"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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" - Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).
We live in hurried times where the bustle of life can increasingly leave us on edge. Aside, we have also an environment that has been degraded affecting nature which we are supposed to enjoy. Our diet, especially for those living in the city, is increasingly artificially saturated with chemicals. Also, our working lives are floating from one deadline to the next, leavings nerves frail.
For all this there are many people who are stressed. Stress has been defined as a "state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse circumstances!" When stress is not watched and managed well it can affect not just one's health but also ruin relationships. A stressed person is ever on edge and can easily go "live wire' once one steps on the "wrong fuse"!
The Bible is not oblivious of the cause and effect of stress on us. Man was created to live in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2-3) and life was pleasant before the fall. Our bodies were meant to feed on natural organic foods before oils and processing took over. Every body needs sufficient rest from our daily labors, as God planned, which many don't enjoy. Isn't it any surprising that having walked away from God's design for the earth and our lives lots of us are stressed!
A lot of people suffer stress due to anxiety, paralysed with worry, especially concern over finances. Yet when we give way to worry we open up ourselves to crippling stress. But God has given us the route to our freedom, and that is not to give ourselves to anxiety, but rather let the peace of God which "surpasses human understanding" flood our hearts.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, where my life is being subjected to stress and anxiety, I call upon you to take care of all my needs as you have promised and your peace to flood my entire being, this I pray in Jesus's name.
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03/03/2024 - 04/03/2024 All day
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!