Easier said than done, right?
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.” Col. 3:15
Well, it’s especially difficult when something is not right. When you’ve been hurt by someone you trusted or trials surround you–one disaster after another seem to be coming your way.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.”
How do we do that?
The verse before this one in Colossians speaks of forgiveness. Not very many of us want to hear the “F” word. We feel called to justice! Isn’t there room for justice in our hearts? Aren’t we allowed to have “holy anger” and fight for “righteous justice”?
Yet take the temperature of your heart every once in awhile when you experience the “justice fighting super-hero syndrome” and ask if you are trying to help someone else or yourself. The problem with trying to right a wrong that involves our own heart, is that we can’t separate our own hurt from the situation, and that colors everything. Our own pain distorts our view. We can’t see the woundedness of the one who hurt us (which personally, helps me forgive people) because of our own wounds. (My friend, Sandy Chambers has written an awesome post on this.)
Our blood pressure goes up.
We can’t sleep.
And peace is nowhere to be found. Where there is no peace, there is an open door to darkness, illness, bitterness, and death.
We need grace. His grace ushers in peace.
His grace grants us the ability to forgive. We can’t muster forgiveness in our own strength. I wrote about this in my last post.
Can I tell you today that you’ve got it? His grace is yours. It’s mine. It’s ours for the taking. He’s even given us the keys to the storehouse of grace.
Those keys are Forgiveness and Thankfulness.
Thankfulness is God-magic. I’ve experienced it in my own heart. Thankfulness takes the punch out of the Adversary’s swing. The antithesis of goodness wants us to be angry. He wants us to live in turmoil. But when we thank God for our troubles as well as our blessings, our pain as well as our joy, the Lord can redeem those problems.
“Thank me for each problem you encounter, and see how I transform trials into blessings.” (Jesus Calling, June 12)
“And we know that in all things that God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Oh my friends, we can’t make peace rule in our hearts. We can’t forgive, and we can’t truly be thankful for the good and the bad until we’ve surrendered to God. Until we trust His goodness and His love for us. I pray you know how much He loves you. And if you don’t know it today, I pray that one day soon something will click, and you will.
Let’s pray. I’m grabbing your hand.
“Dear good God, in the name of Jesus I pray for the roots of bitterness and unforgiveness to be pulled up out of our hearts. Give us the strength to want to forgive with whispers of thanksgiving for your goodness and love even when we don’t feel it. Honor those steps of faith. Open the storehouse of grace. Let peace wash over the hearts of those reading these words. May they experience your love. Amen.”