Dear Ones,
Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Another beautiful summer day and I cleaned, went to Aldi’s, and to my exercise class this morning. Al and I will enjoy our walk on the trail this afternoon and so many wildflowers keep popping up.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Peace can’t be bought for a price but is a gift of the greatest worth. Imagine a picture in your own mind of peace and what that would look like to you. We recently stayed overnight at the cabin and woke to the most beautiful sunrise. As I looked out on calm waters, loons swimming by, and a cloudless sky it was so magnificent and peaceful–a sight to behold. I thought of the greatness of God who created all of this for us to enjoy. But by contrast, I was reminded of how the enemy wants to rob our peace, distract us, and cause us to live in fear and anxiety. I had just read statistics the day before on the mental health crises in our country. One in three people show signs of anxiety and depression. Emotional distress jumped 1000% from the year before and the suicide rate keeps getting higher and higher.  Only God can replace our anxiety with deep down inner peace that is not dependent on circumstances. Paul knew that for when he wrote to the Ephesians he was under house arrest and writing to a church that had external pressures from false teachers, and problems within the church of people acting selfishly. But Paul said in Phil. 4:6-7 (The Message): ”Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Yes, we all have concerns and problems but God is there to help us overcome them and we need to focus on Him rather than our fears. He can use meditation, counseling, exercise, medications etc.  Great help is especially found as we turn to the Word and feed on the promises that He is with us, He will give us strength to overcome, He will hold our hand and carry us through whatever turbulent times that hit us. It is also helpful to join with other Christians so we can be mutually encouraged in our faith and pray together. (Even if it has to be on the phone). Let us not stress but seek the One who is peace!
Challenge for today:  Give your anxieties to the Lord and trust Him to work things out.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy