No this is not an advertisement for Essential Oils.  :)

Have you seen all the EO's lately with these great titles though?  There's Valor, Stress Away, Believe, Faith, Clarity... and so many more that just make me laugh a little.  Yes, Essential Oils have been proven to help in many ways and I do actually own quite a few, (actually way more than my hubby would probably like) and I'd LOVE to rub a little oil on me and have great Clarity in life!  :P

But in this blog post today I just want to talk to you about finding REAL and lasting "peace and calming" in our daily lives.

If you look at the picture above you see some of the things that can prohibit us from having peace. Anxiety, stress, tension, hyperactivity... and many more.  I'm sure you can add to that list.  We live in an age of high stress for everyone from the old to the very young.  Stress about work, stress about school, relationships, money... you name it, we can worry about it!  I wonder if sometimes (not always) we put these pressures and expectations on ourselves though...

I made this bible journaling page last week when we found out the great news about Rebecca.(see blog post below)  Here's what I wrote on IG:  "I will remember this day as a day of such help from the Lord! 🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻Because He replaced my fear with such peace, and then total JOY! All day I was trying to TRUST and not be scared. Literally had to be in constant prayer about things... I kept thinking and praying "ok Lord, you know my prayers, but help me to accept your will, no matter what. Fear can be so strong and yet at the same time you can FEEL the calming peace of Jesus just taking over. I sooo love that and need that.😊He wants to be our refuge and help. Not just in our deepest times of need but every moment of every day! Thank you Lord for your help, and thank you Lord for answered prayers!!"

In the verses above in Isaiah 41 it says multiple times "Fear not, I am with you...  Fear not, I will help you... Be of good courage... I will help you, says the Lord."  The Lord wants to strengthen us, He wants to help us, and He UNDERSTANDS our needs.

So first off, let's be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that we all worry and fear things.  I don't think there's a single person who hasn't felt stress in their life.  (Unless they are the most "chill" person ever,  lol)  So I don't want you to think this is about feeling bad that we have stress and worry.  I'm hoping you don't think I am preaching about the ills of not having peace in your life... I'm here to tell you that with the amount of bible verses in the bible talking about this subject, you KNOW it's something the Lord knew would be an issue for us and He wants to help us with this struggle!

My daughter is currently writing an essay about stress while under an enormous amount OF stress!  Pretty ironic, right?  She even said to me yesterday "It'd probably be a good idea if I listened to my own advice"  (sorry to throw you under the bus here girl... my answer:  "Yes dear... it would" :)   But honestly, worry and stress are hard to let go of!  Even to the point of hearing our own "words of wisdom"  and reading research about the subject and still having a struggle with it.  Why is that?

I had a thought about this last night...  I wonder if worry and the resulting stress are a habit?  Something we form after "practicing" it in our lives. (more on that later)  Can we then "break" the habit?  Can we find ways to cope. Can we understand the things we are doing that contribute to the stress? Are there ways to break free of this habit and find lasting peace and be calm?  Can that be the new norm or habit instead?

I say a resounding YES!

So what then can truly help us break this cycle?

Let's look at some practical ways mentioned in the bible to help us.  Because I firmly believe there is everything we need in God's word to provide hope and help in our daily lives.

In Philippians 4:4-9 is says this: 

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  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 minds in Christ Jesus."

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you."

Wow, there is a lot of goodness in those verses.  I'm sure there are so many bible studies about dealing with stress and finding PEACE, and why the enemy loves to attack us with stuff that causes us to worry...  Joyce Meyer has a good one if you want to read hers.  But I wanted to focus on what spoke to me in Philippians 4 because it's so chalk full of good stuff!

First off, something hit me after reading these verses for the umpteenth time...

"PUT IT INTO PRACTICE!"

I think we skip over that little saying because it's at the end of these verses.   But it is KEY.  It wraps up what is being said in the previous verses and tells us what we NEED to do in order to HAVE peace.  Listen to what He says after that:  "AND THEN... the God of PEACE will be with you!"  Hello?  Did you hear that?  And then...if we do this...

So I looked up the definition of the word Practice:

  1. 1

    the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use.

    "the principles and practice of teaching"

    synonyms:applicationexerciseuseoperationimplementationexecution 

  2. 2

    carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly.

    "we still practice some of these rituals today"

    synonyms:carry out, performobserve

See?! I like #2.  If we put into PRACTICE, it will become a new HABIT!  Ok, we're getting somewhere...

So let's see what we should put into practice:

Philippians 4:4 tells us to REJOICE.  Not a little, but again and again.  Now do we always rejoice people?  Not I.  Can we probably find things to always be rejoicing about?  Yes, I'm sure of it.  Should we then possibly look to the blessings in life more on a daily basis then focus on the bummers of life?  You know the answer...

In Philippians 4:5 it tells us to be GENTLE.  I think of gentleness as how we are around a new baby or a little puppy.  I kind of forget this word in everyday situations.  (Especially in the morning when my little one shouts from upstairs that she can't find any clean uniform bottoms... lol)  So my gentleness is supposed to be evident to ALL.  I could stand to work on that.  Are you gentle in your interactions with others?  Even those "others" you have a hard time with?

Next in Philippians 4:6 it says not to be anxious (stressed, worried, etc.) about ANYTHING... and be in PRAYER.  Now growing up in the church and a christian home I thought I knew what prayer was.  We prayed at every meal.  We prayed at our school, at church and before we went to bed.  And those are all great prayer times.  But as I grew up and grew closer to the Lord and my parents faith became MY faith (a very important step in everyones faith) I have learned that prayer is a connection, an interaction and conversation with our God.  It's a two-way street!  We can talk to the Lord and pour out our hearts and know that He is there to listen, to respond and to meet us right where we are. Psalm 34:17 says: " When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles."  It's a constant conversation, not a quick morning shout out... I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have this in my life!  Do you?  Do you know that the Creator of the Universe LOVES YOU and wants to have a real conversation with you!?

At the same time in Philippians 4:6 when he is saying to be in prayer, he is also saying to be THANKFUL.  "with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."  Even in our deepest stress, in our deepest hurts and needs we need to come to Him with thankful hearts!  That's a big one, I know.  Not always easy to be thankful when something bad is happening. I always think of my dad and what an AMAZING example he was with this.  He had headaches EVERY day of his life from about 30 until he died last year.  Painful ones.  He found out he had a brain tumor when I was 10 years old!  He went through two surgeries, countless radiation treatments, pain every day of his life... YET he THANKED GOD for all of it!  Oh my... how is that even possible I ask myself?  Because I know he loved the Lord so deeply and had total peace in his life.  Wow, I'm getting emotional just talking about it.

But you want to take away that STRESS and replace is with "Peace and Calming" right?

Here's how Philippians 4:8&9 ends it:

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you."

Be True

Be Noble

Be Pure

Be Lovely

Be Admirable

Practice these things.  They are all positive qualities!  Maybe we think of these as some noble Character out of an old comic book.  Are these qualities relevant today?  Can we BE these things in our present society?  Will we be laughed at for being pure... YES.  Will we be looked at as weird if we are noble?  You bet.  Today's society wants to glorify sin and demonize TRUTH.  Is being "lovely" a thing of the past? or Admirable? 

What I'm telling you, scratch that, what the BIBLE is telling you to do isn't easy.  But do it anyways...

Peace from the Lord will come at a price.  You are going to look different to the world.  You are going to shine light that this world doesn't see much of.  But that's OK.  Your PEACE will be like a beacon of light and that's what it should be!  Others WILL notice and some may not be ok with it.  Some will gravitate towards it.  But guess what...

You will have PEACE!

Guaranteed. 

The GOD of PEACE will be WITH YOU!

So let's start a new habit.  Let's all practice these things...  

(I'm going to get my daughter to read this as her "research" too... :)

Let's TRUST the Lord with all of it.  I know it's not easy...  but it's SO worth it!

I LOVE this song by Lauren Daigle and I think it's perfect for this topic.

 

Have a GREAT day everyone!

Hugs,

Laura

P.S.  Next week I want to dig deeper into the idea of hearing the Lord speak to us...  Hope you'll come back and check that out too.  

 

 

 

 

 

Comment