Though my dad and I were never close, he asked for the same thing EVERY Christmas. “What do you want for Christmas dad?” Every year it was the same. “Peace.”
Now I get it. Though we differ in our reasoning, this is one time I actually get my late dad’s desperate plea year after year after year.
Peace. As I write I feel very little of it. Storms rage around me. There is deep hurt in my family. There are decisions to be made in my work that are difficult. Key relationships need healing. There have been days when doing just what must be done is all I could do. Where is my peace?
No Christian is free of pain. Nor does anyone feel peaceful all the time. In seasons of difficulty, we must remember that our feelings will not only fail us, but can often mislead us. In Jeremiah, the Bible explains. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). We must understand peace from the Bible’s perspective to have peace in our lives.
Peace is a promise. Ephesians 2:14 says, “For he himself is our peace…” We may not feel peaceful, but if we are in Christ, He is our peace. His very presence supersedes any situation and covers the trials we face. Therefore, we must practice his Presence daily. One way to do that is to say, as needed, “He himself is my peace.” Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Peace requires perseverance. Hebrews 12:1 says to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” You have a race marked out for you. As do I. Each life has a divine purpose. We can neither give up nor let any lack of peace interrupt our commitment to God’s call on our life. We persevere because He persevered. Period.
Peace has a pathway. Philippians 4:6 gives a strong directive: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” The doorway to peace is thanksgiving. If peace is lacking, gratitude is lacking. Thanksgiving comes before presenting our requests to God. We don’t wait until we feel thankful, we offer thanks in obedience to the Word. That is the promised pathway to peace.
Peace requires people. Getting wise counsel can mean reaching out to a pastor or counselor to help overcome issues that continue to cloud your faith. When I struggle over and over with an issue, I see that as God saying, “you need to deal with this.” That is when I need to talk to someone who can help. That person must be someone knowledgeable and proven. Don’t ask for wisdom from someone who is unwise. Be careful and prayerful.
When I’m not feeling peaceful, it’s up to me to get on my knees, recall Scriptures and say them out loud. I must choose obedience to His word over my circumstances. It’s much easier to wallow in worry and vent to others about our struggles. Yet even our words should be tempered to match our faith. We can’t speak one thing and strive to believe something else.
Peace. It’s a fruit of the Spirit, rightfully ours! It’s a fact, not a feeling.