By: Norm Rasmussen
If you are a born again Christian, God makes a promise to you that is nearly too good to be true, yet it IS true.
If you are NOT a born again Christian, you are missing out on one of the most precious blessings God has for you once you decide to BECOME spiritually born again. It’s called the “Peace of God that surpasses our carnal understanding.”
Let’s read what the Holy Bible has to say about this “peace”:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
Let’s dissect this scripture to dig the rich treasure from it … to try to help folks gain full understanding of what God the Father promises to followers of His Son, Jesus Christ:
Here’s essentially what God is trying to communicate to us: “Don’t get all stressed out about issues you’re dealing with. Otherwise, worry and and/or fear will usually slip in and the devil will try to convince you” that you need to do everything on your own because God doesn’t care.” Once you believe you have to do everything on your own to solve the troubling issue or issues you are being confronted with, you faith in God goes down the drain, which leaves Satan smiling.
God is specifically telling us in the scripture passage of Phil. 4:6-7 that He eagerly desires for disciples of Jesus Christ to bring every troubling situation to Him in prayer so they can experience His supernatural peace that God will either remove or change your troubling situation, or make a way for you to be courageous enough to get through the issue you’re dealing with with minimum collateral damage, and often no damage at all.
TALK ABOUT A CARING GOD!
Yet you may be facing death through persecution. God will even give one of His own peace about being killed if we will take the time to ask Him for it and trust that He will provide it, which He will.
Yet there is an important requirement in seeing God grant us peace when we need Him to provide it. We need to THANK Him before we end the prayer we’re praying. We need to THANK Him for hearing our prayer in the first place, and we need to thank Him for any wisdom and/or divine providence He wants to impart to us regarding the situation we are facing, and we need to thank Him because it is God’s way of seeing us give honor to Him … and BELIEVE me – God wants to be honored by us!
When speaking of the 10 commandments, in the very first commandment, we are told to love God with all of our being. We are NOT loving Him with everything in our being if we are not being thankful to Him.
In one sense, I have been fortunate to not have a proper connection to Jesus Christ until around age 35. For those first 35 years of life of living outside of most of God’s blessings, let me assure you, I could tell you of many different times where I was plagued with worry and stress and even some fearful situations that I would wish on no one.
I’ve been spiritually born again now for about 32 years as of this writing. I could share of many different trials where worry and fear would try to hold me down when I first got born again, because I experienced a lot of attacks from Satan just for being an enemy of his. Yet through various trials, I’ve personally experienced the peace of God in the midst of these trials as I’ve prayed to God about it, so I KNOW that Phil. 4:6-7 works just like it PROMISES!
I’ll give you one example of many I could share. A few years ago, I was driving to Holland, Michigan to drop off some DVD’s of our weekly testimony TV broadcast God has called us to do, and I observed a hitchhiker up ahead. I had an impulse to stop and offer him a ride, yet quickly dismissed it because I was running a little late. I drove past the hitchhiker and probably got about a quarter of a mile past him when the impulse to pick him up grew much stronger, and I believe the Holy Spirit spoke to me to turn around and give him a ride. So I did.
“Where you going?” I asked him.
“Going to the Holland Mission if they have a spare bed. I’ll stay there until I can figure out what I can do.”
I was quite certain I could smell alcohol on his breath, but couldn’t be positive. The guy was probably around age 35 of medium build. He was dressed decently and didn’t fit the mold of your every day down and out hitchhiker. He had a backpack and a small suitcase he was toting.
We made small talk – feeling out each other – but I KNEW I was to say something to this gentleman other than just small talk. I was praying under my breath to God as to HOW things were supposed to go, and I felt He told me to share with him my born again testimony. Okay – but how am I to get around to doing that, Lord?
Immediately the thought came to mind to ask him why he was hitchhiking, so I did. He began to share with me that he was a registered pharmacist but his wife got tired of him staying out late at nights and coming home drunk from too much drinking. He went on to say that he had come home after work a few hours earlier and the house was locked up and a note was left on the door for him – notifying him that he was no longer allowed to live in the house and that she had filed for divorce. She had left him the suitcase he was carrying full of a few clothes, and the backpack with a few of his personal belongings on the door steps.
We were nearing the outskirts of the city of Holland and I asked him if he had any idea WHY I had picked him up in the first place. He had no idea.
“The reason I picked you up is because God wants me to share with you my born again testimony before you get out of my car and walk into the Holland Mission. Would you be willing to let me share it?”
“Okay – but with one condition. You let me sip my vodka while you’re talking.”
“Fair enough,” I replied, and pulled the car over to the side of the road only a few hundred feet from the Holland Mission. As soon as I stopped, he undid his seat belt to get into his backpack that was in my back seat. From it he procured a pint of vodka. He asked me if I would like a drink and I politely declined.
“Okay,” he said. “Start talking. I’m all ears,” as he finished taking a good long pull off the vodka bottle.
So I began sharing my born again testimony with him. I finished the entire testimony – taking probably half and hour to share it, while he sat calmly listening to every word I said, though never looking at me even when I was facing him. Once I finished with the testimony, I asked him: “What’s your beliefs about Jesus Christ and why He died on the cross for mankind’s sins, if you don’t mind my asking?”
Instantly … and I mean INSTANTLY … he turned facing me and put both of his hands around my throat and began to squeeze. His eyes were big and bulging, and with a demonic snarl he said: “You sound just like my wife with this Jesus #$%&@#! Do you know I could kill you this very instant for even bringing His name up in my presence?!”
My mind went into survival mode and everything in me said to use my military training to break his grip from my throat before it was too late, but I quickly prayed silently to Jesus as to what I should do exactly. Instantly I heard a strong voice inside my mind say:
“Tell Him he can’t kill you unless I allow Him to, and tell Him he’s not allowed to so don’t worry about it.”
Upon hearing God say that to me, a strong peace replaced the fear so quickly … I could hardly believe it! Thus I responded in faith and said to him, “No you CAN’T kill me because Jesus just told me He wasn’t going to allow you to, no matter how hard you try.”
His grip around my neck began to quickly loosen, and he placed his shaking hands and arms on his lap. He quickly finished off the pint of vodka and said he needed to get inside the Holland Mission before they closed the place for the night. I knew it was just an excuse to get out of my car, but God didn’t tell me anything more to do so I just let him open the door and start to walk away.
“I’ll be praying for you to get connected with Jesus,” I yelled out to him, though he never turned around and acknowledged that he had heard me. He just flat wanted to split from my presence.
Now in all honestly, I didn’t thank God for handling that situation until I drove away, but there are times when we need God to act quickly on our behalf and thanking God doesn’t always come to mind in those split second situations we are faced with, but that doesn’t change the fact that we need to thank Him for His help as we pray to Him – usually sooner than later so we don’t forget.
Twice in the last few years I have stared death smack dab in the face and peace flooded my being each time. Each situation evolved around heart issues which I won’t bore you with the details, other than to say that it truly is a peace beyond comprehension to know that if your time is up here on earth, you KNOW who you will soon be with: Your Creator and Savior. Fear of death truly has no hold on me like it once did before I was spiritually born again. How precious it is to have peace about your eternal destiny when your time is done on this planet. Only a relationship with Jesus Christ can obtain a peace like that.
More and more, we are being bombarded by stressful situations we are faced with in this crazy evil world we live in. God knew how evil – how uncertain - it was going to get, and He was thoughtful enough to give us a remedy: Using Philippians 4:6-7 to be granted His peace no matter how much the world seems to be flying apart in a million different which ways.
Don’t leave home without His peace. Don’t walk into your house without having His peace. If you don’t have a house to leave or come home to, still do your part in knowing how to be given His peace. ASK for it. Be THANKFUL for it. Patiently TRUST that He has your best welfare in mind now that you’ve done your part by including Him in your difficult situations.
God has told His people that it is NOT Him who gives us a spirit of fear (which often includes worry; anxiety). Rather, He has given His people a Spirit of love, power, and a sound mind, but sometimes we have to engage in battle before we fully realize what He has given us and how we’re to operate in it.
Just to be aware: Sometimes He doesn’t immediately grant us His peace unless we are willing to seriously examine ourselves to see if there is anything that God wants us dealing with in our lives. Disobedience on our part can bottleneck and restrain His peace from invading us.
1 Peter 5:7 (KJV) says: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.
What say we take full advantage of His offer?
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