Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What Is Stealing Your Peace?

What do you think of when you hear the word “peace”?  

It might be the peace sign made popular in the ’60’s.  It might be total silence, or some might see a picturesque scene of nature.  The dictionary equates peace with tranquility.  Tranquility is defined as “being free from agitation of mind or spirit; free from disturbance or turmoil”.  Now, that sounds good.  Wouldn’t it be nice to go through life with no agitation, disturbances or turmoil?

Life isn’t easy.  It just isn’t, and just because you give your life to Christ doesn’t mean that everything is going to start being lollipops and rainbows.  However, one big difference between a believer and a non-believer is the way difficulties are dealt with.  That comes down to one reason.  We, as believers, have the Holy Spirit living in each of us, and He is a provider of peace and strength.

God, our Father, will give us the strength that we need to get through each day, and that will result in living a more peaceful life.  We have to strive for it though.  It won’t just be dropped into our laps.  The main thing we need to do is give up our power and start to become aware of the things that steal our peace.

What steals your peace?  
  • comparisons
  • competitions
  • judging or being judged
  • anger
  • regret
  • worry
  • blame
  • guilt
  • fear

That is a list of ugly words that will not bring peace into your life, but instead agitate and irritate and cause turmoil in your life.  

Living a life where you’re constantly judging others or yourself in some kind of competition and comparison game will never allow you to be happy.  

Putting yourself in situations with people who anger you is not good for you physically or spiritually.  

Many believers tear themselves up with regrets over their past, blaming themselves or maybe other people for the mistakes they made.  That guilt can be overwhelming and heavy.  

Worrying about tomorrow and being afraid of what will happen next are things that will overtake your thoughts and be blown out of proportion in your imagination.  

So..what are you going to do about it?  Look UP instead of around.

When your co-worker gets the promotion instead of you, look UP and believe that there’s a reason for it, and that you are needed where you are.  

When a conversation begins to take a sharp turn toward an argument, look UP and walk away until you’ve had time to calm down.  

When you see someone from your past and that nagging tug of regret starts to form in your gut, look UP and believe that Jesus took that away from you.  He went through an enormous sacrifice to forgive you of those mistakes, we have to forgive ourselves too. We just have to.  

When your kid is struggling with life or there’s a big change coming in your future instead of letting that take the form of frustration that can affect your relationships, look UP and believe that He has it under control, and frankly, He doesn’t need your help in that area.

Sounds easy, right? A lot of times it isn’t.  Even the disciples who lived with Jesus and learned from Him on a daily basis doubted sometimes.  It takes strength to look up instead of around.  It takes strength to accept things for what they are, and hope for understanding when the answers aren’t coming as quickly as you would prefer.  It takes strength to push away those feelings of regret and guilt.  It takes strength to live a life of peace.  

So, look UP and ask for the strength to avoid those bad behaviors listed above, and to focus on the One who has a plan for your life.


Passages to Ponder:

Psalm 29:11- The Lord gives His people strength.  The Lord blesses them with peace.

John 14:27- 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.

Philippians 4:6-7- Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Contributors: Kim McClure and Marla McDonald

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