Discovering Peace is like searching for the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Many people never find it. To change metaphors, Peace – real peace – is like a promising mirage that looks so good but dissipates into nothing as we get closer. One popular means of searching for personal peace and satisfaction is to grab the latest gadget. Usually, it claims to be the greatest tool for better, clearer communication and entertainment. Now, the iphone is about to compete with the ipod, blackberry, and the cell phone. I see people plugged into an ipod or cell phone while they shop with 2 kids in the cart or while working out at the gym plus rushing through a magazine at the same time. Yet, they seem as lonely, stressed or worried as ever. As I said in my last “ENCOURAGER”, worry is distracting, devouring (eats at you from within), and doubting (ultimately, doubting God’s ability or desire to help you).
What, then, is the answer to unrelenting stress and worry?
The answer is PEACE. Jesus promised that the peace that He offers is not popular easy come-easy go peace of the world but a real life changing peace that come from God (my paraphrase, John 14:27) The peace of Jesus can replace your every fear. One dictionary defines peace as “tranquility of mind, mental calmness, and absence of war.” But, the Bible defines peace in two important ways. Peace is actually harmony in relationship with God. This peace WITH God then empowers you to relate in peace and harmony with others. This comes from a transformation of your heart when you trust by faith in Jesus who gave His life for you on a cross. (Romans 5:1)
If you will invite Jesus, who is peace, into your heart, He’ll transform your heart and –if you let Him, He’ll become the new director (Lord) of your life (Ephesians 2:14). Instead of trying to find peace and fulfillment on your own, invite God to be your peace. The Bible also defines peace as Shalom—a Hebrew word meaning completeness or wholeness. It is the opposite of feeling torn in all directions. In the midst of trying, turbulent circumstances, God will cause peace, wholeness, and joy to well up within you when your mind is FIXED on Him(Isaiah 26:3) This is the peace OF God which you’ll experience after you have chosen peace WITH God .
Now that you know about the Peace WITH God and the peace OF God, you can defeat worry and stress in your life by these 5 steps:
• CHOOSE NOT TO WORRY. Ask God to help you in EVERY circumstance.
But, ask God in complete trust and faith with gratitude. Let God resolve the problem HIS way, not yours. (Philippians 4:6-7)
• PUT GOD FIRST IN ALL YOU DO. Jesus said that God will meet ALL your real needs IF you let God have first place in your life and seek to please Him in everything (Matthew 6:21,32).
• PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING. In Philippians 4:6-7, God calls us to live in a continuous attitude of prayer. Invite God into your job, your marriage, your family and your leisure activity. Then, see the incredible difference when you invite Jesus into your life wherever you go. George McCauslin experienced an awesome breakthrough over his anxiety and stress. He realized that he was trying to run his own life with the world on his shoulders. Finally, one day, George wrote a prayer in writing and said: “Dear God, I hereby resign as general manager of the universe, love George.” He laughed: “God accepted my resignation. Identify your specific worries. List them on paper and give them over to God and let Him work for you (I Peter 5:7). He cares for you more than you know.
• PRACTISE A GRATITUDE ATTITUDE (I Thessalonians 5:18) A grateful mind is much lighter and refreshing than the (heavy load) negative, complaining mind! Let Jesus be your peace!
(Invite your friends and your pastor/church leaders to read this, too and the entire web site!) Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org