Friday, March 24, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: God can give you a peace that stays with you

A Promise of Peace
A devotional by Essie Faye Taylor

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV)

Just a few months ago, I was in a mental space where I felt overwhelmed by the cares of life and I was on the verge of losing hope.

I was inundated by the day-to-day chores of simple living. I was caring for my husband and home while balancing ministry, my teaching career, and my entrepreneurial pursuits. I was burnt out, tapped out, and just plain exhausted. I needed a break badly. I needed a reset. I needed to reassess, re-prioritize, and delegate more. I needed to surrender some things to God in prayer. I needed to increase my self-care and resume personal counseling. I needed to reach out for help from God and from those in my faith community.

It’s important to realize when you feel overwhelmed. It’s important to note that your worry has reached an unhealthy level. It’s important to acknowledge that you need help and to reach out for it. In the text cited above, Paul clearly says, “Reach out to God for help via prayer.”

When you lack rest, reach out to God for it.

Paul wrote to the church of Philippi and encouraged them to remember the source of peace. He reminds readers of the essential importance of resting in God by faith. As believers, we have a source of peace that unbelievers don’t utilize. We can rest in our Savior’s arms, knowing that He has a plan for us that is greater than we could ever imagine or hope.

Paul warns believers not to worry about anything. Instead, he says that we can use prayer as a constant source of refuge and a sort of “dumping ground”. We can dump all of our cares (worries) on the Lord in prayer. In 1 Peter 5:7 (KJV), the apostle Peter advises believers to cast “all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” He’s telling us to cast our cares on Jesus Christ.

Prayer is a divine encounter with the Creator of the Universe. It is an exchange between creature and Creator. Among other things, we exchange our worries for peace. We exchange hopelessness for hope. We exchange overwhelm for rest and a plan to reset. In the above text, Paul shares an outline for prayer: supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests before God. He says, “ask for what you want and give thanks–be grateful.” Gratefulness has a way of surrounding you with peace. Then the peace of God, which many times is unfathomable, will keep your heart and mind through Christ. God promises peace through the avenue of prayer.

Call to Action:

#1: Cast your worries on God and leave them there. Have confidence that God is great enough to handle your affairs and that He will do right by you. He has your best interest at heart.

#2: Daily practice the presence of God through studying His Word (The Holy Bible) and praying to Him. Casting your cares on Christ daily minimizes worry and builds faith.

#3: Check in with yourself. How are you? Take inventory of your life. Ask yourself, do I need help from God and/or my faith community?

#4: Be honest about your mental health and self-care. It is God’s will that you’re in good health and you prosper as your soul prospers. Balance spiritual and natural things.

#5: Get counseling, if needed. Find an accountability partner or a prayer partner to walk alongside you. No man is an island. We need each other. Everyone needs someone.

#6: Remember, our peace comes from God. He is our peace. Our faith doesn’t guarantee that we will not have trouble. However, it does guarantee our peace in the midst of life’s storms when we rest in Him.

Let's Pray:
Heavenly Father, I thank you for giving me the peace that passes all understanding. I have peace when my world is falling apart. I experience peace when destruction is on every side. I experience peace in the face of a negative doctor’s report or health challenges. I experience peace because I know that you are in control of every situation and I can trust you with my life, my times, and my future. Help me to rest in You, knowing that you are working everything for my benefit. Something good is coming out of this. Thank you Father for the blessed assurance that your plan for me is perfect. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection #1: “Take It to the Lord in Prayer” by Aeolians of Oakwood University. Listen to it here.

Song of Reflection #2: “I’ll Give You Peace” by Sandi Patty. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Essie Taylor is an author, educator, minister, youth advocate, recording artist, podcaster, and improviser. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Rockford College. 

She is a veteran educator of Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language, and Spanish Language Acquisition with National Board Teacher Certification. She is an advocate of lifelong learning, language learning, and multiculturalism.

Essie is the CEO of KenMar Press, an author agency, and The Essie Faye Collection. Essie is the author of Finding the Love You Deserve: 30 Lessons in Self-Love & Acceptance, and Finding The Love Your Deserve: A 60-Day Healing Journal For Women of Faith.

She is deeply committed to motivating minorities, women, and youth to pursue God while chasing their dreams and carving out their life’s path. She loves God, people, and helping others.

Essie has been a Christian for nearly all of her 39 years. She was born again at 15 years old. She has been a bilingual worship leader and interpreter for 10+ years. By the grace of God, Essie helped to establish bilingual ministries at five churches in her young life. She is a survivor of domestic violence (verbal and emotional abuse) and marital abandonment in a prior marriage.

Essie is a Chicago native. She lives in Chicago with her husband Donald Taylor II.

Connect with Essie:

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