Power to Cope
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing . . . with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
Four part guide for handling stress, using Biblical principles
Part II - Release
What about those people who cannot forgive themselves for past actions or failings? What about those who know they have brought many problems on themselves by their selfishness, thought- lessness, explosive temper or uncontrolled words? Is there power, or are there promises from God, for someone who blames himself or herself for abandonment, rejection, or failure - at work, at school, with friends, or with children?
It doesn't really matter how much other people tell you everything is OK, does it? You're the one who has to live with yourself. You're the one who has to deal with your inner self in those quiet moments. And you need peace of mind!
What Really Matters
So what does matter? Not what another human thinks, but what God thinks and how He sees you. Because according to Scripture, He's the One who gives you peace of mind!
Let's read about this from Scripture:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. John 14:27
The world often gives "peace" by saying something doesn't matter, or by rehashing it over and over, or by pretending a problem doesn't exist. This is not God's way. He meets a situation head-on and judges fairly, because He created everything.
This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it - the Lord is his name: "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. . . . I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. . . . I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins. . . ." Jeremiah 33:2,3,6, 8
So the God who created at the beginning (who does not change) says He gives peace and will cleanse anything bad from our lives. Evidently, everything of which we are guilty is actually done against the God who created us, since we belong to Him.
God did not plan to ignore OUT "badness," our sins, our guilt. He did not just pretend it didn't exist. Instead, He planned to remove it from us to Himself. Here's part of a prophecy of the Messiah God spoke of through Isaiah:
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; tht: punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wou nds we are healed. Weall, likesheep, havegoneastray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:4-6
His Punishment for Our Peace
So that is what God did with everything bad about usevery wrong thought or action. God the Father placed on His Son, Messiah the Prince, the punishment that we deserve so we could have peace and again be in touch with Him for life and strength.
Read about it again in Colossians 1:19, 20:
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
God didn't ignore the problems that destroy our peace. He took the guilt and shame upon Himself when He came to live on this earth in a human body (Hebrews 2:14), so He could take our punishment, condemnation, separation and, finally, death.
So why do we still have terrible feelings and inner pressures? Why do we behave like we do? We can't pretend we are innocent. Yet the God the Scriptures talk about died in our place nearly 2,000 years ago! Where is our peace?
Where Is It?
Is the God who died to give us peace alive now and ready to release it to us? Back to the Scriptures for the answer:
May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lard Jesus ... equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through lesus Christ. Hebrews 13:20, 21
How Do We Get It?
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the aton ing sacrifice for our sins, and not onIyfor ours bu t also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 1:9, 10; 2:1, 2
Easy for Us, Not for Him
He has provided for our needs. Our response is to choose to accept. When we admit we have sin and guilt problems, when we confess our sinfulness in general and whatever specifically we are aware is wrong, we receive God's forgiveness - it's been there waiting for us all along. He clears our records. That's why He died on the cross - so He could take the guilt from us. We human beings cannot cope with it ourselves. It is like poison to every part of us.
Our Creator did this because He loved us and knew we were doomed without His help.
Our Choice: to Accept or Not
But God doesn't force His help on us. He treats us intelligently - and gives us freedom of choice. Either we can face life now and the judgment later - all by ourselves, or we can accept His power to cope and His covering of love. To have the record of our messed up lives covered by the record of His perfect life seems too good to be true. But that is what God is like.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniqu ities into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18, 19
So, if right now you bow to God and confess your sins (whatever they are) to Him, you can thank Him that, because of Jesus, they are forgiven.
You can thank Him that Jesus took your punishment and guilt. You can thank Him that the sins have been tossed as far away as the ocean bottom-because He said so, not because you feel anything. You can thank Him for peace because that gift is yours now.
No more do you have to go over the sins and failures of your past. They are covered now because of Christ. When thoughts of them come into your mind, just thank God they are forgiven and that He remembers them no more so you don't have to, either. You are no longer guilty. In fact, God sees you as an extremely valuable person. Your freedom from guilt was purchased by the blood of the Prince of the universe!
Your name is written in His book of life, as of the moment you accepted Christ's covering over you. You have become part of His family and He is giving you peace. He said so.
It is by expressing thanks to God that we allow His gift of peace to possess us. As you read Colossians 3:15-17, note the first word, "let" - it is one of choice. God continues to give us power of choice:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing . . . with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Choose every day to accept His peace, His solution for freedom from sin and guilt. And express gratitude. His promise can be believed, no matter how you feel, because God said so. You have power to cope!
Powerful Promises of Peace from God