Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Peace of Mind"

Many things can distract our focus, comfort, and peace. These things might consist of health problems, financial problems, job problems, family problems, etc. What is bothering you? What is robbing you of your peace? Let me encourage you that God knows all about it and truly cares. If you know Christ as your personal Savior, then you can be assured that God cares about what is bothering you and can help you to again find peace of mind!

Let us consider today three verses from 1Peter 5. 1Peter 5:5-7 " Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (6) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (7) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." Let us examine these verses together in order to find peace of mind.

How Can We Receive This Peace?  

Background Information

We are told in 1Peter 1:1 that Peter is writing " the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia." All of these cities belong to the northern Roman province of Asia Minor, known today as western Turkey. This letter was written to dispersed Jewish Christians. They were "strangers." They were living outside of Palestine. Persecution scattered them. They felt like a people without a home. In their minds they should be living in Palestine- the promised Land. As Christians, we are only passing through this world as pilgrims, until we attain our final residence with our wonderful Lord! Many times we can feel like strangers because the "World" does not understand us or our walk with complete submission to God and is ways! Peter's audience knew what persecution and misunderstanding was all about. They needed comforted and reminded of God's Word- just like us at times!

Humble Submission
Our first step in receiving peace of mind is humble submission. In v.5 Peter is telling the young to submit to the elders, but then adds that in a sense everyone ought to submit to each other. Peter is talking about a humility that considers others over self (Like Jesus modeled for us in Philippians 2:1-11). Peter goes on to state that God "gives grace to the humble." When we stop thinking about and exalting ourselves and submit to God's loving care and Sovereignty, then we are in a place for God to mature and truly care for us!
In v.6 Peter gives the command to humble ourselves. This means to submit to God's sovereign rule. In context, this means turn your problems and concerns over to God. Put your confidence in Him. He either allowed or brought these things into your life. God is in control! He can use these things to teach us, change us, strengthen us, and to mature us in our Christian life and experience. God has a purpose for all things and everything happens for a reason. Romans 8:28 " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." 
Also notice in v.6 that Peter says to humble ourselves "under the mighty hand of God." The "hand of God" can represent deliverance and discipline. Sometimes God will use trials and difficulties for a disciplinary measure- to get our attention that we are not walking rightly with Him. Now remember, this does not mean that all trials, sicknesses, and difficulties are meant as a disciplinary measure, but at times God will use these things that way. So it is always good to evaluate your life when trials and difficulties come your way! But we must also remember that God's "hand" is a "hand" that can deliver or see us through the difficulties of life. His "hand" is strong- nothing can hinder God from working on our behalf.
There is one more thing to notice in v.6. Humble yourselves by trusting and resting in God's strength, love, and care because in "due time" God "will exalt you." We must learn to be patient and wait on God's perfect timing. The "due time" is the appropriate or appointed time. God's timing is always perfect and He always knows what He is doing in our lives! In His timing, God will help us, free us, and strengthen us as He sees fit. Remember though, that God never promises to free us from all trials or sickness in this life, but He will help you through it and at times He does free and deliver us from our difficulties. This we do know as God's children; when He takes us unto Himself we will finally be free from those things! Full and complete freedom is coming! Be encouraged! Remember, Peters main emphasis here is that we must humble ourselves. Put your trust and confidence in God and turn everything over to Him!

Casting Your Cares On God
Secondly, in v.7a, we receive peace of mind by casting our concerns/problems upon the Lord. To cast something means to "through upon," to "get rid of" something, and then to leave it where you placed it. The word care means things that cause you anxiety, things that disrupt your mind or the peace of your mind. These "cares" draw you in different directions. you are robbed of stability and peace. These are the cares of this life that rob you of peace and rest. What is bothering you? What is causing you distress? Give it all over to the Lord! Go to God in prayer and tell God about it. Let Him do something about it.  You might say, "How do I do that?" You can only do it by understanding the truth about your God, His love for you, and His ability to do something about it.  You will only learn to do this well by spending much time with God cultivating your relationship to Him through Bible reading, praying, and sitting under the consistent teaching of His Word!  
Consider two Old Testament verses. Psalm 37:5 " Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it
to pass."  Submit all your problems to the Lord to deal with. The word commit means "to roll a heavy burden from yourself to another." We can't bear the thing, but some one else can- namely our all powerful and wonderful God! Trust Him- trust that God cares and is able to do something. And He shall bring it to pass- Albert Barnes says it well, "He will take care of your interests." God will do whatever is needed to secure the result that He wants for us. And God knows what is best for us!  Also consider, Psalm 55:22 " Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Notice God will sustain thee- the word means "to hold," to sustain," and also has the idea "to measure." God will measure out to us the perfect amount of strength and grace to endure and learn through our trials, difficulties, and concerns. You must believe it!! God does not lie!! We must learn to give to God our problems and concerns because He is the only one who can work all of these things out for our good. You are not strong enough to deal with the concerns of life on your own. Learn to give them to God- to leave them with Him- and you will start to experience real peace!
Understand God's Concern For You
Thirdly, to experience peace of mind, we must understand and believe the end of v.7- "...for He careth for you."
You could translate this "because you matter to Him." The word careth means "to be concerned," and has the idea of "watchful care." This verse tells us that we are the objects of God's watchful care. We DO Matter to God! God truly regards our needs and concerns.  Consider these verses
Psalm 27:10
"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up." The idea is that even if everyone forsakes you, including your closest of relatives, the Lord is there for us. He loves us!  also consider, Psalm 40:17 " But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God."  Why do we worry so? Why do we let things get to us so badly? If you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then you have a God who deeply cares about you!!
Friend, You can have peace of mind. Even through all the difficulties of this life! But we must learn to humble ourselves- place our trust and confidence fully in our wonderful, powerful God. We must learn to completely give our problems over to God, who is the only one that can do something about them in a way that is best for us! And we must learn to understand that God truly cares about us! Rest in this great truth. You can experience peace today! Will you?



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