I rolled over in the dark and looked at the clock. 3:30. I sighed. Likely I would lay there wide awake for a couple more hours, longing for sleep. Then, right on cue, my mind started down the grim track of the calamitous and terrifying state of world affairs...the political mess...family troubles…disappointments…memories of difficult times (why can’t those stay in the past?!)...
Familiar? I’m sure you’ve had your own troubled nights when you feel the dark weight of despair and fear grip your heart. Why are things always worse in the night? The new day doesn’t always bring improvement and it’s hard to shake off the cloud of gloom.
It tells us in the book of Daniel that in the end times the enemy will ‘wear out the saints’ (Daniel 7:25). Pretty well describes it, don’t you think? We get worn down from the battles, and long for clean, simple times of peace.
So what do we do? I’m reminded of David in the Bible. It tells us that when things were dark and dire, he ‘encouraged himself in the Lord’ (1 Samuel 30:6). Pretty amazing considering his whole army was ready to kill him and he needed an answer right now.
So in my quiet time this morning, I realized I had to take myself in hand and get back to what was true. Get myself refocused on the Lord and use the tools he’s given me to stay in his peace.
Here’s what he reminded me:
to fear notDon’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NLT)
to trust HimTrust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)
to keep my mind focused on HimYou will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)
to rejoiceAlways be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NLT)
to thank HimGive thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)
to prayDon’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
to know that today will be filled with new merciesThe steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)
If you’re struggling to find peace today, take these wonderful promises as God’s personal word to you. Encourage yourself in the Lord with them, and I think you’ll find fresh strength and a renewed perspective. It’s his promise!
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