How Do We Describe Peace?

pen and paperHow do you describe peace?

Merriam-Webster defines peace as a state of tranquility or quiet such as:

a : freedom from civil disturbance

b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law

2 : freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions

3 : harmony in personal relations

4a : a state or period of mutual concord between governments

b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity

In her book, God is My Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom said as Christians, our peace does not depend on our circumstances, but on our trust in God. She said being a Christian does not mean there are no more battles. Instead, it means we have a strategic point of victory, joy, and abundance in the battle.

She continued that it is God’s intention for his children to not be bogged down under heaviness and stress. God wants us to be strong, free, peaceful, and happy. Corrie stated that in order for us to do that, we must choose to live from a place of internal victory. Even when the external circumstances contradict what we see.

In her devotion, Corrie gave a practical tip for how we can live more peacefully. She suggested we take notice of all the blessings God gives, and all those he has given in the past. She cautioned not to just blurt out a few, but to write out as many as we can. Big and small. They all matter.

In conclusion, Corrie said, “When we set out to be mindful of our daily gifts, it sends us on a quest to find God’s hand throughout the day.”

What a wonderful thought. Set out to look for all the many ways God is blessing us throughout our day. Perhaps if we spent more thing doing that, we would experience more of God’s peace amid the hectic and stressful events of our lives.

What do you think?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! Isaiah 26:3 (TLB)

You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Do You Have a Trouble Suitcase?

teddy bear in suitcaseDo you have a trouble suitcase? A place you carry all your troubles and cares that becomes so heavy and burdensome, you can barely go on? Is casting all your cares on God and leaving them there, something you have a problem doing?

It is for me. And apparently, it was for Corrie Ten Boom as well. In her book, God is My Hiding Place, she tells the story of a time she spoke about her trouble suitcase in a church in Tokyo shortly after World War II.

As an object lesson, she carried a heavy suitcase into the room where she spoke. She struggled to lift the suitcase, and placed it on top of a table. She said she was carrying the heavy trouble suitcase, and mentioned her heart was like that until she read 1 Peter 5:7, which reminded her to cast all her cares on the Lord.

To demonstrate casting her cares on God, Corrie opened her trouble suitcase. One by one, she removed each item. With each item, she mentioned a particular care, burden, or worry she carried. In the end of her demonstration, she closed the empty suitcase. She pretended to walk out of the room, suitcase swinging lightly at her side.

After the meeting ended, Corrie refilled her suitcase with all the items she removed and left the building.

While she was in Berlin years later, a man approached Corrie. He was in the church where she spoke in Tokyo. He told her every time he heard her name, he thought of her trouble suitcase.

Corrie was flattered. She told the man she was glad he remembered what she said that night.

To that the man replied, “It wasn’t what you said that I remember. It was what you did. After you finished, you put all the objects back in the suitcase and walked out just as burdened as when you came in.”

Oh, my goodness. We do that, don’t we?

We empty our trouble suitcase at the feet of Jesus, then we repack that suitcase right back up, and walk away carrying the same heavy weight we came in with. We might come to Jesus in the morning, tell him all the things which weigh heavy on our heart; all the hurts, troubles, concerns, problems, and worries. Often, though, thoughts of those concerns sneak back into our mind before the day ends.

Sometimes they don’t sneak, they rush in like a torrent intent our sweeping us clear away.

At the end of Corrie’s devotion, she suggested those of us who unpack our trouble suitcase and hand over our heavy concerns only to pick them back up again, ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray. Teach us how to leave those burdens in God’s faithful care once and for all.

We know Jesus is able to take all our burdens and lighten our load. He tells us to come to him, all who are weary, and he will give us rest.

Yes, Jesus will carry our burdens, but we need to bring them to him. When we do, we need to stop grabbing them back.

How about you? What do you do to keep from repacking your trouble suitcase once you’ve emptied it at Jesus’ feet?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. 1 Peter 5:7

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Practical Advice on How to Study the Bible

man reading BibleWith a new year just getting underway, perhaps you are looking for practical advice on how to study the Bible. Taken from Corrie ten Boom’s writings in the book God is My Hiding Place, here are some suggestions which might help.

  • Realize the Bible is God’s love letter to you. It is a living book full of rich treasures.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit for his help in reading it.
  • Choose a book to study and read one chapter or part of a chapter.
  • Ask yourself what the most beautiful verse was to you and why.
  • Look through the passage again and consider whether there is a promise for you in that section. A verse that seems to leap from the page and excite you or fill you with faith.
  • Examine the passage to see if there is a warning in it that you need to pay attention to or implement in your life.
  • Ask yourself whether a prayer came into your heart while reading a particular verse of section.

Corrie concludes that Bible study is not difficult. Understanding the Bible does not depend on the wisdom of our minds. We must not worry about what we do not understand in the Bible. Instead, we should be concerned about what we do understand but do not live by.

Amen?

Do you have a particular method for studying the Bible? What has and what has not worked for you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (TLB)

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Photo by Aaron Owens on Unsplash.

God is My Hiding Place Book Review

Based on the writings of Holocaust concentration camp survivor, Corrie Ten Boom, God is My Hiding Place is a collection of 40 timeless devotions which are as applicable today as they were when Corrie wrote them before her death on her 91st birthday in 1983.

Full of encouragement and simple truths, this is a devotional book to keep close by on a shelf to read over and over.

Within the 40 devotions are rich pull-out quotes gems to hold onto. One of my favorites is The center of God’s will is the safest place for me to be. In this devotion, Corrie relates how during the war, after she was released from Ravensbruck, a man asked Corrie to go back to the prison with him to seek release for a friend. Through circumstances while there, she realized this was not the work God had called her to. She says, We must be careful not to hold on to what we had when God calls us to move on.

But the devotional thought I hold dearest is this. When we are willing and obedient, He bestows upon us the wisdom, strength and courage of heaven. We are never too old to begin something new when we do it with Him.

I highly recommend God is My Hiding Place to all those in search of devotions to strengthen their faith.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my October Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!