Sometimes, certain aspects of our life don’t go “as planned” from our perspective. We catch ourselves feeling very overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the next step. We begin to feel restless in believing that God will guide us to where He wants us as we wait for His direction. When we feel quite stuck in the same place while wanting nothing more than to make progress, our thoughts can really be a burden to us, and cause us to lose our focus on Jesus. The thoughts that make us wonder whether we are doing the right thing or whether we are doing enough. The Bible calls for us to “be still” as we allow the One who reigns undefeated takes care of the mountains and the valleys. One problem with being still, especially for those of us who love to be in control (guilty here!!), is that we feel useless. Being still makes us feel as though we aren’t doing anything at all.
In living the faith life, we often boggle our minds with “what can I do?” to make things happen when God is simply telling us to pray, trust and wait on His next move. We may have the praying part down. We love to bring our needs to our Father in prayer, and of course we don’t mind expecting big things to come to pass. But when we are required to trust and wait for our miracle to come or our mountain to fall, our thoughts can quite literally keep us up at night and rob us of a very important essential thing…our peace.
So how do we trust and wait IN peace when everything around is everything but peaceful?
How do we hold onto and maintain a constant flow of peace in the storm?
Let’s first define our peace. And I don’t mean by the world’s definition of peace. According to the world, peace is something we get on vacation or when we take a day off from work. To the world, peace is something we “feel” when everything is going our way, or when we are experiencing a “stress- free” situation. Anxiety, stress, and worry run rampant in our society because life is not alway going to be a walk in the park with sunshine and rainbows, and people don’t know how to have peace in the midst of those times where life is raining down on us pretty heavily. Maybe it’s not even a full-out storm, but more of a drizzle. We can still keep our peace level filled to full because peace is actually not something we “feel” but rather a gift we have obtained through Jesus Christ. In John 14:27 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 heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Something intriguing about a gift is that it is useless until the recipient opens it and puts it to use.
Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we may live and abide in His peace. Jesus’ peace is a gift to us, however, just because He says He gives it to us does not mean we will have peace. Let me explain. We have access to the gift of peace, but unless I use my access to it, my peace level will run pretty low. It’s like this: If I receive a gift from someone, and never open it, I won’t be able to use it. The gift is still in my possession and technically I am the owner of the gift, but it will remain useless to me until I decide to use it.
Another thing we must remember about having peace is that peace is not about our circumstances, and it’s NOT based upon how we “feel” due to whatever we are experiencing. Through Jesus, we can go through tough situations and still live in peace because it is something we possess, not something we acquire through physical changes, upgrades, or alterations to our situation. We cannot gain peace through our humanly efforts of relaxation. Those things, even though they feel pretty good sometimes, often just leave us distracted for a certain amount of time and last until the next problem arises. Peace is supernatural and triumphs over any feeling we can conjure up through our own efforts. Peace resides in our hearts.
Look at what we are told to do in Colossians 3:15- “let the peace from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds] to which as one body you were also called to live. And be thankful, appreciative, and give praise to God always.”
This translation from the AMPC version makes living in peace so clear:
How we respond to something unexpected will affect our peace level.
It's hard for us to keep our thoughts on things above when the unexpected hits. You may think life is going one way, and then something unplanned occurs and seems to change our course.
It may seem easy enough to read the bible daily, confess verses over our situation, and choose to live in peace, but when the times get tough and the weight of our problems become heavier and heavier, I can tell you that Satan will do anything, implant any thought into our minds, create any diversion to distract us. When we are intentionally living in our calling to be in peace, it takes routine, discipline, and drive to allow peace to live in our hearts and rule over our thoughts. We have to have a resolute attitude, and decide to CHOOSE to live in peace during the raging storm and during the scattered showers of this life. Don’t forget…peace is a gift. We must activate it in order for it to be of use to us. It has already been given to us, now it’s our choice to apply it to our lives.
So how do we allow peace to rule in our hearts during the toughest of times?
The most important thing to do is get into the Word daily. Everyday, dive into the Bible to keep your spirit strong which helps us fight the negative thoughts that come up due to the circumstances around us. When negative thoughts arise, quickly replace them with a verse from the Bible. Don’t give too much time to a negative thought. The Word tells us in Isaiah 26:3 that God will keep us in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on the Lord. We keep our mind and our focus on Jesus when we give our time to Him each day by reading His Word. Perfect peace sounds pretty amazing, doesn't it?
Another thing to do is find scriptures that pertain to your situation and claim them daily. Confess them over and over and over again if you need to. This will combat any plans satan has to attack our minds. If you need peace to reign over a medical report, search and find verses that pertain to your health. If you need peace to reign over your finances, seek verses from the Bible that relate to financial security. If you need peace to rule over your relationships, there are plenty of scriptures that are for you. The Bible is a living document. There are many verses in it that you can find to claim over whatever situation you are facing. Seek them out, confess them daily, and allow God's peace to rule and reign in your heart now!
Living in and abiding in the peace that Jesus is offering you is much better than any kind of peace this world has to offer. His kind of peace will allow you to go through some treacherous storms of this life with the security you will find only through Jesus Christ.
Author- Marianne Logan-Johnson
I wanted the create a space for encouragement. I have so much about parenting and momming to write about, but I will leave that for the other page on my website. This page is for those who need a pick-me-up to get them through their day. I will be posting mini devotionals that anyone, not just moms, can apply to their everyday lives, and see the positivity it adds to your day! I hope you enjoy, and get just as much encouragement out of these mini messages that I do! Happy reading!