Peace is an amazing gift God offers us. I know what it's like to live without peace—upset most of the time, anxious, fearful and worried. It's miserable! Since I've discovered how to live with God's peace, I will do anything I need to do to have it.
We have to understand the value of peace if we're going to have it. Because if you think it's really no big deal to lose your temper, worry, be stressed-out or upset all the time, you won't do what you need to do to live with peace.
I think it's interesting that one of the last things Jesus told His disciples before His crucifixion was about peace. John 14:27 (AMP) says, "Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]"
In John 20:19, "Peace to you!" is the first thing Jesus said to His disciples after His resurrection. Verse 21a says, "Then Jesus said to them again, 'Peace to you.'" Notice the word "again." He must have wanted them to realize how important it was to maintain their peace.
Take a moment to think about how much peace you have. Do you worry, get upset or feel stressed-out often? Many people do ... but that's not the way God wants us to live.
A lot of Christians pray for God to give them peace, but they need to realize that as believers in Christ, they already have His peace. We need to pray for God to help us learn how to walk in peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 says: "Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]."
We can learn a lot about how to pray powerful, effective prayers by studying Scripture. Instead of praying for peace, notice that in Philippians the apostle Paul is encouraging believers to trust God in every circumstance so they can have His peace as they go through challenges.
If we don't have peace and we want it, we have to be ready to make some changes. The world around us probably isn't going to change, so we need to change our approach to life. We need to make a conscious decision to trust God in every area of our lives, every day.
We're called believers, and that's what we're supposed to do: Believe God! When we trust Him, we enter His rest and can enjoy our lives.
Years ago, I remember when God helped me to learn this lesson as I studied James 4. In verses 1-4, we see what causes quarrels, strife and discontentment. Verse 2 (NLT) says, "You want what you don't have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can't get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it."
Wow! This is basically saying, "You want something, so you strive to get it your way or make it happen on your own, but it doesn't work. If you would just ask Me, I would help you." It's important to point out here that God won't just give us anything we ask for. He loves us and wants what's best for us, and when we ask for things that are in His plan and purpose for us, He will give them to us.
I used to think I wanted a lot of things that ended up making me miserable after I managed to get them. But once I started giving up my will and asking God to do what He wants to do in my life, I experienced peace and contentment that I'd never known before.
It was so freeing for me to give up trying to run my own life and instead focus on seeking God and trusting Him to give me what He wants me to have. Psalm 37:4 (AMP) says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart."
I want to strongly encourage you today to purposely choose to seek God and delight yourself in Him before anyone or anything else in your life. He is the source of love, joy and peace. And you'll live in peace as you live in Him!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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