faith, fruit of the spirit, peace

Finding Peace and Keeping It

What do you think of when you think of peace?

Is it ten minutes of silence with no children pulling at your pant leg or screaming at one another? (Oh, I remember those days. They will pass, I promise.)

Is it a life with no drama or problems? (Well, that may never pass.)

Or is it an unshaking, constant, steady, unmoved place in your soul that nothing can destroy? Is it a deep sense that everything will be okay?

That’s what peace is to me. A deep sense of okay-ness. Peace settles deep inside me and tells me that Jesus is with me in the storms, and they will pass, and when they do, God has something good.

The disciples learned something about experiencing the storms of life with Jesus. They were terrified, but Jesus wasn’t. He slept right through.

finding peace

The storm had taken the disciples by surprise. A few hours earlier the sun had shone in a cloudless sky. Now they found themselves yelling for Jesus to wake up.  How could he sleep through this storm?

After a few desperate pushes on his arm and cries for help, Jesus’s eyes opened to frantic faces of his followers and accusations.

“Jesus, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38).

The rabbi slowly rose with a deep sigh. He spoke to the storm and calmed the sea. But the wind wasn’t all he rebuked that night. Mark tells us:

“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:39-41). 

Finding Peace

I’m so disappointed with those disciples. I’m not so shocked by their fear of the storm, but it really bothers me that they were just as terrified that Jesus could command the elements. It seems that nothing pleased them. And they dared to ask, “Don’t you care if we die?”

I can’t believe they asked that!

But before I point my finger too long at those skinny fisherman, I must check my own heart:

  • Have I ever become upset when trouble came my way?
  • Have I cried out for help demanding Jesus to change my circumstances rather than trust that his Presence would get me though–that he loved me that much?
  • And have I been upset when his answer to the problem didn’t look like I wanted?

Yes. Unfortunately and truthfully, yes.

Peace Requires Faith

Jesus not only rebuked the winds, He rebuked the disciples“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The Greek word translated often as “faith” is the word Pistis. It can mean faith and belief, but it also means trust. The majority of the time it’s used this word is in the present tense implying ongoing activity.

Faith is not a one time event. It’s trusting everyday.

So, Jesus asked them, “Don’t you trust me?”

I hope that during the next storm in my life I will snuggle up in the stern with the sleeping Jesus and hold on tight. I pray I’ll simply trust that He does love me, no matter what, and He cares for me, and we’ll ride out the storm together. I pray I’ll also trust the way He handles the storm.

finding peace

How to Have Peace (2 Kinds, One Way)

There are two kinds of peace, but there is only one way to reach both.

Peace #1- Peace with God

The first peace we must attain  only comes through our realization of a need for a savior. It’s very simple. It’s a prayer away. Something like this:

“Jesus, I need you. I’m a sinner who desperately wants to be right with God. Forgive me. Redeem my mistakes and my sins. Take over. Help me trust you. Be the king in my life.”

The Bible promises in Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Saved? What does that have to do with peace?

Everything.

This is what is so cool about Scripture and words and digging deep into their meaning. Without getting too technical and losing you in the weeds of Hebrew and Greek/ Old Testament and New, the ancient word often translated as peace in the NT was a word related to the Hebrew word “shalom”. That word might look familiar to you.

Shalom means peace, but it also means wholeness, prosperity, and being complete. The word “saved” sometimes means made whole too. It also means to be delivered. Nobody saves us from ourselves or completes us like Jesus. No one can make us whole like He can. He saves us from the wrath of God–the judgment we deserve. He restores our peace with God. But He also makes us whole.

Peace #2- Peace Within Your Heart

The second kind of peace is the peace we talked about in the beginning of the article. A sense of calm. Anybody can have peace when everything is going as it should. When the kids are sleeping; the bills are paid; everything is good. But true peace resides even in turbulent circumstances. And that peace again is only found in Jesus.

  • We won’t experience it if we’re yelling at God.
  • We won’t achieve it when we’ve decided to take wheel.
  • There’s only one action that can really grant us this peace, and that’s trusting God.

“For the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace . . . ” Gal. 5:22

peace

Trusting God’s Goodness

John MacArthur  explains peace this way:

Close to the meaning of the Hebrew word shalom is the word used by the Kekchi Indians of Guatemala, who define peace as “quiet goodness.” The term they use conveys the idea of something that is active and aggressive, not just a rest in one’s own heart away from troublesome circumstances. The biblical concept of peace does not focus on the absence of trouble. Biblical peace is unrelated to circumstances—it is a goodness of life that is not touched by what happens on the outside. You may be in the midst of great trials and still have biblical peace.

The Word of God can help us experience peace as we begin to let it work in us. Come study peace, quiet goodness, with me this month. I pray you experience God’s supernatural peace flowing from a surrendered heart filled with the Holy Spirit’s fruit of peace.

Scriptures on peace

Bible Reading Plan on Peace

You can print the list of scriptures above, or you can get the reading plan printable with the scriptures, prompts, and lines to journal your thoughts. Here’s a peak of a few of the prompts this month.

Sneak Peek and Printable Prompts

John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

  • How has Jesus overcome the world? How does that help us? Have you ever felt peace during a turbulent time in your life? Write it down.

1 Peter 5:7:  “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

  • Write down all the things you are anxious about in a journal. The write a prayer giving them to God. Close the journal, and put it in a drawer. He has your worries.

Philippians 4:7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  • What are you thankful for? Writing these things down will help you find peace.

Jeremiah 29: 11-12:For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper (shalom) and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (addition mine.)

  • How does this verse change your view of life if you truly believe this is the nature and character of God towards those who love him?

Some Practical Daily Tips for Peace

The Word of God definitely has the power and wisdom we need to experience peace in our storms, but sometimes it helps to have some practical tips from others too. I came across this blog by Henrick Edberg, Positivity Blog.com . 

It’s not a Christian specific blog, but he has some really wise tips to help maintain peace in our day. He gives more, but here’s five I found particularly helpful.

  1. Don’t make mountains out of mole hills.
  2. Unclutter your world.
  3. Be 10 minutes early.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Remember: There’s a day tomorrow too. Edberg writes, “Sometimes you have a bad day. Or life interferes with your plans for the day. And so you don’t get what you had planned or hoped for done. The best way to handle such a situation is – in my experience – simply to kindly tell yourself that there’s a day tomorrow too and that you can get it done then. Beating yourself up is on the other hand not a smart or helpful strategy.”

Henrick also wrote a great blog about 7 Habits of unhappy people . It might help you in the peace department too, if you’re unhappy.

Extra Encouragement on YouTube

Every week I put up new content on my YouTube channel- Living Abundantly TV. Just subscribe and hit the notification bell to get a new teaching on peace every week! I pray this article and these scriptures will help you find the peace that passes all understanding. You are loved and cherished. Please hold onto this truth as you journey through life’s storms. You are not alone.

Digging Deep to Live PeaceFULLY!

Andy

PS. If this was encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty {Full} in God’s Word.Just click here to dig deep to live fully. 🙂 

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1 Comment

  1. […] weeks studying each Fruit of the Spirit. You can go back and read the articles on love, joy, peace, patience , kindness,  and goodness , faithfulness, and gentleness if you missed them. Have […]

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