I am a firm believer in keeping my peace. A practice it every day. No matter what may come my way at any given time, I respond with a peaceful countenance. I don't allow worry or fear to infiltrate my being because the God whom I love and serve has promised time and again that He would never leave me nor forsake me and that in His sight all is well. I don't question God's Word. By faith I believe it is true and by my experience with Him from times past, I know that God is faithful to keep every promise that He has proclaimed in His Word. (Hebrews 13:5) (Hebrews 11:1-3)
If you are one who questions God's purposes in the tough times, I would encourage and challenge you to look through your eyes of faith and trust that whatever may come your way, it will be to your benefit in the end. Don't allow the circumstance to steal your joy and peace. Don't allow the temporary to cause you to worry or fear, but rather use that energy to give God praise that He is with you, and hold on to your peace no matter how hard it is trying to be taken away from you. The Bible declares in Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Trust is stronger than worry or fear because trust has confidence attached to it. When we are confident in something, we believe in it and we trust in it and that is what I believe we should do towards the Lord. (2 Kings 6:15-17) (Psalm 37:1-8)
I encourage you again to keep your mind stayed on the Lord and keep your peace. Don't murmur, don't complain, don't worry about what isn't in your control, but trust the One who is in control of all things. He is our faithful provider. He is our faithful sustainer. Have an attitude of praise all the days of your life and let God know that you are confident in Him above all else and that is when you will see miracles take place in your life. Remember what the Bible declares in 2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him...” Have your heart and mind attuned to the Lord and you will have peace that surpasses all understanding. (Psalm 61:1-4) (Philippians 4:6-7)
I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to be at peace in every situation and trust that all things will work together for your good in the end.
“Are you sure they taste all right?” I asked my husband Terry as he took his third bite of my scalloped potatoes.
As he put the lid on the casserole, he told me once more that they were just fine. As a new bride, I was having trouble with my husband's choice of words. Fine can mean so many things. Like fine to eat or fine if you are not comparing it to my mother's. His vague statement did little to reassure this new bride if the potatoes were worth eating.
But as my husband honked the car horn, I knew that was my signal that we must be on our way. So with sweating hands -- not from the heat of the casserole, but from nerves -- and a racing heart, I was off to our first potluck dinner. This was our first, not only as husband and wife, but also at our new church in the city. And, since it was in the city, I thought scalloped would be better to take than just plain mashed potatoes.
When we got to the basement, I hoped that I could sneak my casserole in. But no such luck! One elderly man wanted to check out what was in my pot, as he teasingly told us he only eats food when he knows what it is, as well as who made it. Then there were the ladies with their laundry baskets of food. Many of them carrying their beautiful baked goods in the prettiest baskets I had ever seen. I was so embarrassed that I only brought the potatoes, as well as a pitcher of lemonade in a recycled milk jug
Feeling a little uncomfortable because I didn't bring very much and not knowing a soul besides my new husband, I joined the back of the line that had formed quickly after the preacher gave the blessing. I found myself wondering if we'd ever fit in this city church of 220 members. That may not seem like many people, but my home congregation had a membership of 20 -- and that was on a good Sunday. I had also been among family.
Homesick and hungry, I waited in line.
As I got closer to the food, I noticed most people were getting food from one silver pot. Curious, I lifted the silver lid to find navy beans and memories of home. Surrounding the pan were little bowls of sweet onion (my mom's favorite), homemade tomato relish (like my Granny made), and wedges of cornbread (just like my mom had showed me how to make for my first 4-H project.) But as I glanced down in that big pan, there was only a small amount of beans left. Did I dare do what I wanted and scrape the pan clean? Or should I be polite like my mom had raised me and leave the last bite for someone else?
She must have read my mind, because the owner of the pot smiled at me and scraped that last bit of beans in my bowl.
“Hi! I'm Ruth. Sure nice of you to come tonight and for helping me get rid of that last bit of beans. Now I can go wash it!” as she took her pot to the kitchen.
As I ate that bowl of beans and cornbread with sweet onion and homemade tomato relish, many of the church's members stopped by and introduced themselves. But instead of feeling uncomfortable, I was at ease. Isn't it amazing what our favorite comfort food can do?
As my husband packed the empty casserole dish back in the car, he smiled at me as he said, “Told you everything would be fine.” This time I knew what fine did mean. Not only had my scalloped potatoes been fine, but this new church was going to be just fine too. It may be a church in a city, but it was full of fine people who had down home menus as well as manners.
Especially a lady named Ruth and her pot of beans.
By Stephanie Ray Brown
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
1 John 4:18-21 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love Him, because He first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
Psalm 28:6-8 “Blessed be the LORD, because He hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him. The LORD is their strength, and He is the saving strength of His anointed.”
Psalm 34:11-15 “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry.”
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today's Selected Poem: TRUE LOVE AND PEACE
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem177.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: THE DAY THE ANGELS REJOICED
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony133.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry