We live in a contentious time, y’all. It seems as if people are longing for a fight and looking to be offended. Between 24-hour “news” and our social media feeds, we can find a reason to be hostile or hurt without much effort at all.
And, I don’t know about you, but it all makes me want to binge watch 80s sitcoms and eat all the Ben & Jerry’s.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t make any sort of impact on the conversations or the relationships.
THE GIFT OF PEACE
One of the great challenges of being a Christ-follower is the admonition to pursue peace. We’re called to live in peace, to promote peace, to offer peace. In all situations, with all people.
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. 1 Peter 3:11 NLT
As Christians we need to be on the hunt for peace, searching for it. But how? It starts, always, by walking with the One who gives all peace. Jesus is the only path to true peace, even in the midst of all our heartache and suffering.
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 CSB
Because we belong to Christ, we are called to let that peace rule our hearts, impacting our thoughts and actions.
And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 CSB
But how do we find this peace? It doesn’t happen the way we might expect — we find peace as we come to the Lord with all our thoughts and fears and concerns.
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayers and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 CSB
Finally, as we embrace the peace of God in our own hearts, we are able to extend that peace to those around us.
Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:15 CSB
You see, peace isn’t found in feelings or circumstances. True peace can only be known through intimacy with Christ.
Where are you struggling to find peace right now? Maybe you have a relationship or situation that causes you angst or fear. Or perhaps you can’t seem to find that calm that only comes through abiding in Christ.
Take some time today to contemplate the areas where you are lacking peace. Ask God to reveal what the barriers are and to give you courage to trust him in them.
Father, we get so caught up in the bitterness and frustration of the world sometimes. It’s easy for us to let tension and animosity fill our hearts. But you have called us to peace. And, in you, we have all peace. Will you give us the courage to trust you in this area? Show us where we are holding on to those things that keep us from peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Warren Wiersbe is one of my favorite Bible teachers. I use his commentaries all the time. Recently I received his latest book, WHEN LIFE FALLS APART, and it has been a gentle reminder to me about the faithfulness of God when life seems (or really is!) hard. And, Katie Orr’s Bible study, EVERYDAY PEACE, is the perfect way to dig into what Scripture says about the peace God offers. This four-week study covers Philippians 4 — but I promise you’ll find such sweet truths in Katie’s study of these familiar verses.
Thank you for joining me as we choose SEEING THE GIFTS OF GOD IN EVERY DAY LIFE. If you miss any of the posts in this series you can find them indexed here. Also, if this idea of lopsided living appeals to you, be sure to join my FULL LIFE CLUB. Every month I send an email full of encouragement, inspiration, and practical ideas for living a full life even when you have a full calendar.