… peace

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A couple of things came to mind when I found this promise. The first thought centered around unworthiness in relationships & the other is more about having a Biblical world view of life.

One thing I love about all of my relationships is the good in them. Every person I have a relationship with is a benefit to me. They are good for me in some way or another. And, I pray that I’m a benefit to those around me, as well.
The thing is, our circumstances, pasts, & world views can effect our definition of what it means to truly benefit from and be a benefit to another.

Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships where we have nothing tangible to give to repay or contribute to a relationship. We are embarrassed and constantly question the purpose of being involved in such a relationship when we feel more like a hefty liability than an asset. We feel inferior & wonder how we can even be wanted.
Then there are times, when we are the one to constantly give in such a relationship. And, become frustrated, annoyed, self-righteous, and arrogant in our position.

That is when, if we truly look at our relationships from a Christ centered perspective, we can truly learn what it is to be like Christ. We can see how possible it is to be loving, compassionate, forgiving, and faithful in serving while being taken for granted or just unable to be given back to.

This promise reminded me of just how much I am given in both quality and quantity and how I could never give God anything that would compare to what’s He’s done for me. Quantity for sure but in certainly in quality. How can a sinner, someone who is broken & useless, a repeat offender ever be able to give someone such as GOD! anything that would be of much worth? But, yet He gives and gives and gives good gifts freely and without reproach. And, He does this for my benefit. With no complaints or condemnation even in my sin.

He’s given us an example of how selfless acts of love motivated by a Christ centered faith can change someone’s life – just as He is changing ours. Luckily for us, if we humble ourselves enough, we will see that the relationship we have with someone who is unable to give much in return, is able to teach us lessons that are worth much more than anything money could buy. We learn to sacrifice, to love as Christ loves us, and to be patient. We learn how to persevere and act in love even when we are tired and drained. We learn that the most joyful & truly fulfilling moments are spent serving and being drawn closer to God. We benefit from those we are sacrificing for. We are able to recognize the bigger picture that is the backdrop of the gospel.

This verse also reminded me of all the times we, well, I, have been drawn away from the glory of God by the faux shine of the culture. Now believe me when I say, I do enjoy nice things and have nothing against any of it or those who take part in enjoying them. If I did, I would be a complete hypocrite. Lol.
But, lately I’ve been struggling with the concept of more. More stuff, more access, more of this or that. Nothing bad within itself but detrimental when it causes feelings of discontentment. I realized that my focus had shifted from appreciating what God has blessed us with and seeing how He is moving in our lives to looking at what seems better. I forgot that He is truly more than enough, His grace sufficient, and His peace a sure thing. That the life He has given me can be completely and overwhelmingly fulfilling and more than anything I could have ever thought it could be. The sacrifice is worth it.

God says He gives to us in a way that is not of the world. His gifts come with price tags that are marked out by the blood of God and covered with grace. The world gifts us when we are “on” and takes away when we have fallen. The world’s gifts come with strings that constrain and control. But, not the gifts of God.

He tells us that He has given us HIS peace. A peace that calms us – a clarity that allows us to see past the hurt, confusion, and dysfunction of any situation and see God standing right next to us. His peace allows us to walk in faith, trusting that His plan is full of His grace and it encourages us to seek Him even when things are scary or difficult. We know that He will be there for us on the other side. His peace confirms that even though right now things may be bad, His glory will be seen in the end & we will have been molded and shaped into exactly who He has designed for us to be.

His peace is better than any temporal fix that we could ever find in the world. It is solid, pure, and lasting.

Why trouble our hearts with costly gifts in ways that overshadow finance when we have a priceless gift of salvation in one who never stops giving good and perfect gifts?

Why would I have such issue with giving when I’ve been given so much extra? Why aren’t I moved to give more? Why become frustrated at someone in need? Someone who holds the same position I do? We’re both unable to do good on my own and be better without guidance and see things from a certain greater perspective of what could be in the future “if I would just…..” (Btw, saying “just” is always much easier than doing “just” anything).

… here’s to seeing God’s glory in every situation and realizing how merciful He is in our day to day! I pray that we are able to take even more cues from the greatest example and challenge ourselves to focus more on Christ than we do our own situations.

Smile.
He’s good, right!?!

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