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The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. At first glance, this scripture is so encouraging.  I used to think this scripture was just a nice word of encouragement to make me feel a little better about life until, I began to experience the goodness of the Lord. I used to think that He was somewhat with me in times of difficulty until, I began to understand that He wanted to be my shelter and protection from danger and distress in every situation. I used to think that He stood at a distance and would at times step in to show that He cared a little about me until, I began to experience His love permeating my being making it evident that I am the object of His affection. I have been learning so much lately about the characteristics of God. I don’t say this lightly when I say that I am completely in awe of Him. One of the things that I have been learning about Him is that He is my peace (my rest) in the midst of my life’s struggles, heartaches, and concerns.

When I began to study and hear about the person of Jesus and the things He did and said in the Bible, it has become more clear to me as to what He is like. I hope that in sharing these things with you that you will begin to understand how much God really cares about you personally and that He really does love you unconditionally in a way that no human ever could. It is a love that is deeply satisfying and it is for you.

In the Bible, in the book of John in chapter 14 you see Jesus talking with His disciples. He was sharing with them that He will no longer be with them physically on earth. He was going to be crucified. Little did they know that He was choosing to die so that He could be in a deeper relationship with them and open the way for us to come to know Him as well.

In the last words that Jesus said to His disciples, He said this in John 14 verses 25-27, “I have told you this while I am still with you. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.

The two things that Jesus wanted His disciples to know was that even though He was leaving, He was leaving them with a precious gift. He was leaving them with His peace. He also knew what it was like to live in this world. A world that is so easily caught up in cares, fears, doubts and concerns. He knew that the human heart could so easily be overwhelmed with the cares of this world. So He gave them the Holy Spirit, to remind them in those times of what He said, “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”

How amazing is that? But what is even more amazing then that is He did not leave His peace and Holy Spirit only for the disciples. He left His Peace and His Holy Spirit for us to remind us that He is with us. He will take care of us. 

What does this mean for us? Well, let’s look at what it means to not let our hearts be troubled. As I was doing a study on the phrase “let not your heart be troubled”, I found this. It means don’t let circumstances and the things around you get you all bent out of shape. We can’t always change the things around us, but we can guard the things within us. It is not things on the outside, but things on the inside that affect us most. God has shown how we can keep our peace, even when things around us are not looking to good. Proverbs 4:23 says, ” Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. “ 

Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. ”  

Philippians 4:6-9 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” 
1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. ” 
How do we remain in peace in the midst of troubling circumstances? We do it by guarding our heart. We guard what is going on the inside of us. We cannot always change the circumstances around us but we can change our response in the midst of them. We do that by continually keeping before us what Jesus says to focus on during these times. We can focus on the truth of His word that He cares for us and we can trust Him to work in every detail of our lives.
Joseph Prince gave a great example of how we can deal with a troubled heart. He said this, “A troubled and fearful heart works like fingers that clamp down hard on a water hose. The supply of water is flowing from the tap, but little or nothing is coming out at the other end of the hose. God’s ever-present supply of blessings toward you is like the water flowing freely from the tap. But you don’t see the blessings when you allow your heart to be gripped by worry or fear. So when fearful, anxious thoughts come, remind yourself of Jesus’ words: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Even when things appear to get worse, say, “Lord, I refuse to worry about this. In the midst of all this, I see the finished work of Christ. He said, ‘It is finished!’ When you guard your heart, God will guard everything else for you!
God wants you to know that He cares about your every need. It is His desire to see you enjoy the life He gave you. He wants you to give Him your cares so that He can turn it into a blessing. This is why Jesus left His peace with us.  He did not say let not your heart be troubled for the mere purpose of giving us another rule to live by. He said it because He cares about our well being. He gave us His peace to remind us that when we trust Him. He can and wants to take care of us. 

My prayer for you today is if you are in the midst of troubling circumstances, you will not allow your heart to be troubled. When you willingly give God your cares no matter how small or big they may be, He will step in and take care of you when you remain at peace in Him and trust Him.

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