Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
Have you ever had a time in your life when things were going badly and you could have really fallen apart, but you prayed about it and God gave you this awesome sense of peace? That has happened to me by the side of a highway with a broken-down car that contained four very upset children. It also happened when our church lost several important members at once, when things were not going well for us financially and we didn’t know how we’d be able to cover out expenses. Have those kinds of things ever happened to you? What is it? It’s God’s Spirit speaking peace to our spirit.
God doesn’t just speak information to us; quite often He speaks words of encouragement, peace, comfort and strength. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). God speaks peace to us.
He also speaks encouragement as well. Our church has gone through some very difficult times when attendance and giving was way, way down. Still, God spoke encouragement to me to keep moving ahead and to keep my eyes on Him. I can’t take credit for those thoughts didn’t originate within me. I know it was God speaking to me to keep me going. I’ve seen Him do it to people whose marriage was falling apart, to those who had lost a job or a loved one, and in all manner of situations.
Unfortunately we don’t always recognize that it is His voice speaking to us at such times. When we don’t then we don’t thank Him and give Him the credit that is due Him. When we do recognize this comes from Him we are better able to recognize and listen to His voice next time we need peace or encouragement. Instead of shutting that voice off we must know it is from God so we listen to it.
This peace and encouragement comes when we turn to God in difficult situations. It can be in response to prayer, Bible reading, singing or anything that focuses our attention onto God.
Charles Stanley explains it this way:
As you pray and read, trust the Holy Spirit to quicken your spirit to His truth. You may feel this as a warmth inside, or you may feel a great sense of absoluteness about a particular verse. Sometimes the words on the page of your Bible may seem to stand out to you as if they were written in bold headlines. Sometimes you may not be able to get away from a particular passage. It comes repeatedly to your mind, and you can’t seem to shake it from memory.
Spend time now letting God fill you with His peace and encouragement. Ask Him for it in areas where it is needed and listen to His voice speaking that to your spirit. Thank Him for it.
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 15 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on January 25, 2010