Friday, August 7, 2015

Can You Have Joy & Peace In Today's World?

The short answer is yes. The more detailed answer is: In Galatians, Paul was writing to the church about how they were living. Chapter 5 is where he told them some ways to live and some ways not to live.

Chapter 5: 22-23 gives us the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. "Against such things there is no law.", he finished with.

I want to specifically talk about joy and peace. Because these are the two things that our enemy steals from us. It happens easily and quickly sometimes.

Happiness is based on circumstances. We are happy when things are going good, normally. McDonald's even capitalized on the word by making a kid's meal a "Happy Meal". 

Joy is what we should aim for. Let me tell you why. Joy is in your spirit. It's always there. Sure, we can allow it to be stolen. Or we can ignore it and let the bad scream in our face instead. BUT the joy is there and doesn't necessarily leave. Joy is finding the good, even a bad situation. Joy is knowing that things will be ok even when they look horrible at the moment. Joy is well, it's joy. It's so much more than happiness ever could be.

To me, peace means calm. Very rarely do I have calm around me. My work can be a busy place, especially on days if we are having an event. My house is rarely calm with three teenagers and way too many dogs. 

Just like joy, peace is something down in our spirit. We can have peace when all hell is breaking lose. Because we've got a Heavenly Father who is there and knows what's going on.

I think I wrote about this already, but it comes to mind for me again. When we were driving to Atlanta to what we thought was pick up our son and come home, I kept getting phone calls. Consent to treat at the ER of the first hospital, then the doctor calling and giving me the news about the skull fracture and Blake's first ambulance ride about to happen.

After I knew about the ambulance ride, our children's Pastor called. He and Blake have a close relationship. I think it's a mutual father/son type friendship. Jason felt so bad. He said, "I was right there with him, then I went to get dinner." I think he thought if he would have stayed it wouldn't have happened. That's not true. If he would have stayed, it would have happened...he just would have been there to witness it and help Blake afterwards.

Anyway, Jason told our Youth Pastor's wife that I was so calm when he called that night. I'm not sure if it was calm, peace, or shock. Let me tell you. When you are in a situation like we were, all I could do was trust God. I have never felt so helpless as a mom. But I knew that God had my son and He was with him, and that things would turn out for the best.

In my Jesus Calling devotional today, the last paragraph is awesome: "My Peace is not an elusive goal, hidden in the center of some complicated maze. Actually, you are always enveloped in Peace, which is inherent to My Presence. As you look at Me, you gain awareness of this precious Peace."

If you are in need of a dose of joy or peace, seek God and ask Him to bring it to the front of your heart. He will. Ask Him to remind you that He has a plan for your life, and it's a plan to prosper you, not harm you. Ask Him to give you peace and help you through whatever you are dealing with. He will. 

Remember that Hymn, "It is well with my soul"? The writer lost his family in a boating accident. But he accepted it and moved forward. The first line is "When peace like a river, attendenth my way.." He had peace, even in that horrible loss. So can you.

Life as a Christian does not guarantee you will have smooth sailing... it does guarantee that your Captain knows how to get you through the storms.

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