December 18, 2008 by Stacy McDonald

Thoughts of Peace…

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“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord,
thoughts of peace and not of evil,
to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29:11) – God

Have you ever contemplated this verse? I mean really thought about it. God thinks thoughts of peace toward you – thoughts that give you a future and a hope. Wow!

Do you ever worry about the future? Do you worry about the past? Are you anxious about how your children will turn out, or things you didn’t do right when they were younger? Do you stress over money? Do you worry about whether or not you’re a good wife, mother, homemaker? Do you agonize over the real problems in your life – or even over things that don’t matter? And how does it affect those around you?

Since “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10), and “the fear of man brings a snare (Proverbs 29:25) it is clear what we should be doing.

As we learn to truly fear God, we forget to fear man. Focusing on His sovereignty puts things into perspective. Believing in His greatness helps us to acknowledge the smallness of everything and everyone else. And dwelling on the overwhelming love God has for us empowers us to face the fears that threaten to paralyze us.

“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.” (Psalm 91:5-6)

When those late night fears assault your sleep and whisper in your ear, here’s what you can do: don’t listen. Yep. I know it sounds too easy, but it’s true. Remind yourself that worrying is a sin; it is an unfruitful use of your time. If there is any sin related to your fears, then repent and move on. Don’t try to “pay penance” by agonizing over the “if-onlys.” Repent – turn your back on the sin and turn to God. Don’t dwell on your sin (or its consequences); dwell on God.

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments…He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:1-7)

Begin to think of God’s greatness. Dwell on His love for you and the many ways He has blessed you. Remember His mercy and the way all things (including our past sins) work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Yes, He even uses our sins – He redeems them and uses them for His glory. Begin to thank Him aloud for all the marvelous things He has done.

“I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.” (Psalm 9:1)


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17 Responses to “Thoughts of Peace…”

  1. Tricia says:

    Thank you for your ‘thoughts of peace’, they touched my heart. Merry Christmas

  2. Bethany Hudson says:

    Stacy- I have a dear friend who has suffered for decades with a clinically diagnosed anxiety disorder. For personal reasons, she didn’t want to be medicated, but rather used the verses that you put here (plus a few more) to help her cope with the anxiety. She still suffers from her disorder, but is very capable of coping now, and it is beautiful to see what God’s perfect love which drives out all fear has done in her life.
    ~Bethany

  3. Mrs. Imperfect says:

    Stacy,

    This is an excellent and timely reminder for all of us to trust in Him!

    During this season especially, I encounter so many women who are stressed out about making the “most” of the holiday, comparing themselves to how others do things, and feeling like they are not measuring up!

    Worry is absolutely NOT going to help – in fact, it really does hurt us!

    The beauty of God, of course, is that when we know Him and trust Him, we realize that we don’t have to worry at all! Whew! What a relief that is, when you finally do “get it” in your heart, not just your head! (Which comes through His grace, when we meditate on His Word, of course!)

    Thanks for such an inspiring and comforting post!

  4. Gina says:

    This was just what I needed to hear today. I have been going through exactly what you described in your first paragraph. And the opening Scripture was placed in my heart yesterday… this is only a confirmation to me that God is ever aware of my battles and is working for my good. Thank you for posting this.

  5. Tully Family says:

    This was a very timely post for me- thank you for your encouragment!

  6. Amanda says:

    I have noticed a theme on your posts lately. It seems you have been writing excatly what I needed to hear/read. Thank you for posting this, it has truly comforted my heart!

    Blessings,
    Amanda

  7. Rina says:

    God seems to be putting this on my heart lately, too. The other night I was laying in bed thinking of all the mistakes I’d made during that day when God opened my eyes to what I was doing. SATAN is the “accuser of the brethren.” The Holy Spirit brings conviction, but never guilt. When I am critical of myself I’m agreeing with Satan’s accusations against me. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” So rather than continue to think of all the bad things I’ve been doing all day, I realized that I need to confess them, give them over to God, and allow HIM to change me. “He who has begun a great work in you will bring it to completion.” Thank you for this beautiful post and yet another reminder!

  8. Danita says:

    What a blessing your “Thoughts of Peace” was to me today! I am alwaya struggling with worry and fear over our finances! My husband has been disabled and unable to work outside our home for three years. The constant strain from worrying about money became too much of a burden to me. I HAD to give it to Jesus. The other day my husband suggested a possible new business venture. Because I was no longer scared, I was able to wholeheartedly say, “Yes, let’s pursue it!” My husband thanked me for the change in my spirit, but I am thanking the LORD for it!

  9. Mrs. Rabe says:

    Amen!

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts!

    Merry Christmas to you and your dear family!

  10. Step says:

    Stacy, Thank you for this most timely post today. I’m struggling with worry and anxiety right now because I’m waiting for some medical test results. Since it’s Christmas time, it has taken longer for the hospital to contact me. The waiting is so hard, but there’s no sense to fretting about this. God’s will be done. He is in control and the odds are very good that everything is quite normal. Your post here was a great comfort to me.

  11. Emily says:

    Our family has been going through a rough season. My husband has been unemployed for over a month and it looks like the only job he can get requires him to travel and be home 2 weekends a month. Eck! It’s not at all what we want for our family but the Lord has opened no other doors. In fact He closed the one door we thought was open. I have spent many a sleepless night trying to turn my worries into prayers. Thank you for touching my heart with you encouraging words for our Father.

  12. Jennifer says:

    Lovely, lovely post Stacy :) I’ve needed a reminder myself lately.

    Bethany, that’s a great story! My anxiety is nowhere near that of your friend’s, but I have had issues which have been treated wonderfully with God’s Healing and medication. Some Christian authors have helped me as well, the main ones being Elisabeth Elliot, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Rothschild and Joni Tada.

  13. bonavita says:

    What beautiful and hopeful thoughts . . . thank you for sharing these scriptures. I hope your Christmas season is full of lovely blessings!

  14. Mom_E says:

    Thank you, Stacy. This was straight from the Lord for me today. Thank you for being the vessel used by Him.

    Blessings,

    Sarah E.

  15. Mrs. Lady Sofia says:

    Thank you for this lovely post, which reminded me that I need to put more of my faith and trust in God and not “man” (i.e., the world).

    I am really trying to put ALL my trust in the Lord, but it’s not easy when I keep wanting to add my own “two cents” worth. Well, God doesn’t need my help. I am the one that need HIS help. Therefore, God only needs my trust. He also desires to have an intimate and special relationship with me.

    At any rate, thank you for this timely and well needed post.

  16. Gloria says:

    Stacy,
    This is very well said. It is true that God is so great and awesome. He loves us so much and is concerned for us. He wants to help us in everything if we will just turn to Him.
    I was blessed by this post.
    Blessings,
    Gloria

  17. Don and Rebecca Fizell says:

    Hi Stacy,

    This was a very encouraging word for me today. It spoke right to my heart. Thank you! : )

    ~Rebecca

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