Living on Purpose: Is it true we can live in peace?
Published 3:30 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2023
By Billy Holland
Have you considered that worry and anxiety is an issue we can control? Many within the medical world agree that stress is not a lurking monster that forces us to be afraid, but rather, our negative thoughts are a nurtured response to what we see and hear. In other words, our assumptions become empowered when our emotions embrace them. Thus, if we can learn how to re-wire or renew the way we think, we can begin to walk in victory over fear, which we blame for ruining our happiness. We’ve heard about going to our “happy place,” a seemingly magical location where we can take refuge from whatever is threatening our security. But what is this about? It can mean different things to different people, but for those who have a relationship with God, it’s a secret place in the deepest part of our soul where we can commune with God and embrace the safety and joy of His presence.
I remember a movie where a young girl was experiencing severe panic attacks. Her family would lovingly remind her to go to her happy place, and she would close her eyes and begin to control her breathing. As she blocked out what was happening around her and focused on comforting thoughts, she would eventually calm down. As Christians, we are reminded that Jesus is a type of strong tower where those who are fearful can run into Him and be safe. When we become entangled with spiritual resistance and allow the enemy to control us, we are consumed with hopelessness and can hardly focus on anything else. But when we trust God’s promises and allow Him to carry our burdens for us, our confidence is ignited as we press forward in the freedom of His peace, which passes all understanding. II Corinthians 4:8-9 declares, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed.”
The social, cultural, and political environment is spiraling into darkness, and the current destructive wars are truly disturbing, but as Christians, we should not be surprised. Those who know and listen to the Lord have discernment and understand this falling away from spiritual truth and lack of commitment to the church was prophesied and will continue until Jesus returns. The Bible and the Christian faith are mocked more than ever, and those who follow Jesus are being persecuted. So what are we to do? We can hide in the shadows, or we can stand on God’s truth that never fails. Yes, there is a way we can not only survive in these last days, but we can thrive in the name and power of Jesus Christ!
God’s promise that “No weapon formed against us can prosper” is a wonderful confirmation of how the mountains and giants will always try to intimidate us, but if we obey God’s voice, they cannot defeat us! Anxiety, confusion, depression, stress, and worry are caused by being consumed with fear about the future. At the same time, guilt, regret, resentment, anger, sadness, and every type of unforgiveness are powerful feelings from our past that can hold us in spiritual bondage. I was listening to a sports commentator the other day as he was explaining how a positive mental state is a critical factor when it comes to success. He mentioned a football team that had recently lost a game by barely missing a field goal with no time left on the clock. The intensity of this gut-wrenching loss was multiplied by the fact they had been defeated by this opposing team 30 years in a row. He was sympathetic, yet making a point that if they could not get past this intimidating attitude of weakness and discouragement, it could continue to control their destiny.
God has a plan for His children and is waiting for us to step forward and say, “Here I am, send me.” May we realize that God never intended for us to allow our disappointments and self-pity to defeat us. They are the opposite of faith. It’s time to surrender our will to God and give everything we have and all that we are to Him. Yes, there will be serious difficulties but He is with you now and desires to fill you with His love and encouragement. It is said that it is never too late to become what you might have been.
Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com.