Please forgive our inconsistency in posting! We’ll try to finish out the month without too many more holes and delayed posts. 🙂 Anyway, on to the next post from our memorizers…. (Yes I KNOW that’s not a word.)
“Finally… a moment to myself!”
I let out a long sigh, partially of relief, but mostly of exhaustion, as I entered my quiet bedroom and locked the door behind me. The familiar sights of my grandmother’s old antique lamp, my sister’s full bookshelf, and best of all, my Bible lying open on my bed, seemed to beckon me to share in their quiet simplicity. I plopped down at my desk and sighed again. It had been a long and busy morning. It hadn’t been a bad morning… just a long one, and I was exhausted. I stared at the pile of books and papers on my dresser that still awaited attention and my eyes wandered from there to the pile of laundry sitting on the floor, the package that was waiting to be mailed – and my neglected memory work, pinned to the wall above my desk. Maybe my quiet bedroom wasn’t so relaxing after all. Discouraging? Yes. Big time.
Have you ever noticed how quickly discouragement follows exhaustion? Satan knows how vulnerable we are when we’re tired. “Lord, why am I so discouraged?” I spoke from a heavy heart. As I thought back over the past few weeks, I realized I could pinpoint many other times when I had felt like this. There seemed to be a pattern here… was it something I was letting myself slip into? “Lord, I feel like I’m stuck here in this darkness and I can’t get out. How do you deal with discouragement? How can I get free from this? I know there’s nothing You can’t conquer. How do You conquer these feelings of defeat?” The question seemed to hang in the air. My eyes wandered to my memory work. I scanned the words listlessly. “’For He Himself is our Peace…’ Hmm. I guess that’s what I need – peace.” But wait… Had I missed something? If Christ IS our Peace… then… when we have Him, we should have peace… right?? That was a new thought.
I knew I was saved, so therefore, technically, I “had Christ.” But I sure didn’t have peace – not right then, anyway. There must be something I was missing. That led me to the question, what exactly is peace, and how can we have it – like, really have it, so that we will be truly victorious over discouragement? I knew Jesus doesn’t give only partial victories, so I was sure there had to be a lasting answer here. If only I could find it…
I decided to do an extensive study of ‘peace’ in the Bible. Needless to say, it was FASCINATING! I wish I could share with you everything I learned, but there’s just way too much – and I’m not even finished with it yet! But I do want to share one thing I learned by simply digging into the meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words for peace. All the Hebrew words for peace (and there were several) have to do with wholeness, completeness, soundness, and well-being. The Greek word for peace (there were several of those too, of course, but they all had the same root) means to join together, producing welfare. (Please note: we are not referring to government welfare here, but rather to a state of being well and whole. Just thought I’d clarify. J) However, when I looked up ‘peace’ in Webster’s dictionary of the English language, I was confronted with an entirely different definition. “Peace – a state of calmness, tranquility, and freedom from discord (in a nutshell).” The conclusions I drew from the preceding statements I will quote from my journal entry: “John 14:27 says, ‘Peace I leave with you; MY peace I give unto you; NOT as the world gives, give I unto you…’ My peace, the peace of Christ, is not as the peace of the world. It is not of the same origin (Christ), nor of the same nature. We often emphasize that it is not of the same origin, but seldom that it is not of the same nature. The nature of Jesus’ peace is wholeness – the nature of the world’s peace is tranquility, calmness, and freedom from discord. The world’s peace is centered on us – Jesus’ peace is centered on Him. The world tells us that we have peace when we are calm, composed, at ease, and free from disturbing or disquieting outside forces. Jesus tells us that we are at peace when we are made whole – by Him. When we are perfected – like Him; when we are joined together – with Him. When we are made complete – for Him, and fit for His use. Over all, His peace is based on Himself. Is that not a great comfort? He is constant, and we are not. A peace founded on One who never fails, will not fail, but will last through eternity. A peace founded on those who fail constantly will never last, but bring constant discouragement and defeat.”
Discouragement is a choice. In Christ, we have peace – wholeness, soundness, and completeness – in other words, all we need to maintain a happy, healthy frame of mind at all times. Satan wants us to think that we don’t have all we need, so we will choose to be discouraged by what we think we don’t have – such as time (ahem). The irony here is that the more time we spend moping about the time we don’t have, the less time we will ultimately end up with. Discouragement is choosing to believe the lies of Satan such as, we aren’t good enough or we can’t ever get anything done. But we can battle these lies with the truth of Christ’s peace – that in Him, we are complete. We have all that we need to accomplish all that He wants us to do. We are more than conquerors over the strongest temptations; because we have been made whole – we have been joined together with the One Who can never be defeated! Let Christ preach the truth of His peace to you, and don’t let Satan suck you into the lie that you have good reason to be discouraged.
“For He Himself is our Peace… And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near.” Ephesians 2:14a & 17
~ Anna Joy