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Steps That Lead to Peace

Good morning. It is Thursday, December 2, 2021. Jeanette Stark here.

Late last year, as I was home 24 hours a day caring for my dying husband, I began to grow my relationship with Jesus. I began each day on my knees in prayer. I had Bible study in my home with a dear friend. I began reading the Bible like never before, devouring entire books at a time. I started my day in my living room with time spent with God; morning worship that would sometimes last 2 hours. I began journaling Bible promises.

I was suffering deep hurts from people and situations, and I knew the only way through that ordeal was to lean into God. I am happy to say, that is exactly what got me through that terrible time and that foundation that I began to build upon, is what gets me through today.

Life is not perfect. Oh, most of us like to ‘present’ ourselves and our situations as perfect, but it is far from perfect.

There is a saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, I know for a fact a picture can hide the truth of a thousand words.

With today’s ease of phones that take pictures and just as quickly upload them to social media, we can pretend to be happy and content, when we are struggling, struggling with marriage problems, children’s issues, neighbor disputes. We struggle with self-doubt and self-loathing. We struggle with gossip and lies. And in the midst of all that, we feel alone. That is to say, we often feel like we are the only ones that have problems.

We look at the smiling couple at church thinking they have the perfect marriage; we see a group of friends laughing at the table next to us and feel they do not have a care in the world. We see super models and super stars and think “Awe, what a life.” But everybody is hurting in one form or another. Everyone has issues of some sort.

Last year, as I was home 7 days a week, I began reading a book that had been on my shelf for years. Years! I had even seen the title on my mom’s bookshelf as a child, but I had never read it for myself.

This morning I want to share three paragraphs with you from that book.

“All have trials; griefs hard to bear, temptations hard to resist. Do not tell your troubles to your fellow mortals, but carry everything to God in prayer. Make it a rule never to utter one word of doubt or discouragement. You can do much to brighten the life of others and strengthen their efforts, by words of hope and holy cheer.”

“Some are always fearing and borrowing trouble. Every day they are surrounded with the tokens of God's love; every day they are enjoying the bounties of His providence; but they overlook these present blessings. Their minds are continually dwelling upon something disagreeable which they fear may come; or some difficulty may really exist which, though small, blinds their eyes to the many things that demand gratitude. The difficulties they encounter, instead of driving them to God, the only source of their help, separate them from Him…”

Yes, we all have troubles. We all have problems. The thing that separates us is how we handle those issues. Do we talk to each other about our problems instead of God? Do we gossip about someone’s troubles instead of dealing with our own? Or do we go to the One, the only One, that can offer solutions and joy?

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice…that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy…for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you…” 1 Peter 4:12-14 NKJV

“Angels are listening to hear what kind of report you are bearing to the world about your heavenly Master. Let your conversation be of Him who liveth to make intercession for you before the Father. When you take the hand of a friend, let praise to God be on your lips and in your heart. This will attract his thoughts to Jesus.”

The book I have quoted from today is titled Steps to Christ. A newer version is called “Real Peace, Real Answers” and I have several copies available to me here at Better Life. If you would like a copy, free of charge, just stop by any Monday through Thursday and say, “Jeanette said I could pick up a free copy of Real Peace, Real Answers.” 😊

The first half of the book is Steps to Christ and the last half is Bible Answers.

You will not disappointed! And perhaps, like me, you will find hope and peace within the pages of that little book; hope of a God that loves you “as big as the trees” as my oldest son used to say to me when he was a little boy. Hope in Jesus Christ. Hope in a love that we have never experienced until we experience love Jesus-style.

As we wrap up 2021, refocus on what is important. Realign your thinking and your goals. Jesus is coming back for those that love Him. It is time to focus on Him and not our problems. We will always have problems until Jesus returns. We will not always have time to get ready for His return.

“In My Father’s house are many (dwellings) if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3 NKJV

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