by Hailee Seiwert
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" Isaiah 26:3
What a beautiful verse!! I read that and my heart cries out, I WANT IT AND I WANT IT NOW (Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka, anyone?!?). Peace is altogether complicated and simple at the same time. When we don't have it, it feels impossible to obtain, but when we do have peace it appears as that immovable, unshakeable, life changing kind of stuff. Peace isn't a thing we can grab off the grocery store shelf when we're running low, it's not available on Amazon Prime, and Jesus even says that the world can't give it. Peace isn't the absence of troubles in your life or emotions in your heart. So what is it?
Peace is the realized presence of Jesus in your life.
1. Peace is given
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again." John 14:27-28
Peace is a precious gift from Jesus. This great gift came at the high price of life, death, and resurrection. This gift wasn't free. If someone handed you the most expensive gift EVER on the entire planet (no I'm not talking about diamonds and red soled shoes), how would you handle it? I'd like to challenge us as believers, as followers of Christ, as beneficiaries of His great sacrifice to handle the gift of peace like the precious gift that it is. I'd like to challenge us to protect peace in our own lives, to guard our peace with great ferocity, and to seek it out when we are drifting away.
2. Peace is received
"So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace" Romans 8:6
Receiving Jesus is receiving peace, but I've learned that many times we complicate that simple truth. Receiving is not a passive act, but a conscious decision.
When you chose Jesus, you chose peace, but the choice for peace doesn't end there. We've all felt this, right? Sunday churchin' leaves me feeling happy as a clam, but then Monday morning happens. Heartache happens. Hurt happens. Health issues happen. Peace is chosen over and over and over again as we weather the storms of life, as we climb to the mountaintops and descend into the valleys.
3. Peace has an enemy
Actually, at times I think peace has two enemies: satan and our own precious selves. Satan is obvious... he comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Undoubtedly, the enemy will try and steal your peace. He will try and convince you that you can find peace where it doesn't exist (aka anywhere except Jesus). But me? How am I an enemy to my own peace? Here's the hard truth: when we allow our emotions to have more power than God's truth, we oppose peace. A great friend once spoke three words that would change my life, "feelings are liars." I don't know if he knew those words would change my life, but they did. Feeling aren't always liars, but they also aren't always true.
These words have been hard for me to type, because I've been there. I've lived a life that was riddled with constant and overwhelming emotions. There was a time when I couldn't imagine a world in which I had true, lasting peace. I would let myself be overtaken with what I was feeling, leaving peace in the dust behind me. I would find myself feeling desperate and alone, eventually walking, no running, to find peace again. You would often hear me say things like, "she is making me angry," "this is making me upset." I had to learn the hard way that nothing was making me do anything, I was letting these things control me. No one besides Jesus has the power to make me feel or do anything. Once I learned that, I began to guard my precious gift of peace. I began to choose peace daily, hourly, minute-ly, and sometimes even by the second. I acknowledge now that peace has an enemy or two, but that GOD has the ultimate say. The truth is that WE WIN! Nothing and no one can defeat you or your peace.
Are you lacking peace today? I believe it is God's will to restore peace in your heart today. Pray with me to receive God's peace in every area of your life.
Jesus, you are Lord. You are King. I receive your peace in this moment, but also the moments to follow. Instill in me the true value of your peace. Holy Spirit help me to guard and protect your peace in my life. Show me the areas that I struggle most and lead me to repentance. Help me to choose your and your peace day in and day out. I want to follow you with my every breath. Father, let me not be my own enemy in this area. Help me with my emotions. Remind me that peace is always possible. Bring me peace, in Jesus name.