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May 16, 2023

3 Points To Ponder

 Peace is a congruence of mind, body, and soul, regardless of external circumstances. Or to put it another way, things as they should be. It is a nearness to God and who He created you to be in all circumstances, that even in chaos, His shalom can be found. On a scale of one to ten, how is your peace right now? 

Peace isn’t an emotion, but rather a state of being. Its footings are deep, which means a lot of work went into laying that foundation. If you are struggling right now, could it be that God is doing some heavy work on your foundations? Do you trust Him to bring shalom into your chaos if you stop trying to control the situation?

Suffering comes to us all. It expands beyond socioeconomic status, color, and geographic location. It isn’t a matter of if, but when. If you are in a good season of life, are you laying the foundations for peace regardless of circumstances? If you are currently in the struggle, what is something little right now that you are grateful for? What about three things? Keep listing until your mind moves off the suffering, even for just a second. 

2 Quotes To Share

“There is a closeness to God that comes only with suffering, the qualification none of us want, none of us look for. But, when it finds us, He is faithful to be there too.” - Jen O’Herin

“Suffering can give us opportunities to witness. The world is a gigantic hospital; nowhere is there a greater chance to see the peace and joy of the Lord than when the journey through the valley is the darkest.”         -Billy Graham 

1 Story of Impact

This past week, I talked at length with one of our staff in Haiti, as the outlook for the people of Haiti is pretty dire. The daily stories are heartbreaking and in fact, can make one a cynic about the whole thing. But, she reminded me of Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Notice it doesn’t say “the hurting” or the “downtrodden,” but it specifically says “crushed in spirit.” That means God knows there will be times we are crushed in spirit. That struck me. He never promises a pain-free, problem-free life. Soul-crushing trouble will come our way. Given that, what does God offer? In John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” We know that something is off in our world, both near and far. But, He still promises us peace, even with all the suffering, and we should pursue it. Work towards building shalom in all areas you touch. If you are experiencing soul-crushing suffering, it is okay to cry out. But do it towards the Lord and not away from Him. Do it within the Body of Christ and not void of it. Do the heavy work to lay the forever foundation to build upon. The Lord is near the crushed in spirit. Today, may you experience the peace of God’s smile and the nearness of His Spirit. 
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Tim Brand
Founder and CEO, Many Hands

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