Some try to find peace by amassing a fortune or attaining a certain status only to find out wealth can all vanish in a short time. Who is popular today can be unpopular tomorrow. The world is fickle. Others try to find peace by medicating problems. Food, drink, drugs, and material possessions will never give us lasting peace. These provide only temporary satisfaction and in excess, do more harm than good.
Others go a more spiritual route. They try meditation, relaxation techniques, mindfulness, yoga and the like. Now I am all for relaxing the body and clearing the mind. But these, too, are only temporary, as practitioners well know. How many times have you and I gone for a massage, or to an exercise or yoga class, and then, a few hours later the feeling of peace is disrupted by an aggravated phone call? It takes constant effort to remain at peace when we try to find achieve it on our own.
What then is true peace and more importantly, where then does one find it?
True peace is steady. It is an inner calmness that resides deep in our souls. It is an anchor we can hold on to during the storms of life. It does not change with external circumstances or our fleeting feelings. We may doubt and become anxious when the challenges of life muddy up the waters, but it is possible to learn that these storms are meant to help us grow and trust more.
True peace is knowing that we are in the hands of a loving and gracious God.
No matter what happens to us or how bad things may seem. God has our back. He is still on the throne and he is still in control. Even though it may not look like it in the moment, he is working things out for our good. Every trial is a test meant to move us forward into our destiny and when the test is over and we have passed it, we will look back with thanks and gratitude for what it taught us.
True peace is a fruit of the Spirit.
Fruit begins with a small seed. As it is watered and nourished, the seed grows to develop luscious fruit. In the same way, peace is a fruit that is developed in us by the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell in us when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Now if you don't know Jesus, you may not understand this, and that's okay. Those of us who have been through the fires of hell know God more intimately. We have met Jesus and we have seen the power of the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps like me, you've tried many methods to find peace. After many trials, I have realized there is only one way to hold on to true peace. When everything around me is in chaos and turmoil and the ground is shaking beneath me, I hold onto the one person who is faithful, steady, and ever-present. The one person whose promises I can depend on. I hold on to Jesus.
If the storms of life threaten to capsize your ship, remember what Jesus said: "I came to bring you peace not as the world gives," The peace of Jesus far more powerful than the peace that is offered by anything else in this world.
When the disciples were in a tizzy on the sea of Galilee and the winds and the rain pounded their tiny boat, what did Jesus tell them? He said "Oh ye of little faith,". In other words, Jesus was right there in the ship with them. They had no need to be afraid. The storms of life are a test of our faith. They help to grow our spiritual muscle so that next time, we won't be as rattled by the winds and the waves.
This holiday season, remember Jesus is right there in the ship with us. Jesus promised "I will never leave you or forsake you." We can count on the promises of God. God never lies and He never goes back on His word. Whatever storm we are going through, Jesus promises to navigate us through it and bring us out of it. I know, because, I have been through many storms in my life and I'm still here today thankful.
So what storm are you going through in your life? Relationship issues? Financial problems? Health concerns? Whatever it is, do not let these steal your peace. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and stay in peace.
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Until next time, keep looking up!