through His Word
This week’s theme for my blog and Facebook page is peace. I have the privilege of posting a devotion today by my friend, Erin Austin. I just joined her ministry as the designer of Broken but Priceless: The Magazine. Tomorrow we launch the magazine, so it’s only appropriate for her to guest blog for me today! She writes a touching devotion about peace—something we all need and want. You’ll get to know her a little more in this post, and I pray you experience the peace she describes.
It’s a Wonderful Life
By Erin Elizabeth Austin
I have a confession to make. I’m one of those people. You know the ones—the people who look forward to Christmas all year so they can decorate, listen to carols, and watch Christmas movies while sipping hot cocoa. I love this season so much I begin counting down the days until Christmas around this time every year. That’s probably why anytime I hear the word peace I think of Linus’ famous speech in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I think many people have that mental image when it comes to peace. We imagine shepherds and angels and that good feeling which washes over us when Christmas rolls around. Yet peace is so much more!
My name (Erin) actually means peace or peacemaker, a fact at which I’ve often laughed. My life has been anything but peaceful. Raped when I was eight-years old, wrought with feelings of low self-worth and despair, diagnosed with three chronic illnesses, and countless battles of fighting for my life have made me feel more like a warrior than a peacemaker. Yet peace in its truest sense is a little of both.
Stop and think about it. Jesus, the greatest Peacemaker of all time, came to this earth during a dark time. The Jews had gone hundreds of years without hearing from God, which caused many of them to walk away from their faith. It’s for that very reason few people took notice when Jesus was born and why many scoffed at Him when He revealed He was the long-awaited Messiah. Although He often said and did things that gave the warm, fuzzy feeling we think is associated with peace, He also spoke strongly, and sometimes harshly when the occasion called for it. And then there’s His death on the cross, one of the cruelest ways a person can die. It was painful, agonizing, and brutal. His death was anything but peaceful, but this makes Jesus no less of a peacemaker.
Therein lies the lesson. We will experience difficulties in this life, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be filled with God’s peace. God sent His Son to die on the cross so we could experience His indwelling peace. All we have to do is ask Him for it. In Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB) it says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” When life becomes chaotic, all we have to do is talk to God and thank Him, and we will experience His peace even when our lives are anything but peace-filled.
I know it goes against human nature to thank God when we are facing a difficult situation, but every time I have put Philippians 4:6 to the test, Philippians 4:7 has proven to be true. When I give God my concerns and then thank Him for whom He is and all He’s done for me, I always experience the peace of God. God’s Word doesn’t exaggerate. His peace does pass all comprehension. God’s peace is bigger than any problems we have. It is when we understand this truth that our problems suddenly won’t seem so big and scary.
Like a parent who comforts a child who’s terrified of monsters in the closet, God’s peace will do this for us. His peace will guard our hearts and minds from the trouble surrounding us. Even when we have no clue if we will live to see another day, we won’t be fearful or worried because God’s peace is guarding and protecting our hearts and minds from even the scariest of monsters. No matter what monsters we face we can have peace because our God is greater!
© Copyright 2014 by Erin Elizabeth Austin
Erin Elizabeth Austin is the founder of Broken but Priceless Ministries, a non-profit organization which helps people suffering with a chronic illness, as well as, helps their caregivers. Erin is also a writer and speaker, and she is close to completing her first book. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with family and friends, and build forts with her nephews. Her goal for each day is to have an adventure, laugh, love, and eat chocolate.
If you would like to learn more about Erin’s ministry, visit her website brokenbutpriceless.com! If you would like to receive the new magazine starting tomorrow, send me a message through my Contact page, or contact Erin through her website’s Contact page. I’m certain the magazine will bless you, provide practical help, inspire you, and make you laugh! I feel privileged to work with Erin and her team on this magazine, while I continue to write and teach through Lighthouse Bible Studies.peace, anxiety, Philippians 4:6-7, Guest Post by Erin Elizabeth Austin: It’s a Wonderful Life, Broken but Priceless Ministries, Lighthouse Bible Studies