Peace That Surpasses Understanding

“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 NIV

We will not find peace in the things or people of the world…if we do it will be fleeting, a moment in time that will be gone again.  God has told us in this world we will have trouble…this means all of us.  Just because you don’t see the trouble someone else is experiencing doesn’t mean they have none.  Our refuge and the giver of peace that lasts is God.  Put your trust in Him every day and you will find peace that surpasses understanding.  Amen.

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Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness[d] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Trust And Pray

The Lord is gracious, kind and tender.
    He is slow to get angry and full of love.
The Lord is good to all.
    He shows deep concern for everything he has made.”

Psalm 145:8-9 NIRV

No matter what, anything is possible with God.  If you are discouraged or defeated and thinking this is never going to change or get better…turn towards God, put your trust in Him.  Confess your sins and make a commitment to change the way you live.  If you are frustrated and at your wits end with another person don’t give up…pray for them and be encouraged by story of Saul who became Paul…Saul was filled with anger and hate and he was leading the charge to kill believers in Jesus and yet this was the person God chose to change to help lead the charge to spread the Good News about Jesus.  You can read more about him in the book of Acts.  If God can change Saul to Paul, He can change you or someone you are praying for just the same.  Anything is possible with God.  Amen.

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“But I will bless anyone who trusts in me.
    I will do good things for the person who depends on me.
They will be like a tree planted near water.
    It sends out its roots beside a stream.
It is not afraid when heat comes.
    Its leaves are always green.
It does not worry when there is no rain.
    It always bears fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIRV

(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Do What It Says

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35 NIV

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Galatians 5:13-15 NIV

It is one thing to read or listen to the Word of God…it is the next step in your faith journey to do what it says.  We can go our whole lives reading the bible and listening to God’s word in church and if we never put it into practice in our lives…what have we accomplished?  The bible is filled with Action words and many of them came directly out of the mouth of Jesus Christ.  We are to go and do what He commands us to do.  May His peace go with you.  Amen.

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Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

James 1:22-25 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 on Beartooth Pass in Montana)

Believe…Overcome

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.”

1 John 5:1-2 NIV

Believe in Jesus Christ, confess your sins and seek Him.  He is the Way…He is with you and He will strengthen you to overcome anything in your life.  Trust in the Lord and you will find peace.  Amen.

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In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. 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 5:3-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

A Solid Foundation Of Faith

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 18:2 NIV

Even though the world knocks you down, your faith will see you through.

What Faith Can Do by Kutless

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“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalms 37:3-4 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Do Not Worry

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?”

Matthew 6:25-27 NIV

It can consume us if we allow it to…worry.  What does it do for us?  Nothing.

We have a choice; we can sit and worry and stew about things or we can make use of the time we have by meeting with God about these things and trust in Him to guide us and lead us.  Do not worry, seek the Lord and you will find peace.  Amen.

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But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:33-34 NIV

(This photo was taken in April of 2020 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Attitude

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

It is your choice what attitude you present in the world, what you believe and what actions you will take.  You can choose to let the circumstances in the world and what other people think, say and do drag you down and respond in an unpleasant way…or you can choose to believe in God’s Word and to follow Jesus Christ and His attitude and be encouraged by good things that you and others can do.  The choice is yours everyday with every sunrise.  Amen.

This Could Change Everything by Francesca Battistelli

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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 it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 while traveling through western Minnesota)

Time For Reflection

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:1-8 NIV

The truth about life is we will see troubles in this world.  Jesus tells us directly in John 16:33, that trouble will come…not maybe or they might come…you will have troubles in this life.  So, if we know life is hard, we should be more focused on how to get through our troubles and see what we can learn from them so we can share with others.  God has provided the Way through difficult times…Jesus, His Son our Savior and God’s Word will guide us and see us through.  Think about a trial in your past…looking back where do you see God in it?  Trust in the Lord and persevere through trials.  Amen.

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“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:12 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Be Still

“Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields[a] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Psalm 46:8-11 NIV

Be Still And Know by Amy Grant

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“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

(This photo was taken in April of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Believe

“When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” [21] [a]

Matthew 17:14-21 NIV

Believe in Jesus, confess your sins and seek to grow your relationship with Him.  He loves you; He is with you and He is for you.  Seek Him first every day and you will find joy and peace.  Amen.

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“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:29 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Arches National Park in Utah)