Thursday, April 10, 2014

Peace At All Times


"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all." 2 Thessalonians 3:16


Peace is something freely given by God to His children. He wants us to know His abundant peace so that it flows from deep within our hearts. Yet so often our actions and the things we chase after lead us away from peace. Peace is something to be walked towards with purpose. Just as we take the small and focused steps to reach a goal, peace must be sought in the same way.

"Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it." 1 Peter 3:11

We must seek God in our decisions big and small and seek His direction for our lives. Our own rash decision making can sometimes be lacking and at times causes consequences that result in  us losing peace. But as we seek God we can right our path again and move towards peace. God is the way to peace; His laws that He speaks are peaceful and righteous. As we follow God's laws we find a deep inner peace.

"When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." Proverbs 16:7

Often God and His ways are overlooked or we think our way is better. God in His infinite wisdom knows better than us and His ways are put before us that lead to peace. This does not mean that there will not be suffering, trials or that a perfect life will result from following God. God's peace means that deep down we know the peace of God and we dwell with Him there. In spite of the circumstances that peace is steadfast.

"Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble." Psalm 119:165

As we grow to love God's law and study His word we find wisdom, joy and peace. God's ways bring life to the heart and soul and this is where His peace reigns. If we seek a peaceful home yet let in large amounts of media violence, inappropriate morals, strife, spite and gossip on tv shows then those things become what the heart and mind become fixed on. If we pursue an overly booked schedule and feel chaotic and frantic then we are not pursuing peace but some ideal of our own mind that God is not asking of us.

"Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy." Proverbs 12:20

As we seek God's will for our lives and follow Him more closely, we find that peace is present when we are actively living out His will for us. He does not ask us to live out His will and then give us anxiety and anxiousness. He is a God of peace, His character knows no anxiety. We may have moments of fear and anxiety but it is not a place we live. And when we do feel those things we run back to God and ask for His peace. God is not a God of confusion. If we are feeling confused and anxious we may need to reevaluate some of our decisions and the direction of the path we are walking.

"For God is not a God of confusion but of peace." 1 Corinthians 14:33 

Just as we throw out our old clutter and junk for spring cleaning, there must be times we weed out the things that take away peace in our lives. Do we need to say no more and yes to the things that God is asking? Sometimes we fear saying no, but we are holding ourselves back from saying yes to the peace God has for us. Then we can fix our minds and hearts on the things that bring peace. What can we add in our lives that will bring more peace? More reading the Bible, prayer and books filled with wisdom? Less media or more faith filled, positive media? Less time spent wasted on invaluable time wasters and entertainment and more time spent on the things that are valuable and lasting brings peace to the heart and mind. They are no longer cluttered with excess, but only filled up with exactly what is needed.

"And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever." Isaiah 32:17

As we seriously seek to walk the path of God's peace, He will be faithful to guide us. We must fix our minds firmly on God and not allow our minds to be swayed with any false wisdom.

Jesus is our loving shepherd, carrying His lambs in His arms and guiding them to a peaceful dwelling place. He desires peace for His children but requires that we actively seek Him. Our soul will be stilled and quieted and we will no longer long for the clutter of the world. Those layers will be shed and God will reveal His peace.

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3 

"For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you."  Isaiah 54:10

Prayer: "Lord, guide me to your dwelling place and there I will find your peace. I know you are a God of peace that flows eternally. Show me what peace really is. Show me your peace, not the world's peace God. Give me strength to diligently seek your paths of peace and wisdom to weed out what is stifling your peace in my life. Amen."


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