So… you read all that stuff I typed yesterday? Well, seems I’m scrapping all of it, and I went with the following verses for the kids: Philippians 4:6-7, and 1 Peter 5:6-7.
Be anxious for nothing,
To clarify, we aren’t telling anyone that it’s not good to be scared. You can be scared, but the point we’re about to make is that you don’t have to stay scared. And how can we pull this off? Well, because of Christ’s finished work we have the following opportunity and privilege:
But in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
In the Old Covenant our being able to have anything to do with God was dependent on our behavior and our actions. We’d have to offer sacrifices and do all sorts of rituals for us to be heard; and here’s the thing – this was only IF we were His people in the first place. For the Old Covenant was exclusive to the people of Israel primarily, and even if we, who came from other nations and civilizations, would try, we’d immediately be cancelled out.
Here we have another reason to give thanks to God. For in His perfect timing, and because of His great and everlasting love for all of humanity, He sent His Son – Jesus Christ was born, He lay down His life, He rose from the dead, and He ascended to the heavens and into eternity. In so doing He reconciled us – not only the nation of Israel but Jew and Gentile alike, but He reconciled ALL men, now and forever. Because of what He did Christ made it possible for us to enjoy the opportunity and privilege to speak to God, knowing (1) we have full access to the throne of grace, and (2) He listens to us and gives each and every one of us His utmost attention.
That’s essentially all that prayer is – communion, communication with the Creator of the Universe and of all things seen and unseen. I mean, take a moment to take in all of what this means – God knows all that there is to know about you and your being, from the moment the thought of you was conceived, down to today that you are formed and continue to be formed and reformed; He knows all there is to know about you, from your greatest of potentials to your most devastating of failures, all your victories and defeats, all your wins and losses. He knew ALL this and He still cared for you, and not merely cared for you but LOVED you with an everlasting Love… and we know this, first and foremost, because of Christ and all He has done for us!
So in thanks and appreciation and recognition of all that Christ has done, you can come as you are to God in His throne of Grace, running to Him with no pretentions or fear, calling out to Him just as a child runs to his loving Father. You can come to Him with your most petty of requests, and your greatest of burdens; He hears all your concerns, according to how you know your situations… Christ made it so you can speak, and God certainly listens.
But that really isn’t the end of the verse! For see, you can go ahead and pray,
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Folks, there’s a certain peace to be had when you confide with someone you trust with something you couldn’t just tell anybody… but man, when you choose to confide and trust in the Creator, the Maker of the skies, the suns and the heavens… let me tell you, the peace that’s to be had in knowing that you let God in on your problems and your solutions, the peace to be had in entrusting the Lord of Lords who knows all there is to know of all things, entrusting Him with your hurt and your pain and your fear and your frustrations… well, they wouldn’t stay any longer than the peace, and the everlasting peace that follows.
We shouldn’t only say ‘Rest In Peace’ as a way to console the bereaved – no, not at all! When we are anxious, when we are frustrated and/or indecisive, folks, these are the BEST times to pray! And in our praying, well, it just follows that we rest, and we rest in peace, knowing that God is on the case.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
But sure… I understand. There will be times when all that we read or write is hard to recall, considering the sheer magnitude and/or number of things that are going on. They aren’t necessarily all bad, but they all demand our focus.
There will be times when even praying couldn’t calm us down, no matter how long or strong we shout out to the Lord… and even then, let us remember always to take a deep breath. For we can still rest in peace, knowing that this same God, who as I said knows all there is to know about us – He certainly also knows all that’s going on around us, certainly more than we could ever know, down to the smallest and most minute of details… and, friend, guess what – He knows all that’s going on, down to the fact that it’s tearing our focus and our attention apart, and He cares for us.
Even if we don’t feel it, His peace is always keeping us. This same peace which surpasses all any conventional reasoning or understanding we may try to muster for ourselves – it’s the same peace that holds us, it guards our hearts and minds. And is it a peace to have, like an object or item? No, this peace comes through no less than the Prince of Peace who is literally with us at all times – The peace of Christ holds us together.
Let us have peace in these times of overthinking, and in these times when our minds are in so many places and situations at once, knowing that even during these times, He is present, and not to watch for when we fail, but He is with us, encouraging us – He cares for us.
Folks, if there’s anything that we ought to remember from this, it’s that
(1) We pray till our fears fade, and we pray till the peace prospers.
(2) Even in the times when we find it hard to pray, we ought to know that it’s in these times that God cares for us.
I have something to write for the next message to share with the kids, but I’ll leave it here for now.
Till the next post, God bless you.