Some days my mind seems to be spinning in so many different directions that the day just passes by in a blur.
I lay down at night just trying to calm my mind for a moment and rest when suddenly I get interrupted by the thoughts of all the tasks waiting for me when I wake the next morning. It is hard to find peace in a world that seems to never slow down. On top of the constant cycle of non-stop activities, we also feel the stress of the fallen world around us.
People let us down, mean things are said to us, and we get betrayed by those we hold near. We, in turn, also make mistakes, hurt people ourselves, and build up a list of regrets. With all this happening in, around, and to us it can seem impossible to find peace. But there is hope.
God shows us how to truly have peace and rest in a world currently in a state of unrest.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...” – Romans 5:1
To truly find lasting peace in our life, we have to have peace with God, peace with others, and peace within ourselves. The first thing is finding peace with God. We cannot be at peace with God if we are not in relationship with God. Until we humble ourselves, admit we are sinners, repent of our sins, and give our lives to Jesus, we will always have unrest inside. We were created to be in communion with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and when this relationship is non-existent there will always be a void inside.
Once we give our lives to Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwells within us and gives us a peace that only God can provide. This peace roots from the knowledge that no matter how stressful or tough life gets, God’s Spirit will be there to comfort and guide us. We also have the assurance that what we are doing for the Kingdom of God will not go unnoticed and is making an eternal impact.
We know that our efforts on earth will be storing us treasures for us in Heaven that will never perish. Most importantly, we have the hope that one day we will be in Heaven with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for all eternity in a place of no pain, stress, suffering, or sorrow, but endless joy and peace.
Next, we have to have peace with others. When Jesus came to earth, He came promising peace to all nations that follow Him. We are taught to strive to live in peace with one another. Inevitably in life, people are going to make us upset, hurt us, and even persecute us.
Jesus warns us that this will happen because the world is following their sinful ways and not the way of the Lord.
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” – John 15:19-20
However, no one will ever be put through the amount of suffering on earth that Jesus went through. Instead of Him striking down all those who did Him wrong, Jesus carried His cross and willingly died for each and every one of us in an act of ultimately forgiveness and love.
If we are going to be followers of His and live a life that replicates His, we must also forgive and love people. We do this because we know that hostility toward others, bitterness, and strife do not produce the righteousness of God. We value others and where they will spend eternity. We know that by our act of love and forgiveness, we may be able to point their eyes to Jesus, the source of love. If we respond to people’s wrongdoing with those of our own, we are neglecting the call of God in our life to lead others to Him. At the same time, we are building up hostility, anger, and resentment inside of us that will only eat away at us more and more the longer it remains inside.
When we forgive others, we free ourselves and point them to Jesus.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32
Lastly, we have to have peace within. As stated earlier we are going to make mistakes in life because we are sinful human beings. Just like in a marriage, although you love that person dearly, you will do things over time that will upset them, let them down, and hurt them. When we do, we have to come to that person, admit we were wrong, ask forgiveness, and strive to love them better going forward. In an ideal marriage, that person will accept our apologies, forgive us, and start the next day fresh not holding on to our wrongdoings.
We then, as well, have to forgive ourselves and realize we are better than our mistakes so we can push forward and love them how we’re called to. If we never forgive ourselves for what we did wrong, we will let thoughts of unworthiness, regret, and shame rule our marriage. We will coward away from being the person God calls us to because we will be entangled by our unnecessary guilt. The same is true in our relationship with God.
When we dishonor Him, we come to Jesus and ask forgiveness and repent of those sins. Jesus promises to wash our sins clean and give us new mercies the next morning. However, many times we have trouble accepting His forgiveness. We beat ourselves up over and over for the mistakes we have made and, in a way, deny that Jesus’ forgiveness is enough.
"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." – 1 John 1:9
When we neglect to forgive ourselves, the devil will use that to pull us away from who God is calling us to be in the future. When we start to pursue the plan, God has for us in our life, the devil will remind us of our failures and put thoughts of unworthiness in our minds. This will steal our peace and confidence away from doing what God still has planned for us. We will miss His future blessings. We cannot let the devil steal our peace and the way to assure that does not happen to have peace with God, peace with others, and to have peace within.
When we have peace in these three areas, we will live life with a peace from the Father that is unwavering and a joy that fills our souls.
Father, give me peace today. Help me to know your forgiveness and love for me more deeply so I can be a conduit of your love to those around me. Rule my heart, Jesus, today and every day.
Throughout this Day: Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what thoughts and habits of yours are not honouring to God. Trust in the Spirit's power to transform your mind and heart and trust him to fill you with joy today.
Photo Credit: Ben White on Unsplash