©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
We search for it in our lives. We want it in our families and friendships. We hope for it in our country and in our world.
But what exactly is abiding peace in our own lives and how can we have it even in the midst of difficult circumstances?
True peace comes when we are redeemed by God, restored by God, reconciled to God, and when we rely on God. Then we can rest in God and be refreshed by God!
First things first. Before we talk about five ways to hold on to peace, how do we find peace?
In God’s mercy and His full forgiveness, we find peace through Christ who died on the cross in payment for our sins. He frees us from guilt, shame and sin and mends our separation from God.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 NIV
Peace is pursuant to our relationship being reunited with God through Christ.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 6:1 NIV
What about when we don’t feel peace? When our hearts and minds are tossing and tumbling, and all we feel is turmoil and edginess?
How do we continue to experience peace despite difficult circumstances, challenging times, heartache, pain and sorrow?
As we struggle to be at peace, examining these five reminders can help us regain our focus – and our footing.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4 NIV
Well known Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer says in the book “He Speaks to Me “ – “Just as salvation can only come when we truly transfer our confidence from ourselves to Jesus, our ability to live victorious Christian lives comes only as we place that same confidence in Christ daily.”
In John 15:3-4 NIV, Jesus says…
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
We don’t need to be gardeners to know that when a branch breaks off, it no longer gets the nutrients it needs to keep flourishing. If we don’t stay connected to Christ, we can become brittle and break in the storms of life.
STICK TO THE BASICS
Lest there be any confusion about remaining in him, Jesus added these words in John 15:9-12 NIV:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Are we confident in God’s love for us – no matter what is happening in our lives? Do our lives reflect His love?
Is there a dress code for those walking with God? Not in the traditional sense, but we do have guidance on how to best suit up for battle in the world.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-17 NIV
Are we missing any vital elements? Are we in God’s Word daily? Is our faith firm and able to battle any challenges?
When we’re walking with the gospel of peace – the good news of Christ – our walk is protected much as our feet are when we wear shoes. When we step on shattered glass or rocky terrain, our footing stays firm when we keep our trust in Him.
LET THE LORD LEAD
In Colossians 3:15 NIV, we’re reminded to:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Do we give God control in our lives or not? Are we relying on Him daily?
Only through Christ – the Prince of Peace – can we find and hold firmly to the true, abiding peace we yearn for in our lives. Let’s allow Him to saturate our hearts, minds and souls with peace and reflect that peace to others.
- When is a time you’ve struggled with peace? Is it now?
- Which of these five actions do you find the most difficult to do on a regular basis – trust God, remain connected to Him, stay strong in God’s Word and in preparation for the world’s battles, accept and rest in God’s love and loving others, or let the peace of Christ rule?
- Can you think of a Christian who despite difficult circumstances seemed to be fully at peace? What did you see in them?
- What decision will you make today concerning the promise of peace that God offers you?
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV
Remember…Life Is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™