Finding Inner Peace in the Different Seasons of Life Presented by Mrs. Rosia Carter, Sixth Episcopal District For the Ministers’ Spouses, Widows and Widowers Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Summit New Orleans, Louisiana September 27, 2012
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind andheart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT)
INTRODUCTIONMost people would agree that life is a mixture of goodand bad. There are a lot of good things in life. But like aFeast of Good and Plenty, the goodness is soon over.Even the best of good things can afterward leave usfeeling empty and even regretful. We all know that God isgood. But when was the last time we embraced Him asthe ultimate Good or the ultimate Peace in our life?
INTRODUCTIONToo often we let lesser “goods” eclipse ouracceptance of the everlasting goodness/peaceof God in our lives.
INTRODUCTIONOnly God can give you Peace. In a world filled withdespair and trouble, we can still take courage. TheHoly Spirit lives within us as promised, providing uswith His peace and comfort.
INTRODUCTIONNote what the Psalmist says. He explains that Godreally is good. He is: our preserver (v.1); ourgoodness-giver (v.2); our blessings provider &blessings protector ( v.5); our counsel and instruction(v.7); our joy supplier, our safety and rest provider(v.9); the one who will not let us continue in our hell(v.10); and the one who makes known our path oflife and fills us with joy in His presence (v.11).
Psalm 16 (NLT)1. Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to youfor refuge.2. I said to the Lord, You are my Master! All thegood things I have are from you.5. Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup ofblessing. You guard allthat is mine.7. I will bless the Lord who guides me; even atnight my heart instructs me.
8. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.9. No wonder my heart is filled with joy, and my mouth shouts his praises! My body rests in safety.10. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your godly one to rot in the grave (KJV – Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell).11. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living forever.
Our individual journey causes us to travel highways thatlead us to and through a myriad of seasons in ourpersonal (life) journey. As we travel, we turn right. Weturn left. We yield. We slow down. We drive the speedlimit. We stop. We’re even caught in traffic jams causedby others along the way.
We travel through highways and we pull up to streetswith names that reflect our various Seasons of Life.Streets named:
So many seasons in our life journey personallyand as ministers’ spouses. Because we areministers’ spouses, our journey as promisedwhen we were born – “of a few days andmany troubles” seems to be compounded.The journey will sometimes lead us to streetsnamed:
DEFINITIONS SEASONA time characterized by a particular circumstance or feature, a period associated with some phase or activity. (Webster) PEACEA state of tranquility or quiet, freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions. (Webster) PEACE“It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart and mind.” (Unknown)
DEFINITIONS INNER PEACEThe result of a quiet mind. An inner quietness that allows you to see yourself and the world around you as it is, without any aggression, desires, frustration or stress. You can feel content simply just to be. You do not need to be rich, successful, pretty, or popular to feel this inner calm all you need is to be able to take control of your mind and stop the constant thoughts that repeat themselves over and over again. (www.innerpeace.com)
DEFINITIONS PEACEFUL PEOPLEInner peace is not a fleeting emotion, but a state of mind. However, people who find this peace do not simply live every moment with a smile on their face. They still get ill and feel sorrow as they are still human! The only difference is that there is a vast comforting space around such difficult times and an inner knowing that such times will pass. There is also a very light uplifting and joyful feeling towards others and yourself which makes you feel complete. People who achieve this inner quietness generally show a kindness towards all living things and a deep appreciation for the natural world around them. (www.innerpeace.com)
Imagine for a moment a life void of change orcircumstances, periods or seasons of diversity. A worldwithout emotion. Without emotion, we couldn’texperience the delicate joy of holding a newborn baby inour arms.
Apart from emotions we wouldn’t be able to respondto our journey, to the seasons we encounter. God hasgiven us emotions to help us identify our seasons.
God invites us to be honest with Him about what we’rethinking, feeling and experiencing in our lives. He givesus the Psalms to let us know that we can fully discloseourselves to God the answer to our need for peace.
What Are God’s Promises Concerning Our Concern?*Write down God’s Promise concerning your dilemma/concern.*Pray aloud His Promises.*Consciously practice your reliance on His Promise until it becomes your 1st response in all situations.
Invest in Good Memories Make Friends With Your RegretsFall In Love with Your Rainy DaysDon’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
SOLUTIONSPray offer our emotion or season to God for His help, direction and resolution. Talk to Him without hiding our thoughts, feelings and seasons. He wants to help. Read Psalm 6.What Does the Word Say About our Dilemmas?*In everything give thanks*Man (woman) should always prayand not faint*Believe when we pray that Godhears and answers our prayer
SOLUTIONS Take Care of Your Physical Body *Exercise *Adequate Rest *Healthy Diet*Consult a Doctor when necessary *Laugh
REFERENCESFeinberg, Margaret (2012) Making Peace With Your Emotions, Women of Faith Study Guide, Thomas Nelson, Inc.Kalas, J. Ellsworth (2011) I Bought A House On Gratitude Street, Abingdon PressThe Holy Bible, New Living Translation.