through His Word
by Katy Kauffman
I think they all had a confab and conspired to dislike me. They wait until I come close, and then they show their teeth. Dogs. Primarily, the big ones. I can’t count how many snarls, nips, and growls have been aimed in my direction simply because I wanted to overcome my fear and pet a big dog or stand in front of one without looking scared. They must know I’m a cat person.
I lose my peace just about every time I walk in my neighborhood alone. I know where they live. I listen for their barks and the slight jingles of their collars. I use my umbrella and prayers as a deterrent. Unless my dad walks with me.
If my dad and I go on a walk together, I don’t take the umbrella (although I still say the prayers). I stay close to him. More than once, he has pulled me behind him when a dog got “friendly.” I can trust him to look out for me, and I know he can handle surprises and ambushes.
Using Peace as a Deterrent for Fear
Have you ever thought of peace as the opposite of fear? When I focus on what can go wrong in a situation, fear dispels my peace. I worry about who can get hurt, what can be lost, or what we don’t have. I worry about the outcome of a situation and if things will be okay. I too often forget that my Daddy can handle it.
How many times has God come between us and harm? We may not know until we watch the movie reels in heaven. But He is watchful and He cares. He even helps us to hold on to our peace when we direct our focus to Him.
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
If you’re trying to win a battle against fear, look to God for “peace upon peace.”1 That’s what perfect peace means. In Hebrew, the phrase perfect peace is the word for peace used twice—shalom, shalom or “peace, peace.”2 God provides the peace we need—all kinds of peace3—when we choose to depend on Him and lean on Him for what we need.
Regaining our peace begins with our minds. The word mind in this verse means a “framing” or “framework.”4 Build your thoughts on the character, love, and power of God, and peace will rule your life. There won’t be room for what if’s to move in and stay. When we keep our minds filled with what God can do, we regain our peace and win the battle over fear.
Lean In a Little More
In her book, Soul Care When You’re Weary, Edie Melson calls on readers in search of peace to make an acrostic of that word. She gives space in the book to write the acrostic and decorate the page with colored pencils, stickers, and other pretty things. With only a pen handy, I wrote out my acrostic and drew matching symbols next to the words.
My goal was to find the best word for each letter of peace, but the end result became a way to lean on God, a five-step process of depending on Him and regaining our peace. Do you see the progression in these actions?
P - Pause in God’s presence.
E - Experience His love.
A - Accept His wisdom.
C - Choose to trust.
E - Exalt His name.
Peace is a choice. A choice to pause, experience, accept, believe, and praise. To remember who God is and lean on Him for wisdom. To choose to trust Him and praise Him for who He is and what He can do. Peace is the result of staying close to God and building the framework of how we think, feel, and act on His character and our relationship with Him.
So lean in a little more, my friend. Stay close to the Father, and focus on what He is capable of. Regain your peace by remembering His might and resting in His love. Fears can snarl at us all they want, but our Daddy knows how to handle each one and He guards our hearts and minds with His peace.
Which of the five points of the acrostic do you want to practice more? I think “C” may be mine. I want to choose to trust Him when I can see what may go wrong and when I can’t. Share your thoughts in the comments below, and may God keep your mind in His perfect peace.
1 Adam Clarke, Adam Clarke’s Commentary, quoted in Phil Lindner, Power Bible CD, CD-ROM (Bronson, Mich.: Online Publishing, Inc., 2007), Isaiah 26:3.
4 Larry Pierce, The Online Bible, CD-ROM (Winterbourne, Ontario: Larry Pierce, 2007), Isaiah 26:3.
© Copyright 2019 by Katy Kauffman
This post continues our year-long series of Sustaining Life’s Victories. Guest bloggers and I are exploring what it takes to walk in victory once God has helped us to overcome a spiritual battle but we find it hard to sustain that triumph.
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