Rev. Terry Greer|
The life of inner peace
How would you rate your self-confidence?
I believe that a lack of self-confidence is one of the great problems besetting people today. I once had a man tell me that he had lost his self-confidence. I thought for a minute and then remembered a statement by the noted psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger, who wrote, "Attitudes are more important than facts."
I told this gentleman, who thought he had lost his faith, that Dr. Menninger's statement was worth repeating until its truth "gripped" him. I assured him that a triumphant thought pattern based on the words of Jesus Christ would certainly help him "find" his faith.
The great positive thinker and preacher, the late Norman Vincent Peale, taught the power of positive thinking. He based his philosophy of peace, contentment and joy upon the message and ministry of Jesus. Peale would counsel people to simply affirm, "God is with me; God is helping me; God is guiding me."
He would then encourage his congregation to "spend several minutes each day visualizing Jesus' presence." Through the years, I have encouraged people to read through the Bible underlining in red every statement it contains relative to courage and confidence.
I invite them to commit to memory encouraging passages of Scripture. The power of cramming your mind full of the healthiest, happiest, most powerful thoughts in the world is reassuring and powerful.
Dynamic thoughts from Scripture can change us from cringing hopelessness to a compelling force.
I have shared with others that when I need inner peace or encouragement from God, I often quote Romans 8:31, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" I also use Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," as a prelude to my prayers. These 20 words of Holy Scripture can be life-changing. I have learned that when I remind myself that God is with me and nothing can defeat me, I receive the necessary power from God.
My friends, the strain of life can be difficult. The secret of inner peace comes through Jesus, the babe of Bethlehem, the blessed Redeemer. A harmonious existence with God and others is possible with a life of inner peace offered through Jesus Christ.
The Rev. Terry Greer, senior pastor of Decatur First United Methodist Church, is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for The Daily.