“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” NLT John 10:10 – Satan’s plan is to keep you from having a rich and peaceful life. Christ’s purpose was to give us a rich and satisfying life. Whose plan are you following?

Jesus says that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we should expect a new vitality of life. For many, it is a new life worth living. However, too many Christians find their life is extremely stressful. Either they do not understand God’s promises or they do not trust that He will answer our prayers.

Philippians 4:6–7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Too many people become Christians and mistakenly believe they do not have to study Scripture or pray that they can live a godly life on their own. Sadly, they are just professing Christians without the power from God, struggling each day and wondering why living a Christian life is so difficult. They question where the promised joy, peace and love is? They must come to the understanding that the Bible instructs us to surrender our old nature and let the new nature control, which God gives us when we receive the Holy Spirit. God will not force Himself on us. For the power to work, He must control but only with our permission. Are you ready to let Him have that control so you can walk in the Spirit?

We are told to rejoice in the Lord. No matter how bad life becomes or how bleak everything looks, Scripture always says to focus on God. The Lord can restore anything. He asks that we have a heart that is selfless. Do not be anxious about anything and pray, with thanksgiving in your hearts. God will answer giving you a peace that only He can give.

True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict or in good feelings. It comes from knowing that God is in control. Peace comes from knowing we are citizens of God’s kingdom; we know what our final destiny will be and we can have victory over sin. What we put into our minds determines what comes out in our words and actions. We are to program our minds with thoughts that are inspiring, encouraging, true, noble right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. We must replace harmful input with wholesome spiritual material.

Christ came to restore us to a life God created uniquely for each of us. That life is to be positive, a meaningful life free from negative fears. He came that He might destroy Satan’s hold on us and freed us from the slavery of sin and the fear of death. Christ, through the Holy Spirit, released us from restrains that hindered our potential and allows us to become what God created us to be and to live the life He planned for us. Satan attacks by providing us with problems that can become tremendously stressful. Chances are stress comes from demonic influence. It is a lack of trust in God and what Christ promised He would do in our lives if we were to trust Him. We need to continually be focused on Christ and know what those promises are.

Doesn’t most stress come from fear? 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” It isn’t unusual for a Christian to be stressed out. If you realize that most times stress results from fear which is based on guilt, a feeling of unworthiness and a belief that we probably deserve punishment. Scripture tells us that if we are fearful and stressful, we probably have not come to the point of having unconditional love in our hearts for God and others which we learn from the Bible.

When God says that Christ died that our sins could be forgiven, wiped clean and no longer remembered, can we trust God to really mean what He promises? Perfect love cannot coexist with fear. Negative fear has to do with death, failure and punishment; it should not be a part of a Christian’s experience. Too many Christians are unwilling to take on certain tasks because they fear failure. If the Holy Spirit leads us to do certain things, why are we fearful to accept the assignment and then get stressed when we do them?

Finally, fear and stress are optional. Scripture tells us that Peter, John and the Apostles feared for their lives when Jesus was crucified. Peter was jailed and he expected to be put to death within days. He was chained to guards when an angel woke him and they together walked out of the prison. The Book of Acts tells us that it was Christ’s resurrection that took away his fear and he became bold in spreading the gospel. When they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, their boldness allowed them to teach Christ’s resurrection to thousands upon thousands. Their witness of seeing Christ being raised from the dead and receiving the Holy Spirit, relieved all stress and made them fearless.

Is there an example in their lives that can apply to ours?

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