Part 3 of 3
Here are some practical suggestions that really work:
1. Learn to function from a base of trust in God
Isa. 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on you, because he trusts in you.”
If you’ve read my blog series on “Real Faith”, you know that you can’t have faith unless you trust God.
I recently was visiting in the local hospital with the mother of a very sick young woman and spoke with a nurse (a believer) who is a friend of that family. I asked her if she saw many miracles on the surgical wing of the hospital where she works. The nurse, who is from Liberia, said: “No. What I see here in the US is that people put much more faith in the doctors than they do in God. So, they don’t see many miracles.”
We’ve got to choose to put our trust in the One who has credentials that surpass any specialized, educated, experienced, highly respected medical professional; the One who is responsible for providing the earth with the “stuff” out of which all medical treatments are derived.
2. ”Turn negative, peace disrupting thoughts over to God
2Cor. 10:4-5 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Once my husband, David, and I were house-sitting for some friends who owned a bed & breakfast, horse ranch. Our first day there I looked out the window and saw the horses on the front lawn instead of in the corral where they belonged. We went outside and tried unsuccessfully to chase them into the fenced-in area. Then my husband got a bright idea. He went into the barn and returned with a bucket of feed and a rope. One by one he approached the horses with the bucket; as they lowered their heads to eat the grain, David slipped the rope around their necks, one at a time, and led each one back to the corral. This is a good picture to keep in mind when thinking of what it means to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”. Picture each thought as a run-away horse being lead by a rope to Jesus – hand the rope over into His able hands.
3. Learn to turn to God in prayer on a regular basis,
Phil. 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
How’s your prayer life? It’s interesting how we are often prone to talk to everyone else about our problems and needs, but not to the One who can do something about them.
There once was a woman who wrote to me that her mother had a certain mental condition, which tendency can be genetically transmitted to offspring. She and her brother were worried that they might develop the same condition. I shared the Philippians passage with her and it gave her great encouragement. God has promised that when we “present our requests” to Him – with thanksgiving, He will guard our “minds”. Awesome!
4. Practice the presence of God.
Alexander MacClaren once said, “Peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of God.” More Gathered Gold, pg. 219
An elderly Christian was asked by some young believers what his secret of tranquility was. They asked him, “Don’t the temptations [to worry] that bother us come knocking at the door of your heart anymore?” He answered: “The temptations that trouble you do come knocking, but I answer: ‘The place is already occupied.’”
We need to learn to trust in God and remain in constant communication with Him so that we know that we are not alone in our situation.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago I came home a little numbed by the experience. I was not distraught or fearful or totally overwhelmed. I was puzzled about the reason for it. I don’t believe any experience we have in this life, good or bad, is a wasted experience.
When we returned home from the hospital after that diagnosis I retreated to my favorite prayer spot and entered the presence of my heavenly Father. There was such peace there. I presented my questions to my Lord: “How? Why? What now?”. He gave me several words – which have sustained me for these three years: 1. “This experience is not just for you – I will use it in others’ lives.” 2. “Don’t be afraid.” 3. “Wait on me.” 4. “Trust me.”
I can only rest in those words from God by practicing His presence daily. And when negative, peace disruptive things come into my life – in self-defense, I run into the protection of His arms, and put my trust in Him, who is still on His throne.
May our Father bless you and take you out of a place of worry into the place of peace, as He leads you beside still waters and restores your soul.
©2011, Marcy Alves