The world we live in today is a mess. To the Christian, it’s not a surprise because we know that the world is continually devolving until the day The Father decides to end it all. According to the Bible, certain things must happen before this ending comes, but it’s quickly moving in that direction. Each generation seems to move a little further from the Word of God. This movement from the Word happens with our preachers, teachers, deacons, and general parishioners. So many today do not look to the Bible for direction and correction but instead, look for permission. We do not want to conform our lives to the Word; we want the Word to conform to our desires. We can abide by any personal responsibility for our actions by doing so. We can allow anything, do anything, listen to anything, go anywhere, say anything, and watch anything we want without answering to anyone and without fear of the Lord. As a result, the world is the way it is. However, a day of reckoning is coming for each of us. 

For the Christian, the judgment seat of Christ is where we will give an account of ourselves. This should be the most frightening thing a Christian can ponder. We will one day stand before the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ himself and answer for our lives. We are not saved by our works, but we will be judged by our works. Each Christian is responsible for living a life conformed to the Word of God. We each have duties and responsibilities that we will account for on that fateful day. 

Part of growing up is taking responsibility for oneself. We start as infants with no personal responsibility whatsoever—everything that we need to be done is done for us. As we progress through the various stages of childhood, we take on more and more responsibility. We learn to tie our shoes, clean our rooms, and turn in our homework. We learn that responsibility has its rewards—and irresponsibility has other, less-than-desirable effects. In many ways, the difference between a child and an adult is their willingness to take personal responsibility for their actions. As Paul says, “When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11). 

The Bible teaches the concept of personal responsibility: “The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them” (Ezekiel 18:20). Personal responsibility is closely related to the law of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7–8). “Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done” (Isaiah 3:10–11). 

In the Old Testament, the law emphasized the responsibility of individuals to respond in morally appropriate ways to God’s revealed truth. God clearly defined right and wrong, and His people were expected to do what was right. This responsibility has been the case ever since the Garden of Eden when Adam was given a specific command and expected to obey it. Later, Adam’s son Cain was warned by God that he would be held personally responsible for his actions (Genesis 4:7). 

Achan was held responsible for his sin at Jericho (Joshua 7:14–15). Jonah was held responsible for his choice to run from the Lord (Jonah 1:7–8). The Levites were held responsible for the care of the tabernacle (Numbers 18:5). The deacons of the early church took personal responsibility for meeting some practical needs of the church (Acts 6:3). Paul was responsible for blazing a gospel trail to the Gentiles (Ephesians 3:2). 

The Bible expects us to take personal responsibility in all areas of life. Able-bodied people should work for their food. “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Men are to take responsibility for providing for their households (1 Timothy 5:8). 

At times, people try to avoid personal responsibility, usually through blame-shifting. Adam tried to blame Eve for his sin (Genesis 3:12). Cain tried to dodge responsibility (Genesis 4:9). Pilate attempted to absolve his guilt in the matter of the crucifixion of Christ: “ ‘I am innocent of this

man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!’ ” (Matthew 27:24). Ultimately, attempts to pass the buck are futile. “You may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). 

Each one of us has the personal responsibility to “repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15) and then to glorify the Lord with good works (Ephesians 2:10). “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). Those who choose to reject the truth of God “are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). We cannot evade our personal responsibility to exercise faith in Christ.

So, Christian, how are you doing on this journey? Due to my laziness and sorriness, I must admit that I fall short most of the time. My only hope is that the Lord knows my heart and my intentions and will forgive me for my shortcomings. How about you? 

What Are You Doing With Your Calling?

“You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.”

John 15:16 CSB

Two thousand years ago, Jesus called four fishermen from their nets to “come follow Me.” They did what fishermen don’t do: They dropped their lifelong work to follow after a man they barely knew.

In those three years, the first-ever followers of Jesus logged many miles and a lot of stumbles. They were looking for the wrong kingdom—a political kingdom. Jesus’ parables stumped them. They said stupid things. They wouldn’t believe that the Messiah had to suffer and die. They could hardly believe Jesus rose from his tomb. 

Their faith was slow and small. And yet, they did it—they “walked the same road” with Jesus before anyone else did. Even in all their bungling, these men knew some things about following Jesus that we present-day followers forget.

The disciples knew they weren’t simply adding God to their already busy lives, as we often do today. When they first began, those twelve men weren’t even sure who Jesus was, but they knew what He required and what He was worth. They gave up their jobs; they left the security of their families to pursue the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom they could not yet see, but they believed in. 

We may not be called to give up our jobs or leave our families in the same way, but walking with Jesus is far more than adding God as a helpful accessory to our busy lives. Following Jesus changes the entire direction and motivation of our lives.

Following Jesus is more than a relationship; it gives us real work to do in the world. Jesus’ inner circle knew from the start that they had been brought into an intimate relationship with this unusual rabbi. But the Messiah was here for more than their personal well-being—and ours. From the start, Jesus made it clear He was on a mission—and they were as well. 

Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Just as He left to return to the Father, He commissioned all of us: “Go into all the world, preaching the gospel . . .” It’s easy to focus on our personal relationship with our own personal Savior, but our faith is meant to go out and move and shake the world toward heaven.

None of us have been called to be “Lukewarm” Christians. Christianity is not something that you play at or do when it fits into your schedule. It is a life-changing event that permeates throughout everything: your outlook, your speech, your actions, your business dealings, your relationships…everything about you. If it’s not, then you need to check your Salvation. 

“For the love of Christ compels us, since we have reached this conclusion, that one died for all, and therefore all died. [15] And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised. [16] From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. [17] Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! [18] Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. [19] That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. [20] Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” [21] He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

2 Corinthians 5:14-21 CSB

In these troubled times we live, take the time to reevaluate your Salvation and your commitment to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Step out on faith and follow what He has called you to do, and “know that all things will work out for good.” 

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 CSB

The Time for Lukewarm Christianity is Over

For many Americans, Christianity has become a rapidly deconstructed fragment of their actual identity. People refer to themselves as a “Christian” when asked about matters of faith, but you won’t find them openly proclaiming Christ as their central identity. How many of us live according to God’s Word, and how many live according to the ways of the world?

The Bible talks about our problem in Revelation 3:14-22: 

“Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: Thus says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation: [15] I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. [16] So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. [17] For you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. [18] I advise you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. [19] As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be zealous and repent. [20] See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. [21] “To the one who conquers I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. [22] “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”

I was saved as a teenager. I was calling myself a Christian in my twenties, but I was living a very worldly life. God came secondary to my career and worldly desires. I wasn’t attending church. I wasn’t reading my Bible. I wasn’t praying. What part of me was living a Christian life that could justify calling myself a Christian?

That all changed in my mid-thirties when the Holy Spirit moved my heart closer to God. I still messed up and strayed from time to time, but the Holy Spirit always corrected and guided me back. I knew that God had a plan for me and that Satan was not happy about it. 

The more The Enemy attacked and persecuted me, the closer God drew me into His loving embrace. I started attending church every time the doors were open and humbled myself as the worst of sinners before an Almighty God. 

This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. (1 Timothy 1:15)

Unfortunately, many American Christians have adopted a secular human worldview and are living lives similar to the way I was in my twenties. They are embracing demonic critical theory and the “woke” gospel instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Instead of worshipping God, they worship idols in the form of celebrities, sports players, and politicians. They value material “stuff” over the fruits of the Spirit. They seek comfort and fleeting pleasure over the suffering and courage it takes to live an unapologetic and authentic Christian life. They are lukewarm Christians.

The time for lukewarm Christianity is over. Christians need to rise up and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, to the world. We are the supermajority in The West, and despite the fear-mongering, that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

We are the ones establishing nuclear families. We are the ones bringing up our children to know and love the Lord. We are the ones building sovereign businesses and infrastructure. We are the ones with a future worth fighting for. We are reformers, builders, and pioneers.

The entire coalition of the demonic critical theory ideology is filled with self-centered atomized individuals who need Christ. They chose lust over love, greed over grace, and pride over humility. This never ends well, and it will not survive the hourglass of history.

The Enemy’s current strongholds are in the education systems and in the culture. Their top objective is the indoctrination and conversion of your children to their demonic religion. The single most important thing we can do as Christians is to prevent that from happening.

The way we do that is by going all in, taking a leap of faith, and living fully for Christ. There’s no room or time for lukewarm. The Enemy is expecting and conditioning you to be lukewarm. When you are lukewarm, you are vulnerable. Your children are vulnerable. Our country and indeed The West itself is vulnerable.

Cut the cable cord. Cancel Netflix. Delete your Big Tech accounts. If at all possible, find a way to homeschool your children. If that is not possible, make sure you are spending time in God’s Word daily. If your children are not raised to have a Biblical worldview, the Enemy will most certainly see that they are raised with their demonic secular humanism worldview. What is the best way to raise your children with a Biblical worldview? Live it yourself. Be the example.

It’s so important not to sink into despair right now. We serve the Creator of the Universe. Trust His Plan. Christians need to play the long game, and we need to start being strategic about our plan to recapture the control of our countries. That begins with the end of lukewarm Christianity.

The tolerance of the generations before us has led to the subversive takeover of every facet of society and even the faith of the global elite. That does not mean that they cannot be defeated. I believe that God has a plan to do so, but it will take His people’s organized, long-term commitment and effort to accomplish this. We must never again tolerate evil and the Spirit of the antichrist in our culture, governments, education systems, homes, and our own hearts.

Today on this Easter Monday, we remember the hope, grace, forgiveness, and salvation of our risen Savior. We will forge ahead into the darkness and be not afraid, for our God will always be victorious, and our faith rests in the eternal life that awaits us in His Kingdom.

It’s Decision Time

Here we are, Easter 2021. The entire world seems to be going crazy. Sin is running roughshod over the world. Left is right, right is left, up is down, down is up, wrong is right, and right is wrong. Male is female, female is male, of course, unless it’s neither male nor female. We are not supposed to see the difference in the races, except we are supposed to give special privileges to “people of color.” We are supposed to promote diversity unless we think differently than our “woke” and liberal masters. Then we are white supremacists. I could go on and on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture. The real question is, why does this surprise the Christian? The Bible tells us in several places that the time is coming when everything will be in chaos. That time is here. Whatever is happening or is going to happen, Easter is the time of year we need to focus on our Lord and Savior’s work, Jesus Christ, did for us. As Christians, we need to hold fast to the Word and become more like Jesus every day. 

Philippians 2:1-11 CSB

If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, [2] make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in Spirit, intent on one purpose. [3] Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. [4] Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others. [5] Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, [6] who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. [7] Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, [8] he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. [9] For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, [10] so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— in Heaven and on earth and under the earth— [11] and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father

Wow! What more can be said. The Apostle Paul wrapped everything up very nicely. I think sometimes we forget just what a sacrifice was made for us. Jesus always has been, is, and forever will be God. He is the second person of the Trinity. He was there when the world and everything in it was made. He loves us because He made us in His image. I’m going to focus on three verses. 

In verses 6-8, we see that Jesus made a decision. Because of the sin that had entered the world, He was going to be separated from His people. Something had to be done. As humans, we were not and are not capable of paying the penalty for our sin. We are hopelessly lost. There was and is only one way for Christ to reconcile His people to Himself. 

Think for a moment of what this entails. The Creator of the universe, God Himself, left His home in Heaven and was born into this sinful world for the sole purpose of sacrificing Himself for the payment of your sin and my sin. More than 2,000 years ago, He knew we would one day live and need a Savior. What is even more spectacular is He did this for people that have not cared at all about Him. Look at what the Bible says about us: 

Romans 3:10-18 CSB

as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. [11] There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. [12] All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one. [13] Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips. [14] Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. [15] Their feet are swift to shed blood; [16] ruin and wretchedness are in their paths, [17] and the path of peace they have not known. [18] There is no fear of God before their eyes. 

These verses are a description of who we are apart from Christ. However, regardless of how bad we have been, Jesus made Himself a sacrifice so that those who call on His name shall be saved. 

Romans 3:22-24 CSB

The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. [23] For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; [24] they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

So, in this Easter season, think of the sacrifice that God Himself made for you, the vilest and wretched sinner that you are. Because of that great sacrifice, you may be forgiven and washed as white as snow before a Holy and Pure God. Make the decision to live for Him, who sacrificed so much for you. 

Romans 10:9-13 CSB

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. [11] For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, [12] since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. [13] For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

If you have any questions about how to be saved or how to live the Christian life, please feel free to contact me. If you are a member of a local Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church, please support it with your time, talent, and treasure. If you are a new Christian and are looking for a church, please contact me, and I will help you find one. If you are looking for a new church home, please contact me, and I will help you as well. 

The Dash

the poem by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

Your Thoughts Affect Your Peace

Philippians 4:4-8 ESV
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. [5] Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; [6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [8] Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

If we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us aren’t who or what we think we are. Our thinking is marred at best, off-track, and in most cases, needs to be changed.

How do I know this to be true? God’s Word calls us to a “renewal” of our minds. That means trading in our old perceptions, opinions, ideas, beliefs, and self-centered attitudes for a new set of perceptions, opinions, ideas, beliefs, and attitudes that God develops in us. These godly responses are nurtured by regular reading of Scripture and meditating on what’s been read in the Bible. Christ’s followers are urged to avoid being “conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Out of a renewal of our thinking comes a change in our speech patterns and our behaviors. As our speech and behavior become renewed, our relationships with others become renewed. And as our relationships become renewed, our immediate world is renewed as well. It all begins in the mind with what we choose to think and what we choose to dwell upon.

You have the ability to determine what you think. At any time, you can refocus your mind to a new topic, task, or problem to solve instead of negative thinking that will steal your peace and/or cause you to venture into rebellion or sin. You have the ability to say, “I choose to trust God,” in any situation you face or think you have.

Furthermore, any child of God who takes a willful stand against thought patterns that clearly are harmful is going to be provided a way of escape from that circumstance. God will help you focus your mind on something other than your problem or bad thought pattern.

When you guard your mind, you protect your peace. When you offer prayers to God with faith and thanksgiving—no matter what trials you face—He assures you inner peace (Philippians 4:6-7). And when you focus your thinking on what’s true, noble, virtuous, lovely, pure, and praiseworthy, you rely upon God with increasing faith and trust.

You can never fully exhaust your ability to think about the goodness and greatness of God. Choose to respond to life the way Jesus responded. Guard your prayer life. Guard your thought life. Seek the Father and all that’s godly. His Word promises that when you fill your mind with what is virtuous and praiseworthy, “the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

To God be the glory. Great things He hath done.

Five Essential Beliefs for a Peaceful Heart

If you’re a Christian, God alone is in charge of your life. He’s your security. And He’s never been out of control over His creation for one fraction of a second since the beginning of time. He hasn’t lost one measure of His power or might. He’s just as omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and all loving today as He was at the dawn of man. 

Though we may not always understand His purposes, understanding the ways of God always leads to an understanding that He’ll act in a way that brings about eternal blessings for His children. Through the years, I’ve discovered five essential beliefs for a peaceful heart. I challenge you to take a long, hard look at what you believe about God. Your peace is determined by the degree to which these truths are embedded in your soul.

Belief 1: God is absolutely sovereign.

Recognizing and accepting the truth that God is sovereign over everything is vital for your inner peace. This means that nothing related to you is beyond His watchful eye and loving care. (Colossians 1:17)

Belief 2: God is your provider.

From cover to cover, the Bible has a clear message that God is the One who provides for all your needs. No need is too massive, problematic, or severe for Jesus to meet it. The Bible tells us, “Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing” (Psalm 34:10).

Belief 3: God made you the way you are for a purpose.

There are many things about your life in which you have no control. Accept those things as part of the way God created you. Your race, culture, language, nationality, sex, and many attributes of your physical being are God’s “choices.” He also gave you talents, aptitudes, intelligence, personality, and spiritual gifts that, taken as a whole, make you a unique person on this earth to fulfill the plan He has for you. (Psalm 139:13-16)

Belief 4: God has a place where you truly belong.

God created you for fellowship with Himself and others. Trust Him to help you gain a strong sense of belonging to Him and to provide for you a “family” of fellow believers to whom you can belong. Then, as you grow in Him, reach out to others. (1 Peter 2:9).

Belief 5: God has a plan for your fulfillment.

For real inner peace, a person needs to know that he or she is competent, able, capable, and skilled at doing something. There’s a wonderful sense of peace that comes when you know you’re capable of putting in a good performance or doing a good job. (Ephesians 2:10)

When you accept these five essential beliefs at the core of your being and trust that God is working in you and on your behalf, inner peace will truly be yours.

The Peace God Gives

If you’re a student of the Bible, I’m sure you’ve noticed that God’s perspective is often given in the form of comparison and contrast. For example, He often contrasted the rich and the poor, the wise and foolish, darkness and light, and concerning our topic, the peace that comes from God as opposed to the peace found in this world. Jesus said, “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives …” (John 14:27).

Clearly, the Master stated that the peace He gave His followers was different from the peace they could find in the world. When Jesus referred to “the world,” He was speaking of the society and culture in which we humans live.

Have you ever been on a troubled sea? I’ve experienced storms at sea on several occasions, and frankly, I’ve no desire to repeat the experience! I was in Groton, CT., in the mid 80’s stationed on the USS Providence (SSN-719). It was a fast attack submarine. We put to sea just as the hurricane was coming in. We had to ride on the surface for nearly two hours while we were tossed around like a toothpick. Even as we dove to periscope depth, the swells sucked us out of the water, and we slammed back into the ocean much like a belly flop. It was terrifying. The winds swept across the sea at 40, 60, 100 miles an hour, with blowing rain, lightning, thunder, and an overpowering darkness on the surface. Waves can rose to 20, 30, even 50 feet high. A ship in such a storm can be tossed about like a toy boat. It’s easy for an oceangoing craft to be lost in such storms. But underneath the surface, just 100 feet down, there’s no storm. All is perfectly quiet. No sound. No tumult. Not even a ripple of turmoil. 

This remarkable fact makes me think of God’s peace. It gives me an inkling of what our Lord must’ve been talking about when He promised His disciples His peace. He told them because they were His followers, they’d have trouble in this world. In fact, He claimed that some of them would be persecuted because they were His disciples. But despite this, He promised He’d never leave those who followed Him, and His constant presence would be the means whereby they could experience His peace. 

When fears, anxieties, and troubles arise in your life, look for the following signs of God’s peace as it …

· Transcends circumstances. Often, peace is more readily seen and felt in the midst of trial and trouble. But regardless of what you’re experiencing, know this: God is your peace. Put your faith in Him.

· Surpasses understanding. The peace of God is not something we can always figure out. But it’s operative and available to us—far beyond our ability to understand it. 

· Extends to all His followers. God’s peace is extended to every person who accepts Jesus as their Savior, turns from their sin, and pursues a life in obedience to the guidance of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.

· Is an abiding state of being. In the difficult circumstances of life, the Holy Spirit is present to help. Peace—deep, genuine, God-given peace—can be the “norm” in which you live day to day.

As you move forward in the journey of life, trust and believe that God’s desire for you is to feel an abiding peace at all times—a peace that includes joy and a feeling of purpose in every area of your life.

Why We Lose Our Peace

There’s only one way to experience an abiding peace that transcends circumstances—by faith. Faith is the foundation for living in God’s peace—an active, confident trust in His presence and power to sustain and comfort you, no matter the circumstance you face. There are, however, certain issues that can undermine our faith and rob us of our peace. Let’s consider a few of them:

1. Sudden Fear—Some people are so accustomed to responding to every little dip and rise of life with fear and small doses of panic that they can’t even imagine there’s another way to respond. They’re so upset by change of all types that it never dawns on them they can live with greater emotional stability.

2. The Enemy—We can be attacked by our enemy, the devil, who may use various means to cause us to doubt and lose faith in our God. But we must stand up to him. Scripture urges us to resist the devil, and when we do, he will flee from us (James 4:7). 

3. Sin—Peace and rebellion cannot co-exist. The only recourse is to confess sin to God, surrender to Him, and ask for His help in turning from and resisting all temptation. Then, God’s peace can flow once again. 

4. Giving Up Peace—In times of crisis, we sometimes lay down our peace willingly. We give it up. Concede it. Abandon it. Always remember that no one can take our peace from us; we have to surrender it. And as such, we’re the only ones who can take it back.

5. Losing Focus—We can allow the myriad of bad-news scenarios we hear and read about every day to cause us to lose our correct focus. Instead of having our minds set on God and trusting Him for His peace and presence, we allow our thoughts to get sidetracked and galvanized by the negative news and circumstances we see and hear. 

Because God is with us, we don’t have to give in to, sink beneath, or become defeated by our troubles. We can face, confront, challenge, deal, and in the end overcome them in the power of the cross. Jesus taught His followers that all troubles are passing in nature for a season … and a reason. So “let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:27). Hold on to the peace that God gives, confident that He’s watching, directing, and caring for those who trust and believe in Him.