Based on the devotion “The Peace God Promises” by Ann Spangler and Zondervan
I was recently faced with a strong feeling of uncertainty and pressure to get certain things in my life sorted as though time was working against me (I literally felt like time was chasing after me )… I just needed reassurance that I could stop running, jumping to conclusions and work at a pace that God has set for me. I weren’t too sure which devotion to go for but I came across this one which I had saved months back for a ‘will-come-back-to-you-when-I-need-you’ moment and I guess this moment came…
…I thought, rather than keeping to myself what this amazing devotion has taught me, I thought I’d share it with you guys because there is a lot to take away. I do honestly believe a lot of us lack peace and so we search for it in the wrong places, or even so, go about different ways of filling in empty holes in our life. Many of us do not even realise that we need peace but peace serves to help many areas of our life, not just spiritually but also emotionally, mentally and socially…
My Peace|A Journey
The first thing I noted is that peace or the act of gaining peace is not just reaching a final destination but it’s the on-going journey or process of letting go and letting God. Regarding peace as a destination rather than on-going change, growth and adaptation will forever hold us back from “arriving at peace”; we would always feel as though we’re miles away from that finish line and so, we’d lose motivation of finishing the race of faith and perseverance. Another way to look at it is that, a journey includes maintenance and care to keep it running; just like a car, once you purchase it, that’s not the end of it, that’s just the beginning… you need to maintain it and look after it. If we keep peace at a distance by thinking we will never reach it, rather than embracing the on-going journey, once we reach it, what next?
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
~John 16:33, NKJV~
My Peace|Stop Comparing
Focus on your journey with God rather than worrying about whether you have the right job, enough money, or perfect body. Stop comparing your achievements to the progress of others and stop using the success of others as a measurement or indication of how well/bad you are doing in life. Stop focusing on what the media says is the latest thing to have to or be doing, and set your eyes on what God has planned for you. Before we were made, God wrote our individual stories and planned each and every one of our futures, therefore, we can walk confidently with total trust, faith and hope in Him rather than constantly worrying and questioning “what about me” when others get a new job, buy a house, get engaged/married, start a new business, etc. The world/media throws us off the path of peace because it defines and categorises our worth according to our possessions and status and almost tells us we are not good enough, however, God’s plan is faithful and final and our peace rests within this reassurance that “my time will come”.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” ~Isaiah 26:3, NKJV ~
My Peace|A Lifestyle
When we reside in God’s presence and truthfulness on a daily basis, we can easily achieve a sense of wholeness and contentment with all areas of our life, even if the reality is that we’re not 100% happy. When we live as God intended for us to do so, with Him by our side and his truthful word as comfort, guidance and protection, peace becomes ours because we don’t have to wake up overwhelmed, clueless or confused because of the areas of our lives which are “incomplete”. If we can decide to wake up believing that God is by our side, living in peace becomes our lifestyle which we exercise throughout each day, every day. Because of this, we’re not so tied down by the realities of life but instead, we live freely knowing that all will be well. Once we can declare that we are truthfully peaceful within, life becomes peaceful, no matter what comes our way.
““The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”
~Numbers 6:24-26, NKJV~
My Peace|Jesus, the Source
Just before Jesus died, He left His disciples with the gift of peace; in today’s generation, we are His disciples so we too have access to that peace. However, although He blessed us with sound peace of mind and heart for in his physical absence, sometimes we still go searching for this peace in places where it’s only temporary, conditional or limited. To gain peace we need to gain Christ for He is the source of genuine peace which reassures us not to fear or be troubled. A gift is something we give to others which we have thought long and hard about and something which, whenever the person on the receiving end looks at it, it reminds them of who thought of them. Taking this idea, Jesus giving us the gift of peace is an act of His compassion for us and a reminder that He is still by our side and protecting us – we need not to look far for it; so long as we have Jesus within us, we have that peace also. To add, Jesus knows that through our own strength and ability, we will not be able to face the realities of today’s world without worrying therefore His peace is there for us to rely on His strength, His peace and His power – His peace has already overcome the world so we need not to fear.
““I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
~John 14:27 , NLT~
My Peace|Ask and You will Receive
Asking for peace from the one and only who provides it, is probably the easiest, best and wisest way to find and achieve true peace, particularly in circumstances which draw us into stress, conflict and pain. Literally going to Jesus ready to receive will activate peace because He will tell us to go in His peace. It doesn’t say that circumstances won’t reoccur but God’s limitless supply of peace means we can return to Him every time we need His peace. He is our supplier, He will never run out of it so we need not to fear that we’re on the last straw with obtaining peace from God or that God is keeping count on how many times we run to Him… This is what He wants from us; to be able to run Him in need of His peace for every occurrence in our life. He is ready to welcome us in openly and ready to give generously
“God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.”
~1 Peter 1:2 NLT~
My Peace|The Attraction
Being peaceful will attract more peace, and peace will follow us all the days of our life. When there is negativity, strife and division around, our peace can suppress this and attract a different vibe. Deciding to remain peaceful in all situations will see conflict bow down to the overwhelming power of love, kindness, patience – all of which can be achieved through remaining at peace. Being at peace in the midst of a storm grabs more attention than those who lose control and demonstrate this through actions and words. Reason being is that we’re so accustomed to expressing our emotions that when one chooses not to panic, not to cry, not to belittle others, others will notice it. Peace is attractive and favourable. Our peaceful attitude can help calm a situation down and help bring balance. Being at peace helps to draw control over circumstances because as true peace comes from God, it is not through our own strength but through the power of Christ that things are well. Being at peace brings positive energy and shifts a situation from an explosion to equilibrium – it captures all forces and compresses it to a volume which enables us and others to take time to think, act and react in a manner of sensibility and with discipline
“So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
~John 20:21 NKJV~
Lastly, by remaining a peaceful presence i.e., through our mentality, attitude and behaviour, in a room full of people panicking and worrying can bring hope. Almost like a magnet, the strong force of love and patience overcomes conflict and closes the bridge between divisions. Our peace draws people closer to us and so, this aura is passed onto others. It takes a lot to remain calm in a stressful situation or to guide others out of a confusing circumstance, but if we can be the one who is filled with peace, even in that stressful and confusing environment, our presence can help others remain calm and composed. Although the situation will not instantly disappear, our aura or vibe can give us and others the hope of making it through. Our peace can do a lot more than just calm our nerves down, it can build faith and unity to overcome problems which come our way – either individually or collectively.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
~Romans 15:13, NKJV~
As we have discovered, achieving and maintaining peace is not an easy or overnight change but as we actively practice it on a daily basis, it becomes a part of us and a part of our lifestyle therefore, we learn to believe that tomorrow’s challenges are less of a problem than todays because we are constantly gaining another day of strengthening our peace.
I hope this edifies and/or encourages many to grow and live in peace.
Image Source: http://www.themiracleforest.com/2015/06/training-for-inner-peace-how-to-be-at-peace-with-anxiety-anger-sadness.html