Last night my friend Maureen left a quote from her Study Bible that is a paraphrase of Philippians 4:7. Here is what she wrote on her Facebook page:
“True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings. It comes from knowing God is in control”
For a lot of people, they feel that they are in control of their lives — that the reason they are doing well is all because of their doing. Of course, for a lot of people, the reason they aren’t doing well is not their fault — it is, inevitably, someone else to blame for their misfortune.
It is, in my opinion, the ultimate form of denial to look at the world — all of the incredible things that we take for granted, such as air, lungs, the ability to breath, the ability to have children, to witness those children being born and growing up — and not acknowledge that God is at work in our lives. For many of these people, they don’t even acknowledge the existence of God — to them, it’s all because of science, that the evolution of the human race is all because of some big bang that caused all of this to come into being.
The way I see it, the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian isn’t really all that much — in my case, I make a lot of the same mistakes that many other people make. I sin, I think of myself more often than I should, I don’t give God thanks enough for all that He has given to me, and I don’t turn to him to help me out as much as I should. In short, I view things from my “self” perspective, thinking that I can take care of it all. Many non-Christians are much the same. The difference, though, is that eventually I realize that I haven’t been turning to God like I should, and I do just that — I bow my head, I pray to my God, I confess to Him the sins I have committed, I ask him to forgive me, I tell him how grateful I am for all He does for me, and I ask for the things I need help with.
As soon as I do that, the greatest gift in the world is given to me — God’s Peace descends upon me, into me, into every essence of my being, and immediately my worry is gone, my anxiety is gone, my cares are lifted away.
Now, I’m not saying that my problems are totally taken care of for me — that is not the case. I still need to deal with the problems. But, I’m able to do so because God is on my side, and He helps me take care of those problems. Most of my problems are because of my sins — and while those sins are forgiven, the one thing you need to remember is that all sin has consequences — the greater the sin, the greater the consequence.
Now, please read along with our prayer requests, and pray for those.
- Please pray for my sister-in-law Nancy’s Mom Sherry. Here is what Nancy wrote on Facebook:My mom is in ICU — long story short — yesterday a cyst on her kidney burst and now they’ve discovered that she’s got a fatty tumor on the same kidney that will be removed. (Monday? ) Please keep her in your prayers.
- Please pray for my friend Frances and her family. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:Please say a prayer for my family. We have buried three loved ones in the last week and half. We just got news that an Amazing Aunt is in the hospital after attending my grandma’s funeral. She is currently in Chattanooga and has fluid on her lungs and her liver plus additional complications. She was in the hospital a few days ago and they took off 2 liters of fluid off her stomach and her lungs. Her kidneys are functioning at 23%. Thank you in advance.
- Please keep my friend Dee’s father-in-law in your prayers. Jim is being transferred to Hospice care, so please lift him, his wife Margaret, and his children up in your prayers.
And now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.