Friday, March 6, 2015
Peace: Where and How Can I Find It?
I don't watch the news anymore. It's a rare day when there is ever anything good or positive on. I also try to limit my social media time, though that is quite impossible with an ongoing ministry.
It seems everywhere we turn there are bad things happening. If I'm not careful, I can quickly become sucked into the fear and anxiety of it all, feeling as if my footing is being knocked out from under me. Where is peace? How can I find it? Where is it hiding? Somehow, there are those moments when peace eludes me as if lurking in the shadows; taunting me from the depths.
As a mom there have been many opportunities throughout my children's lives where worry got the upper hand. Would they gravitate towards good friends? Could they stand up for themselves and not be bullied? Would they find the right mate...the best career choice, etc.?
As a wife of an officer questions have arisen such as: Will he come home?, Can he deal with the ugliness of the job and not have lasting scars?, Will our marriage survive?, and How will we make ends meet?
Now as a grandma (Mimi), my thoughts are more like: What kind of world will he grow up in? Will he have a "normal" childhood? Will he know how much he is loved by me and God?
So as you can tell, there are many things constantly invading my thoughts and trying to steal my peace. Where do I turn? Where can I regain that childlike simplicity of "it will all be okay"?
To answer that and several other questions we may have, let's look at some key scripture:
1. Who is the giver of peace?
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
Jesus was clear that He is the giver of peace. He does not want us to be troubled or afraid. We must trust in Him and allow Him to comfort our troubled thoughts.
2. What does God promise to those who seek Him, especially when they are afraid?
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
Our first response to fear or anxiety should be to go to God in prayer. Then He promises to guard our heart and mind covering it over with His peace, something we won't even be able to understand or explain fully.
3. The removal of our peace doesn't always come from worry and fear, but can also be caused by a disruptive person or situation in our midst. How are we supposed to handle those things?
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' said the Lord." Romans 12:18-19
God calls us to live peacefully with all people if at all possible. Another scripture in Hebrews 12:14 says to make every effort. It's not always easy, but God rewards those who seek to follow His commands.
4. What does God promise for those who seek out and promote peace?
"There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace." Proverbs 12:20
God promises us that if we live with peace in our hearts and promote it, that He will give us joy. Isn't that the ultimate goal? Who on earth doesn't want to be joy-filled AND at peace?
5. Finally, the Bible is clear as to WHO can receive true peace? What does it say?
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14
True peace cannot be obtained by just anyone. God is the only way...the only source...and the only One who can provide this highly desired gift. Have you accepted His invitation and received His favor? If so, then you can have true peace even in the midst of the most challenging battle.
I hope this has somehow spoken to you. We all go through times of struggle and anxiety but with God, inner peace and joy in even some of the hardest of circumstances can be a reality.
Blessings to you today,