has a surreal quality and I’m not alone in wondering if things will ever be close to normal again.

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 #peace #Jesus #fear Click To Tweet

When I Lack a Sense of Peace

Unsettled thoughts interrupt my prayer time. Matters that were priorities before the quarantine seem amplified by new concerns. I sometimes feel close to tears. We’re separated by social distancing, confused over health guidelines, and our country seems more divided than ever. My heart cries, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” Often, I wonder what God is doing through the COVID-19 crisis, earthquakes, fires, and unrest.

Often, I wonder what God is doing through the COVID-19 crisis, earthquakes, fires, and unrest. #COVID19 #fear #God Click To Tweet

A Sense of Peace Demonstrated

As I contemplate the mountain views spreading out from my window, it’s obvious that nature isn’t disturbed. The birds sing without care. The trees turn greener by the day. Nothing in the natural world has changed. I’m reminded of Matthew 6, where Jesus reminds us that the birds neither sow or reap, the flowers of the field don’t labor or spin because they know their heavenly Father will take care of all their needs. (Matthew 6:19-24)

I’m not to worry about how our economy or health will survive the pandemic. My hope isn’t in health or government officials. Hope comes from God, the loving Father who knows everything I need. Worry won’t add a moment to my life but it might subtract a few. Stress over relationships, money, or future plans can only bring me harm. My heavenly Father knows what is coming. He sees the future as clearly as he sees today and has seen the past. God’s knowledge of my needs at every moment of my life is perfect. His plans to provide are already in place. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Hope comes from God, the loving Father who knows everything I need. #provision #hope #anxiety Click To Tweet

Regaining a Sense of Peace

When Jesus spoke to his disciples before the crucifixion, he knew the dangers they faced, the uncertainty and persecution that would come. He knew their faith would be tested and their hearts confused. They would be afraid and he would no longer be with them in physical form to comfort them. Yet he promised to leave them with peace nothing like they had ever known—a peace that could overcome anything the world brought against them.

The early Christians faced a world every bit as uncertain as our own. Death threatened them because they believed. Yet John wrote, “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:4-5)

My task is to remain in the peace of God. When I feel upset, my thoughts must turn to his promises. My certainty rests in Christ alone. My sense of peace resides in the Prince of Peace who lives within me. I will overcome.

My sense of peace resides in the Prince of Peace who lives within me. I will overcome. #trials #pandemic #Jesus Click To Tweet

© Copyright Norma Gail Holtman, May 14, 2020

About the author:

Norma Gail - AuthorNorma Gail writes Fiction to Refresh Your Spirit. Her contemporary novels, Land of My Dreams, which won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award, and Within Golden Bands (releasing May 19, 2020), explore the theme of women whose faith triumphs over trials. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, Inspire a Fire, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Historical Writers of America, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 44 years. They have two adult children. To connect with her, you can follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, BookBub, or Amazon.

 

 

 

 

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Sweet Surrender: Learning to Trust God

Posted by on May 5, 2020 | Comments Off on Sweet Surrender: Learning to Trust God

Sweet Surrender: Learning to Trust God

Surrender becomes sweet when we recognize that God’s ways are higher and better than ours. How much time I waste in worry and concern, only to discover I was wrong.

 

 

 

Sweet Surrender: Learning to Trust God

A 2MefromHim Devotional

 

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

Surrender becomes sweet when I recognize that God’s ways are higher and better than mine. How much time I waste in worry and concern, only to discover I was wrong. God always has a better plan.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9 #Godisgood #wisdom #faith Click To Tweet

Jesus’ Surrender vs. My Failure

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that if it was possible, the cup be removed from him. However, he said, “Yet not as I will, but as you will,” and then surrendered peacefully to his enemies—and to the will of God.

Many recent situations have sent me to my knees. However, my prayers are often based on personal desires. I shoulder the same burdens I should have left at the foot of the throne as I leave my quiet time. And I have no peace. Every aspect of my life is affected. Worries haunt me like ghosts.

Surrender from God’s Perspective

When Joseph’s brothers sold him into captivity, he didn’t worry and whine. He demonstrated acceptance and surrender, living to glorify God in one difficult circumstance after another. His story ends in blessing.

By the same token, one of the sadder accounts is that of Samson, who satisfied his own desires despite the call put on his life from before birth. We’ll never know what might have happened had he surrendered to God.

Elisabeth Elliot, widow of the martyred missionary, Jim Elliot, writes, “To pray, ‘thy will be done.’ I must be willing, if the answer requires it, that my will be undone.”

Charles H. Spurgeon wrote, “My situation is urgent, and I cannot see how I will ever be delivered. Yet this is not my concern, for He who made the promise will find a way to keep it. My part is simply to obey His commands, not to direct His ways. I am His servant, not His advisor. I call upon Him and He will deliver me.”

What blessings might God grant if I surrendered totally to him? #surrender #blessings #self-denial Click To Tweet

Answering the Call to Surrender

I attempt to advise God when I pray for a situation to resolve my way. In Philippians, Paul wrote from prison, “what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” What might God might accomplish in me, through me, or in someone near me if I surrender my will to his?

When I pray “not as I will, but as you will,” my burden is lifted. The surrender is sweet. May I learn to surrender rather than advise.

The way to peace is complete surrender to the will of God. #trust #obedience #peace Click To Tweet

© Norma Gail Holtman, May 4, 2020

About the author:

Norma Gail - AuthorNorma Gail writes Fiction to Refresh Your Spirit. Her contemporary novels, Land of My Dreams, which won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award, and Within Golden Bands (releasing May 19, 2020), explore the theme of women whose faith triumphs over trials. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, Inspire a Fire, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Historical Writers of America, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 44 years. They have two adult children. To connect with her, you can follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, BookBub, or Amazon.

 

 

 

 

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When God’s Perfect Peace Eludes Me

Posted by on Apr 28, 2020 | Comments Off on When God’s Perfect Peace Eludes Me

When God’s Perfect Peace Eludes Me

When perfect peace eludes you, where do you turn? In these days of home quarantine, social distancing, job loss, a divided country, and general unrest, it’s easy to lose my focus on the One who promises perfect peace.

 

 

 

When God’s Perfect Peace Eludes Me

2MefromHim Devotionals

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

When perfect peace eludes you, where do you turn? In these days of home quarantine, social distancing, job loss, a divided country, and general unrest, it’s easy to lose my focus on the One who promises perfect peace.

When God's Perfect Place Eludes Me scripture

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 #peace #Godisgood #COVID19 Click To Tweet

God Reveals Perfect Peace

I gaze out my window at the quiet mountain scenery, where birds soar on the breeze, and patches of snow linger on the tallest peaks. What a picture of perfect serenity! My heart slows after fluttering with unrest while I prayed over situations that distress me. My breathing evens. Tense muscles relax. Nature can offer a glimpse of God’s perfect peace.

When God's Perfect Peace Eludes Me 1

Job 37:7 says, “So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor.” God never intended that we should live in stress and fear. When he is my light and salvation, the stronghold of my life, my refuge and strong tower where I can run for safety, I have nothing to fear. Therefore, when I feel a sense of unrest, it alerts me to the fact that I’m not resting in God. I need to cease my labor and concentrate on him.

When I feel a sense of unrest, I need to cease my labor and concentrate on God #stress #Quarantinelife #Godislove Click To Tweet

When God’s Perfect Peace Eludes Me, I’m Captive to Unsettling Thoughts

In reality, perfect peace has eluded me for a long time. Perhaps like me, you’re working your way back to that place of shelter and safety. Dissension in family relationships, life-altering changes, deaths, and my own tendency to fear traps me in a place of unrest, focused on people and circumstances.

When God's Perfect Peace Eludes Me 2

However, even though I spend time in God’s word, if I don’t let his words sink deep into the soil of my heart, they die like flowers in drought. Rather than standing steadfast, I’m captive to every unsettling thought that enters my mind. Can you identify?

Even though I spend time in God’s word, if I don’t let his words sink deep into the soil of my heart #scripture #meditation #faith Click To Tweet

When God’s Perfect Peace Eludes Me, I Need to Remember Who Holds Me Safe

Sometimes I feel like a sheep while a wolf stalks nearby. Yet, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Isaiah 49:16 tells me, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Jesus echoes the same thought in John 10, where he says that no one can snatch me out of the Father’s hands. Don’t you love the imagery of being held safe, like a little bird in the hands of God?

When God's Perfect Peace Eludes Me 3

I long to abide in Jesus so deeply that nothing causes my trust to falter. Therefore, if I must return to God’s word time and again throughout the day, I will do so. My place of refuge is safe in the Father’s hands. Will you try that this week when fear threatens?

My place of refuge is safe in the Father’s hands #security #JesusChrist #hope Click To Tweet

© Norma Gail Thurston, April 25, 2020

About the author:

Norma Gail - AuthorNorma Gail writes Fiction to Refresh Your Spirit. Her contemporary novels, Land of My Dreams, which won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award, and Within Golden Bands (releasing May 19, 2020), explore the theme of women whose faith triumphs over trials. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, Inspire a Fire, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Historical Writers of America, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 44 years. They have two adult children. To connect with her, you can follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, BookBub, or Amazon.

 

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Reconciliation and Healing from the Inside Out

Posted by on Mar 10, 2020 | 4 comments

Reconciliation and Healing from the Inside Out

Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily bring reconciliation. When angry words and actions lead to broken relationships, trust is destroyed. Trust is not easily regained.

 

 

 

 

Reconciliation—Healing from the Inside Out

2MefromHim Devotionals

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? Amos 3:3

Reconciliation scripture

Reconciliation appeared impossible. The gaping wound awakened me again. I flicked on the light and curled into my recliner, hurting, unable to sleep, and wracked with tears. A tornado of conflict and disagreement whirled through my brain, flinging splintered bits and pieces of my life and relationships through my mind. Everything I knew was changed, distorted, and destroyed. My heart was so wounded I saw no way I would ever be whole again.

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? Amos 3:3 #reconciliation #relationships Click To Tweet

I stared out the window into the night, watching as clouds scudded across the sky, covering the almost-full moon. The house shook in the howling wind, battered by powerful gusts, which echoed the storm in my heart. “Lord, I chose to forgive. I acted as you said, but nothing changed. Instead, much of my life appears to be based on lies. Where do I go from here?”

Forgiveness

As an illustration, hospitals isolate patients with infected wounds. Their sores are left open and cleaned frequently to rid them of contagion so healing occurs from the inside out. In the same way, forgiveness begins in the heart and eventually reaches the place where it can be offered to the offending person. However, forgiveness doesn’t necessarily bring reconciliation.

Forgiveness takes place between the person wronged and God, apart from the offender. Once I forgave, a sense of peace began to flood my life. I paid the price of forgiving those who injured me in pride, something I could well afford to pay. However, the relationships remained unreconciled because those who hurt me failed to take responsibility.

Forgiveness takes place between the person wronged and God... #forgiveness #Godislove #healing Click To Tweet

Reconciliation 1

God says reconciliation comes first

Before I chose to forgive, I was infected with bitterness. Hebrews 12:15 says: “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” A teaching leader in Bible Study Fellowship brought in a tree root wrapped around a sprinkler pipe so tight that water could no longer flow through. Much as Cain grew to hate Abel, anger festers into bitterness, cutting off the flow of love toward the object of our resentment. Notice the last part of the verse, “and defile many.” My anger and resentment overflows to the people around me and defiles them. They choose sides, get involved, and thus become victims of the corruption, which spreads like a plague.

Bitterness defiles and spreads like a plague. #bitterness #plague #relationships Click To Tweet

After I offered forgiveness to those who hurt me and asked forgiveness for my part in the disagreements, some of the hurt began to heal. Matthew 5:23-24 says, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

Reconciliation requires atonement

Reconciliation 2

Reconciliation requires atonement, a price paid for the offense. Angry words and actions that lead to broken relationships destroy trust. And trust is not easily regained. It requires time and evidence of change, often some type of reparation must be made.

A relationship can’t be restored if the offender refuses to seek forgiveness or acknowledge the wrong done. Speaking of Christ’s atonement for our sin, Hebrews 9:22 says, “the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” When I hurt someone there is a price to pay to regain trust and enable healing. The offender must accept responsibility, or continuing the relationship will result in more hurt. God never expects us to accept abuse.

What hurts do I need to forgive? What must I offer in order to heal a damaged relationship? Am I willing to humble myself that I might be reconciled to God and those I have injured?

When I hurt someone there is a price to pay to regain trust... #reconciliation #trust #healing Click To Tweet

© Norma Gail Holtman, March 9, 2020

About the author:

Norma Gail - AuthorNorma Gail writes Fiction to Refresh Your Spirit. Her contemporary novels, Land of My Dreams, which won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award, and Within Golden Bands (releasing May 19, 2020), explore the theme of women whose faith triumphs over trials. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, Inspire a Fire, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Historical Writers of America, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 44 years. They have two adult children. To connect with her, you can follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, or Amazon.

 

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Navigating Trying Times with Peace – 2MefromHim

Posted by on Jan 21, 2020 | 2 comments

Navigating Trying Times with Peace – 2MefromHim

2MefromHim Devotional

Navigating Trying Times with Peace

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world, you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.] John 16:33 AMP

John 16:34

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have (perfect) peace. John 16:33 Click To Tweet

Trying Times

Navigating trying times with peace—perfect peace, a fruit of the Spirit, and my word for the year. How I wish I had meditated on the Amplified Version’s translation of John 16:33 throughout the last two years. How I wish I had clung to words like “perfect peace,” “courageous,” “confident,” “undaunted,” “filled with joy,” rather allowing the enemies of “fear,” and “uncertainty,” to make me a “victim.” During my absence from this blog, life took on the dark colors of strife, struggle, and constant strain.

The New Year

My goal for the New Year and the new decade is to allow the Prince of Peace to reign in my heart despite navigating complicated outward circumstances. No more will I allow myself to be made a victim of strife inflicted by the words and actions of others, by wrong thinking, and difficult trials.

My goal for the New Year and the new decade is to allow the Prince of Peace to reign in my heart despite navigating complicated outward circumstances. Click To Tweet

God will guard my heart and mind, no matter the discord I face, and that peace is not of this world but from the Father. “Abiding victory” is mine because the Lion of Judah is my protector, my sword, and my shield.

Peace for Trying Times 2

Because God wants me to live at peace with those around me, I ended the old year forgiving and seeking forgiveness. I have no indication of the outcome, but I acted in obedience, became vulnerable, and stepped out in faith. The Lord will honor my obedience in due time because He is faithful.

People who should be close have moved to the fringes of my life. Things I once took for granted exist no more. I refuse to accept the new normal as final. But one thing I know. God was with me even when I failed to rely on Him as I should. I failed to claim the peace that is mine as a child of God, but He never left me alone.

I failed to claim the peace that is mine as a child of God, but He never left me alone. Click To Tweet

Peace

I move into the New Year and new decade with head held high. I will overcome in trying times because my Lord knew these things would happen and how I would respond. He carried me every step of the way. And He leads me into the unknown future with the promise of peace if I keep my eyes on Him.

We live in troubled times, and our world is infected with the disease of self-centeredness and entitlement. Because everyone looks out for themselves, Christians as well as non-Christians, evil stalks us, often in the guise of fellow Christians.

Because everyone looks out for themselves...evil stalks us, often in the guise of fellow Christians. Click To Tweet

Peace for Trying Times 3

God offers help for everyday trials, as well as earth-shaking disasters. He gives strength to walk against the tide of this troubled world. To those who are weary and heavy-laden, Jesus says to come and find rest for the soul. He offers assurance for the unknown trials ahead.

And in that, there is not only peace but hope.

God offers help for everyday trials, as well as earth-shaking disasters. Click To Tweet

Norma Gail - Author

Norma Gail is the author of Land of My Dreams, winner of the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. The sequel, Within Golden Bands, will release in 2020. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Historical Writers of America, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 41 years. They have two adult children. If you’re interested in connecting with her, follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, or Amazon.

 

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