Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.
God keeps peace in our mind if it’s fixed on the Lord, trusting him. We’re responsible to control where our mind goes because the devil has access to it. We have to believe the word and take it for ourself or we’ll never have peace of mind.
Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect[a] peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:
It’s important to learn the difference between God’s voice and Satan’s voice.
God’s Voice: Stills you, Leads you, Reassures you, Enlightens you, Encourages you, Comforts you, Calms you, Convicts you
Satan’s Voice: Rushes you, Pushes you, Frightens you, Confuses you, Discourages you, Worries you, Obsesses you, Condemns you
Satan’s voice rushes you but God’s voice stills you. The devil pushes you but God leads you. The devil’s voice frightens you. We’ve all been frightened by different things. When Edith found out she had lung cancer, she worked in the operating room and knew people who had parts of their lungs removed. A fear came on her but she was praying for God to help and calm her. The song came to her mind, “I see a great band of angels camped all around me. I hear my captain up ahead challenging me. I know I’m safe when I trust in Jesus. The battle is his, victory is mind, and victory is sweet.” That song was going through her mind in the operation preparation room. The nurses that usually worked with Edith in the recovery room asked why she was smiling and joking at the time. She told them the song and they said they’d take good care of her. She said God was in control. If she knew she was safe, it didn’t matter if she lived or died so she wasn’t afraid.
In peace of mind, you have calmness, tranquility, freedom from worry or anxiety, ease, and untroubled mind. The next time Edith had a real trembling fear was when they said she had thyroid cancer. Her prognosis was very bleak. She said, God please help me. God immediately gave her part of a scripture “though shalt not be afraid of evil tidings” and “be not afraid of sudden fear.” The fear left her because she believed God and believed his word. The devil tries confuses us but God shows us what we need to do. We’ve all been discouraged but God doesn’t discourage us. The Lord said “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer.” The Bible says “fear not” 74 times, “be not afraid” 29 times, and “I am with you” 27 times. God is there to strengthen us and not discourage us. The devil worries us but God helps us trust him. The devil get us to obsess or focus on things we shouldn’t but God is there to calm us. The devil condemns us. We have all felt condemned about things that many times there’s no answer for how to correct. That’s from the devil. When God corrects, it’s specific and he shows us what we should do.
Since Edith graduated from nursing school, she’s been in a research program of Harvard and Duke University. She gets a questionaire every year about some topic and then receives the results later. The 2020 topic was peace of mind. The very first factor found to contribute greatly to mental and emotional stability was absence of suspicion and resentment. Nursing a grudge was a major factor in unhappiness. That’s still true today. You will never have peace of mind if the devil can get you to nurse a grudge, find fault, and blame someone for your situation with no forgiveness. A grudge will be in front everything.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
God wants peace of mind to rule our heart. If we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us. The enemy causes people to have grudges. Paul had a list of things – being beaten, thrown in jail, shipwrecked – but never held a grudge.
Hebrews 12:14-15 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Factor number 2 that contributed greatly to mental and emotional stability was not living in the past. An unwholesome preoccupation of mistakes and failures leads to depression. We have to let go. If we don’t leave the past in the past, it will destroy our future. Paul testified so all the palace heard the gospel and some got saved! He wasn’t holding grudges.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things…before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ…
Factor number 3 was not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you can’t change, cooperate with life instead of running away from the conditions. Paul learned to not fight conditions he couldn’t change and be content in whatever state. If you’re not content, you don’t have peace of mind and you’re always wanting something different.
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Factor number 4 was force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Resist the temptation to withdrawn and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress. People say they stayed home from church because they were too stressed or tired. Many of us have come to church when we felt that way and God gave us just what we needed in the service. Factor number 5 was refuse to engage in self pity when life hands you a raw deal. Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without sorrow and misfortune. Self pity doesn’t help anyone and won’t give peace of mind but it robs you of peace. If we don’t humble ourself, everything will be all about us and self pity will be there. God says we’re going to suffer persecution. After we suffer a while it perfects and settles us so God’s light can shine through us. Factor number 6 was cultivate the old fashioned virtues: love, humor, compassion, and loyalty. The questions were: do you go to church or synagogue and how often, do you go to church or synagogue twice a year, do you read the Bible or a religious document and how often, do you pray to somebody higher than you, do you worry and how often? The study found these gave people greater peace of mind. Factor number 7 was find something bigger than yourself to believe in. Having a relationship with God gave peace of mind.
I Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Jehoshaphat’s first response when he heard about the armies coming against him was fear. Next he proclaimed a fast and said to pray to God. That’s what we need to do when fear comes.
II Chronicles 20:2-4 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria…And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord…they came to seek the Lord.
Jehoshaphat reminded God that he said he’d help them. He came before the Lord with all the people. God spoke to one of the Levites to encourage Jehoshaphat and the people to not be afraid.
II Chronicles 20:9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.
II Chronicles 20:12-13 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh …neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. And all Judah stood before the Lord…and their children.
II Chronicles 20:15…Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
God said they wouldn’t have to fight because it was his battle and he would be with them. The singers went before the army and praised God. Jehoshaphat said to believe God and believe the prophets. We have to believe what our pastor says.
II Chronicles 20:20-22…Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah…Believe in the Lord…so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And…appointed singers…that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army…they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments…and they were smitten.