Jesus had a special kind of peace, and it was so important to Him that He passed it along to us. Just before He died, He told His disciples, "Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you" (John 14:27, The Amplified Bible). The word "bequeath" in this verse is a term used in the execution of wills. When people die, they usually bequeath or will their possessions, especially those things of value, to the people they love who are left behind.
When Jesus spoke these words, He knew He was going away, and He wanted to leave His disciples down through the ages something that would be a blessing to us. I believe Jesus considered peace one of the most precious things He had to give us.
I found out from my own experience that if people don't understand how important peace is, they're not going to do what they need to do to have it.
At one time I was not happy in my life. I had no peace and joy, and I surely was not enjoying life. One day I made up my mind that I was going to have peace.
I believe we all have to make that choice. In essence, that's what Jesus was saying to us in John 14:27: "I'm leaving My peace with you, but that doesn't mean it's just going to automatically operate. I'm giving you a reserve you can draw on, but you're going to have to be peaceful on purpose."
Of course, the devil works overtime to try to get you upset. He does his best to push you over the edge so you will lose your peace. He will even work through other people to hurt you and try to steal your peace.
Why? Because he knows that if you don't remain peaceful, your anointing won't flow. If you don't remain peaceful, you can't hear from God.
I think that sometimes we work a bit too hard on the wrong things and don't work enough on the right things. We need to make up our minds that we are going to have peace and start studying what the Word of God has to say about it. Meditate on what the Word says about peace, and watch your life.
If you watch your life, you'll be amazed at how many times a week Satan launches an attack against you for the sole purpose of stealing your peace. When I finally saw that, God said to me in my spirit, "Joyce, if the devil wants your peace that badly, then there must be something pretty powerful about being peaceful."
It's true! So now when the devil tries to steal my peace, I enjoy holding onto it, knowing that I'm getting the better of him. That doesn't mean I don't feel upset, but I can do something positive about it--I can control myself and be peaceful on purpose.
Being peaceful on purpose is something we have to do for ourselves. Our problem is that we wait for our adverse feelings to go away, and that's just not going to happen.
I still experience trying situations, but as soon as I realize the devil is trying to steal my peace, I just laugh and say, "Sorry, Devil, you're not going to steal my peace." Satan hates it when we develop enough self-control to remain peaceful during the storms of life. But I like being in control much better than having the devil in control. To me, being peaceful on purpose is exceptional living.
When you start to get upset about something, make up your mind to stop it immediately. Be determined that you are going to have the peace that Jesus left you. Learn to be peaceful on purpose.
A good place to start is by exercising self-control when things begin getting out of hand. When the devil tries to steal your joy, just say: "I've got to have peace. I'm going to strive for it, and I'm going to make whatever adjustments I have to make in my life to have peace. My mind is made up--I'm going to be peaceful on purpose!"
Joyce Meyer is an internationally recognized minister and author of more than 60 books, including the best sellers Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind (Warner Faith), and her most recent, In Pursuit of Peace (Warner Faith, 2004). She is the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide.