True Peace Is Possible
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
Growing up, my father had a philosophy when life became hectic. He’d cross his arms over his chest, and in a joking kind of way say, "There will never be any peace until we’re all laid to rest."
I knew what he meant. Life is hard. And sometimes it’s easy to despair over finding peace when trouble seems to lurk around every corner. When hard times come, many emotions rule my heart and mind. Like my dad, peace is usually the emotion I sense the least when life turns topsy-turvy. But this is not God’s plan.
Peace is God’s will. Heavenly peace is a state of tranquility or quiet amidst anxious thoughts and emotions. It speaks of freedom from external pressures.
The kind of peace God gives remains. It’s not something that comes and goes depending on our circumstances. Divine peace should govern our lives in all things at all times. When the things of life haunt us — that stack of bills, new tires for the car, anxious feelings of inadequacy — don’t we long for peace?
Here’s the good news: We can have that kind of peace. Jesus told His disciples, "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, NIV).
Jesus is not talking about the kind of peace we feel when a debt is finally paid. That’s relief. It’s not the kind of peace we experience when we can purchase that big house we’ve always wanted. That’s gratification.
The peace Christ gives is fully satisfying. It’s peace of mind, heart, body and soul. It’s contentment knowing that no matter what happens, you are in the care of the Almighty.
Sadly, it’s my selfish nature that tries to obtain peace by my own efforts. Perhaps you’re like me. We try to persuade God with promises. We even attend church more often than usual. We think: If I follow all the rules and do the things that please God most, then maybe I’ll find some peace.
In the end, we’re working at peace instead of resting in it. This reveals one thing: My trust is in myself instead of in God. In other words, I put my trust in what I can do, not what God is truly capable of doing.
The Bible has something to say about putting our trust in someone other than God: "He who trusts in himself is a fool, but one who walks in wisdom will be safe" (Proverbs 28:26, HCSB).
If we don’t actively seek God’s help when we’re afraid or facing trouble, we’re probably trusting in our own resources and abilities. Therefore, Isaiah warns, "Don’t put your trust in mere humans" (Isaiah 2:22a, NLT). Doing so often leaves us disappointed and defeated.
In times of doubt and fear, let peace rule.
Resting in God’s promises give us the hope we need to stay focused on Him and His faithfulness, instead of on our circumstances. One way we can be certain that we’ve really placed our trust in God is when we experience an indescribable peace.
Let this promise from the Lord reassure you today from Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" (NLT)
Dear God, I know peace is Your will for my life. Help me to trust You with my worries and rest in Your care, not my own abilities, when life gets tough. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 29:11, "The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace." (NIV)
Matthew 6;34, "Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (HCSB)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What can you do to stay focused on God’s promise of peace when life turns upside down?
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