Living on Purpose: Resisting the temptation to be discouraged
Posted Jan. 24, 2022
By Dr. William Holland
Recently, I had an opportunity to chat with a wonderful lady as she shared with me about her health issues and other concerns. Suddenly she stopped and wanted to know if she could ask me a serious question. I said of course, and she proceeded to relay that she felt silly asking me about salvation, especially with her being a church member since she was a child. She wanted to know how she can know that she is going to heaven? I do not believe this is anything to be embarrassed about, in fact, it’s rather common as I examine my own heart and soul often. I could sense the heaviness of doubt was stealing her spiritual joy, and this stress can escalate into fear and anxiety. I spent some time reminding her about the spiritual fundamentals of faith and salvation. I suggested that she be honest with God and tell Him how she feels. After I left, I continued to think about how easy it is for any of us to drift away from the peaceful harbor of hope and spiritual confidence and how important it is to keep a positive perspective and remain focused on God’s perfect truth that can never fail.
The opposite of peace is being anxious and we often experience fear and worry when we are uncertain about what is going to happen. This negative energy has the intention to consume us and control our mind and will continue to haunt us until we choose to battle against it. Spiritual warfare is a reality, and it’s the believer’s responsibility to call on the Lord for help as we defend against being overwhelmed by the darkness of panic, pity, and depression. Living in divine peace is not something that happens naturally and like optimism is a learned behavior. People or circumstances cannot dictate our thoughts unless we allow it. Everyone is held accountable for their choices with how they respond and react to every situation. We realize we need to trust God and that He calls us to stand strong in times of adversity, but this state of mind will require persistent prayer and self-discipline.
Faith believes that nothing surprises God which includes Him understanding the trials and pain we are suffering. Being convinced that Christ will intervene and provide for us along with accepting that His authority and power is greater than any problem that might threaten us will bring comfort and assurance. Constantly reminding ourselves that God is listening, and that He is aware of everything that is going on in our lives is the path to trusting and resting in His perfect peace and security. Psalm 29:11 declares, “The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.” There is no greater confidence or joy than to be filled with God’s presence. Spiritual peace is far beyond our physical emotions as His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His love and compassion is stronger than what is tormenting us and chases away our worries and distress as He floods our hearts with courage and fortitude.
Be encouraged today, Jesus is victorious and His promises are guaranteed to quiet our soul and replace our restlessness with safety, confidence, and calm. Proverbs 3:24 reminds us, “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” One of the many names for Jesus is the Prince of Peace and soon He will return and establish His kingdom of purity and joy for all eternity. We celebrate this truth and look forward to experiencing the freedom from conflict and chaos, but we do not need to wait until then to embrace this lifestyle of trust and hope. If we choose to abide in God’s presence no matter how intense the storms are raging, we are safe under the shadow of His protection. The world is growing darker but the increase in confusion cannot diminish God’s truth on which we stand. It’s only when we drift away from His promises and lean on our understanding that we become troubled and perplexed. Give him your worries in exchange for His tranquility. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7.
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