What does it mean to you? Do you enjoy it or are you currently longing for it?
Often, the answer depends on our understanding of peace. We tend to confuse peace with comfort or the absence of problems. But this is false peace. It isn’t real and it never lasts. This world is full of scary situations, loss, grief, and pain–tragedies to deal with and trials to face.
But even in the midst of our pain, our peace can be constant, complete, and unending.
But how? How do we hold onto peace when life is painful. How do we keep our joy and security when life is scary and the future is unknown?
Only Jesus! His Peace is a gift and it changes absolutely everything!
Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27, ESV, emphasis mine).
Jesus has given us His peace and it is not like anything of this world. His peace guards us, and is so perfect, complete, and unconditional, we can’t even fully understand it! (Philippians 4:7). His peace does not depend on our behavior, our situation, or our circumstances. His peace is always available in endless supply and gives us the power to live in security with freedom from all fear and anxiety.
So how do we accept His gift and hold onto it during times of crisis, while confronted with problems and seemingly impossible situations? How do face our circumstances with courage, joy and peace in times of trial, pain, or loss?
We must choose to trust God and intentionally “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Our emotions and feelings will mislead us, our thoughts will confuse us, and our hearts will doubt, but we have the power through the Holy Spirit to decide that no matter what, “I will trust God!”
We have the incredible gift of prayer! We have the opportunity and ability to talk with God, and know that He hears us! This divine communication should never be taken for granted or ignored. God tells us to come “boldly before His throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb. 4:16, ESV). And we are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:16). In our pain, in our joy, in our trials, and in our celebrations, we should maintain an open, ongoing dialogue with God, and never stop!
Our pride can get in the way of an amazing source of comfort and strength that God has given us–His people. We are to be transparent with each other and love one another, just as Christ loves us. All too often our pride blocks us from the blessing of true fellowship and encouragement. No one can encourage us if they don’t even know we are discouraged! As brothers and sisters in the faith, we are to “…encourage one another and build each other up.” (1 Thess. 5:11). The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts to bless one another, but it is up to us to use them. Imagine what would happen if we all stop pretending we have it all together, admit our needs, and truly encourage and love one another as Christ loves us–it would be so beautiful!
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7). Do we believe God loves us? Do we believe He is faithful? Can He handle our problem? To maintain peace in the trials of life, we must remember we live by faith in God. The problems, struggles and pain are temporary and we need faith in God to see beyond them, to the bigger, better plan God has for us. And when our faith falters, we can go to Him in prayer and ask for more. We can say, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:20). And He is faithful. He will never leave us nor forsake us, (Heb. 13:5).
Lord, strengthen me to rise above my circumstances, to focus on You, and remember that my peace comes from You. You know my struggles, my pain, and my trials, and You are with me. Help me find peace in You, increase my faith, and teach me to love You, trust You, and rely on You completely, in all things. In the name of Jesus, amen!
Do you need prayer or encouragement? Leave a comment (even just your name) and I would be delighted to lift you in prayer!