Choose Peace Over Worry - Girlfriends in God - June 27, 2016

June 27, 2016
Choose Peace Over Worry
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

Give all your worries to Him, because He cares about you (1 Peter 5:7, NIV).

Friend to Friend

My husband often says there are two kinds of people in the world. Some people have ulcers, and some people give them. Can you relate? I certainly can.

Sandpaper people are definitely ulcer giving people unless we learn to choose peace over worry when dealing with them. Getting along with people who rub you the wrong way is difficult at best and can sometimes make peace seem impossible to find. That is only true if peace is dependent on outer circumstances.

It isn’t.

Peace is an inside job and comes only from God. Nothing can take the place of peace, and it is impossible to counterfeit. 

Sandpaper people are not peaceful people. One of the very reasons they are rough around the edges is because they are not at rest – with God, with themselves or with others. They may not know God. If they do have a personal relationship with Him, they may not understand who they are in Him and who He wants to be to them. 

Sandpaper people continually arrange the circumstances of their lives to set themselves up for failure, proving to everyone, including God and even their own heart, that what everyone believes about them is true – they are worthless. We must not be fooled by their temper tantrums, their boisterous antics, or their brooding silences – all traps of their own making that sooner or later will imprison them in disappointment and defeat.  Worry is their jailor ... and can imprison each one of us unless we learn to deal with worry and anxiety.    

Worry is a control issue. It is playing God, foolishly thinking we can handle difficult relationships on our own. Every time we choose to worry, we are choosing not to trust God.

Isaiah 26:3 “You, LORD, give true peace to those who depend on You, because they trust You.”

Have you ever noticed that the sandpaper people thrive on drama? Everything is a big deal! Drama flows freely through the veins of every sandpaper person I have ever met. Under the spotlight of opportunity, everything, no matter how insignificant it may seem, escalates into a major crisis filled with worry, distorting what is real.

In 1 Peter 5:7 we discover the secret of handling worry - by casting every care on Him.  “Give all your worries to Him, because He cares about you.” I love this verse because in essence it is saying God has volunteered to be the dumping ground for every fear, every worry, and every difficult relationship. We must learn to take those difficult people to God and leave them there, in the palm of His hand. I know they will come crawling back into your peace, but stand firm in your resolve to keep taking them back to the place of wholeness.

Queen Esther is an amazing example of a woman who learned how to choose peace over worry. She was confronted with a frightening set of circumstances and had every right to worry:

·      She was taken from her home for the second time since birth.

·      She was thrust into the overwhelming role of queen.

·      She was the wife of a king.

·      She faced her foremost sandpaper person, an evil man named Haman who plotted to kill her and her people.

·      She was responsible for the future of a whole nation.

Talk about the perfect chance to work up a huge mountain of worry! Instead, Esther chose to trust God. After fasting and praying, she threw every fear on God, including her fear of Haman. Because she chose peace over worry, Esther’s problem was resolved and peace reigned in her heart.

I think we sometimes miss the solution to handling our sandpaper people because we have allowed worry to take us hostage. Right now, choose peace and “do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need. And when you pray, always give thanks. And God's peace will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The peace that God gives is so great that we cannot understand it” (Philippians 4:6-7 ICB).

When we choose peace, we are paving the way for difficult people to encounter the Prince of Peace Himself. Choose peace over worry!

Let’s Pray

Father, please forgive me when I give in to fear and worry instead of stepping out in faith and believing You. Help me learn how to capture my thoughts and train them to focus on You. I want to become a woman who trusts You – no matter how difficult some of the people in my life may be. My faith is small, but I now choose to place it in You.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Think about the most difficult relationship in your life. How has worry about that relationship affected your life?

What step do you need to take that will help you choose peace over worry in this relationship? What is keeping you from taking that step? Choose now to relinquish that person to God.

More from the Girlfriends

Need help learning how to love and deal with the difficult people in your life? Get Mary’s book, Sandpaper People. Perfect for personal and small group study. A chapter-by-chapter study guide included.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

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Originally published Monday, 27 June 2016.