Our topic was peace.
One of the key verses that we looked at is found in Isaiah's Twenty-sixth chapter, the third verse.
I discovered this verse early in my walk with Jesus and have meditated many a time on it.
Years ago I had found it on a plague at a tag sale; it hung on my kitchen wall until recently.
It may not be on my wall anymore, but it is still on my heart.
It is most familiar to me in the King James translation, in which I first learned it.
"Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee."Papa doesn't say He might give peace to those who trust Him, no it is a sure thing.
Please note that it is perfect peace.
It is intended to be a constant peace.
Now what does that trust, which is rewarded with peace, look like?
It isn't trusting that He will work things out the way we desire.
It is a trust in His character.
Knowing Who He is gives us confidence that He meant what He said in the Twenty-ninth chapter of Jeremiah.
"I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."Once we begin a personal relationship with Jesus it does not mean that it will be smooth sailing from then on.
It does not mean that if we have trials that the reason is a weak faith.
It does mean that we get to experience God's faithfulness.
This flies in the face of the "Prosperity Gospel" that is being preached in many places.
With Jesus by our side we can be certain that He will supply the strength and wisdom needed for every twist and turn of life.
That gives great peace.
With time we then have our experiences of His faithfulness to add encouragement in the difficult times.
There are quite a number of scripture verses where our God promises to give us peace.
Jesus said He was giving us peace and leaving it with us.
There are also many verses that instruct us to claim that peace.
A gift does us no good unless we claim it as our own.
Last night we encouraged one another to remember His promises and lay hold of them.
This morning I read a portion of Genesis Two. The devotional "Today in the Word" which is published by Moody Bible made a comment on the passage.
They asserted that though Adam lived in Paradise and had the pleasure of God's company, it was somehow not sufficient. God recognized what it was.
"It was not good for man to be alone."The commentary stated that God's intent, from the very beginning, was for humanity to worship and serve Him within the context of community.
I would add that community is also for our own encouragement.
As our group shared last night, our hearts were uplifted.
We need each other.
That is how God designed us.
For those who are wondering how this subject ties into codependency I will tie it in.
Codependency causes our lives to become unmanageable.
We expend a whole lot of energy trying to control people and situations.
Our minds are always searching for solutions, which we feel compelled to implement.
The more we study the problem, the bigger it gets and the crazier we become!
There is a chorus that I love and often quote.
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."It is so true.
Whatever we focus on ends up consuming us.
We dare not allow anything and anyone, apart from Jesus, to have our full attention.
The only source of peace is Jesus.