Overwhelming Peace Beyond All Understanding | June 25th, 2019
Have you ever gotten to a point in life where you feel completely overwhelmed? Like there is this colossal tidal wave swallowing you and you can’t seem to come up for a gasp of air no matter how hard you try?
Overwhelmed happens when you experience mental or emotional strain from a challenging circumstance. When you feel overwhelmed, you may experience intense emotions such as worry, helplessness, anger, anxiety, or perhaps even a panic attack.
The challenging circumstance for you may be keeping a clean and organized house. It may be staying out of debt by sticking to a budget or making sure all the bills are paid on time. Perhaps it’s finding time between working and taking care of your family to take care of yourself by planning healthy meals and exercising so you can feel healthy or lose the extra weight you’ve been carrying around for way too long.
There are many reasons why you can end up feeling overwhelmed. You know what they are. But God never desires for you to live in a state of worry or anxiety. He wants you to run to Him with whatever it is – even if it’s the Mt. Kilimanjaro pile of dirty laundry that you don’t have the energy or time to deal with. He cares about all of it!
He will take your stress, guilt, inadequacy, and whatever else you are feeling and give you perfect peace. An overwhelming peace. He is your Rock of safety.
From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety. Psalm 61:2
In order to have this perfect peace, there are three actions you must be willing to take, all found in God’s Word.
1. Grow in Your Relationship with Jesus
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2
Perfect peace comes from knowing Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. The more you understand who He is, the more peace He will give you for your mind and spirit as you rest in His goodness, faithfulness, power, and wisdom, knowing He is in full control of everything.
You gain that knowledge and understanding of who He is by spending time reading His Word, the Bible. Everything He wants you to know about Him is in His love letter to you. He greatly desires for you to have His perfect peace so you can fulfill His purpose for your life to be a blessing to others, not just living life focused on all of your stress. He made you for so much more!
If you set out to seek peace for your mind and heart in the world, you may find that it offers plenty of ideas which may sound pretty good…meditation, finding an “inner light,” incorporating healing crystals, visualization, or even sitting in the “Peace Position.” But it is all so deceiving. The world completely ignores the true source of peace which is Jesus Christ.
In John 14:27, Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.“
The world’s peace is dependent on having everything going well and in your favor. But when things are not going well, that “peace” is quickly gone. Having a relationship with Jesus allows you to be able to give Him your heavy burdens of worry and anxiety so you can experience His perfect peace.
Expository preacher and scholar Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910) had a deep devotion to Christ and His Word. Every morning at 9:00am he would enter his study to prepare his sermons. Before he started, he would kick off his slippers and replace them with heavy outdoor work boots so he would be reminded of the hard work he was about to do.
I love his explanation of the kind of peace the world gives…
The peace that earth gives is a poor affair at best. It is shallow; a very thin plating over a depth of restlessness, like some skin of turf on a volcano, where a foot below the surface sulphurous fumes roll, and hellish turbulence seethes. That is the kind of rest that the world brings.
How grateful we can be for the authentic, lasting peace Jesus gives us when we truly know Him and have a relationship with Him.
2. Keep Your Mind Fixed on Jesus
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
When your mind is fixed on Jesus, it is centered and focused on Him and not on all of your challenging, ever-changing circumstances. You trust Him – you lean on Him with all of your burdens because you know His character never changes. When you trust, you are relying on Him. You admit you are weak and need His strength to keep you steady.
I remember traveling out of the country and being on an over-crowded bus with standing room only. I reached for a sturdy pole near me just as the bus was beginning to take off. I was so grateful for that solid, immovable pole because I would have completely lost my balance and fallen over if I had not had it to hold onto.
You can never steady your own life except by clinging to something strong and sturdy that will not shift. And that something is Jesus. Everything else is fleeting and unstable but He is always dependable and unfaltering.
When the big tidal wave of stress and anxiety seems as if it is about to swallow you, simply put all of your trust in Jesus. He will make sure you are securely anchored to Him and He will not let you drown.
The promise of having peace in our lives is one of the deepest longings of the human heart. Yet, we often give in to
If you want overwhelming peace in your life instead of overwhelming stress, you must be unwavering in your trust, keeping your mind fixed on Jesus. Don’t go back and forth like the waves of the sea between trusting Him and trusting what the world offers in the form of superficial peace. You must be committed to waiting on Him in all the challenging areas of your life so He can fill every part of your being with that steady flow of genuine peace.
3. Pray About Everything with Thanksgiving
Don’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
God is your friend. He wants you to pour your heart out to Him – whatever those worries are that weigh on you. Big and small. That is what you would do with a close friend who truly cares about all that is going on in your life, right?
When He says to pray about everything, He means it! I have had people tell me that God doesn’t care to have me share the little things with Him because He can’t be bothered with such insignificant matters. That couldn’t be further from the truth! If we don’t tell Him about the little things, our communication and intimacy are limited and there will be very little of our lives we would tell Him about at all! The trivial things are what our big anxieties are made up of.
Although He already knows every detail of your worries and knows them even better than you do, He still wants to hear about them from you. He is a very personal God who desires to have a close relationship with you because He made you and He loves you. It glorifies Him when you ask Him to interact with you in all you are going through. That is what makes your relationship with Him more intimate and personal.
If anything is significant enough to cause the slightest anxiety, it is significant enough for you to talk to God about it. The closer you are in your relationship with Him, the stronger your instinct will be to share the details of your life. Complete openness with God is evidence of a right relationship with Him.
The other important part of sharing your anxieties with God is giving Him thanksgiving for the mercies and goodness you have received in your life. You will never run out of things to thank Him for! When you focus on all He has done for you, from providing for your needs here on earth to providing an eternal Home for you in heaven, it provides a calm to your heart, mind, and spirit and a definite sense of peace.
You cannot expect to fully enjoy future mercies when you are not even thankful for those you’ve been given in the past and present. Just like when you express thankfulness to someone for doing something nice for you, thanking God is a way of humbling yourself. Your attitude is not one of entitlement, but of thankfulness for the undeserved blessings He has graciously poured out on you.
I have been making more of an effort to acknowledge God’s goodness in my life by saying, “Thank you, Lord!” whenever I notice something to be thankful for. I find I am saying it quite a bit because He continually showers so much of His goodness on me! It takes less of a conscious effort the more you thank Him because it begins to become a natural part of your daily interaction with God. This has created a much more grateful heart in me that has led to more peace and less focus on my worries.
Pray about everything, with thanksgiving, so His peace will be a guard around your heart and mind from all anxiety. It cannot be explained or comprehended. You just need to do it and experience it for yourself!
I love to collect old pieces of vintage costume jewelry to use for repurposing in a new, contemporary way. Not long ago, I found a beautiful set of deep blue clip earrings and a brooch from the 1950s that was stamped W. Germany on the back. Interestingly, it was created soon after WWII was officially over, during the beginning of a new era of peace in their country.
The blue was so intense, reminding me of the ocean. The ocean that can cause so much turmoil on the surface as the waves crash into the shore, yet so much peace if you dive down deep. Much like your relationship can be with Jesus. The deeper you plunge into knowing Him, devoting your time to Him, giving Him your complete trust, sharing the details of your life, and expressing your thankfulness to Him, the more peace you will experience. It’s a peace that is overwhelming and goes far beyond all comprehension and understanding.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
Grow your relationship with Jesus by talking to Him about the challenges in your life, big and small. He wants to hear about them all!
Sparkler #2: Action
Thank the Lord for the mercies He gives you each day. Look for them in every circumstance. Humble yourself with an attitude of thankfulness.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
Increase your trust in Jesus so you can fully lean on Him, experiencing His perfect peace, by spending time getting to know Him through prayer and reading His Word.
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