Living on Purpose, Feb. 3
True peace and joy is only a prayer away
By BILLY HOLLAND
It is spiritually reassuring to know that we are not alone in this world. Our gracious heavenly Father has promised his children that he is interested with even the tiniest occurrences in our life and has promised to be with us always. Matthew chapter six mentions how he knows what we need before we even ask him. This spiritual insight brings comfort and peace to our souls as we realize that God is constantly aware and always concerned about us.
I was teaching a Bible study the other day and closed with a song called, “God will take care of you.” I love this old hymn and its simple yet profound message of security and assurance. In these troubling times, we know the world is changing and there are many people that are very worried about where it’s heading. As many are hoping our nation can become great again, (whatever that means), let us agree that our highest priority should be to follow God’s voice. When mankind only listens to his own dreams and imaginations, there is always a lack of true contentment and security. As Christians, we cannot afford to be saturated with doubt and negativity, but rather need to realize when we try to hold our frustrations and problems, it will only increase our fear and anxiety. God loves us and desires to deliver us from stress and discouragement in order that we might live in peace.
Our spiritual armor is described in the sixth chapter of Ephesians, and in particular, verse sixteen mentions about the shield of faith that offers protection against the different types of evil arrows and attacks from the enemy. This is not to say we will not be involved in warfare, but at least we can be prepared. The reality of having a defensive barrier is truly a blessing but for it to be activated, we need to understand that it is our responsibility to believe it and incorporate it into our daily walk. Is there more to this shield? Another aspect is developing the discernment to recognize a spiritual ambush and then asking for wisdom to know how to deal with it. I personally believe the constant bombardment of information is another type of attack that is overwhelming our mind and causing us to be distracted from our mission. The strategy of the dark-side is to keep us twisted in knots and spinning around in circles with panic and confusion. As we discover how to avoid negativity and manage our time more wisely, we can learn not only how to survive — but to thrive!
I Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your cares on him, for he cares for you.” Here we see a loving and compassionate God calling us to come and give him our worries. We can bring these heavy weights of concern and anxiety to Jesus today as we humbly and simply trust Him. Matthew chapter eleven declares, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” A yoke is a device that connects horses or oxen to a wagon in order for them to pull a wagon. God is explaining here that he never intended for us to pull our wagons of worries by ourselves, but rather to give it to him. Being critical and negative has never helped anything, as listening and speaking are two different skills. He is the Almighty, the all-powerful ruler of the universe and has more than enough authority and power to manage the world he created. He promises that by faith, we can release our fears and stress through prayer and worship, and be refreshed and renewed which enables us to once again enter the race and continue our mission. Jesus is waiting to restore the joy of your salvation today as you consider he is only a prayer away. “Come unto me, all of you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest for your souls” Matthew 11:28-29.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author, outreach minister and community chaplain. To learn more visit: billyhollandministries.com