Learning to receive God’s peace
Published 9:23 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2016
By Tonya S. Swindell
The word “receive” caught my attention when I heard it recently. After taking a short break from my activities, I let go of the anxiety I felt to receive God’s peace. Soon I was able to regain my composure and move forward with the rest of my day.
When I neglect spending time in “receive mode,” I lack energy and resources to offer God, myself or other people. My mom always said, “You can’t take care of anybody else unless you take care of yourself first.” So I’m learning to receive God’s peace.
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Receiving hasn’t been easy for me, especially since I learned, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” But it helps when I remember Jesus’ promise to me: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
God is the Giver of life, light and every good and perfect gift and He delights in finding believers to receive His generous offerings. My goal is to receive God’s peace in the middle of my difficulties.
In the past I’ve done that by meditating on scriptures that confirm God’s love and faithfulness. Then I used my mouth to express my faith saying: “Yes, Lord. I believe I receive that. Thank You!”
Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as my confident assurance that something I want is going to happen, the certainty that what I hope for is waiting for me. My faith helps me to believe even when I cannot see. And God uses my ability to receive as a tool to supply all my needs.
Jesus asked the disciples, “If you, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him?” Later He added, “Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
God can deliver me from fear when I receive His gifts of love, joy and peace. By receiving, I show appreciation for The Giver. I also show love for God, myself and others.
Sometimes I still feel anxious; but it encourages me to know I can receive peace that surpasses all understanding. I can also make a quality decision to “let not my heart be troubled.” Meditating on things that are right, pure, lovely and honorable helps me with that.
Finally, I feel encouraged when I imagine what it was like for Jesus’ disciples to receive the Holy Spirit of Peace. As Jesus exhaled, His followers simply inhaled one of God’s greatest gifts. That seamless exchange suggests receiving peace from God may be easier than I thought.
So from now on, one of my prayers has become: “Lord, help me to receive Your Spirit of Peace every time that I breathe.”
Tonya Swindell writes a blog for www.inspirenewlife.org and a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School (KBES.com). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.