peaceful living

Increase the Peace- Part 2

In Part 1 of ‘Increase the Peace’ we acknowledged that true peace is from God and that peace comes from believing God and obeying God.  Scripture also teaches that we can have peace in the following ways:

Be Thankful in All Things

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)  I’ve often heard people say they find it difficult to believe that God would ask and expect them to be thankful in all circumstances— finding it hard to imagine He could expect thankfulness in ‘negative’ situations. 

Let’s look at a situation to see how we can be thankful even in the midst of life’s trials. A friend of mine was struggling to get along with co-workers who seemed to be intentionally trying to agitate her.  She felt that she was losing her peace in the midst of the situation. We discussed how she could be thankful in her situation. 

An example of something she could pray in that situation would be: “Lord, thank you for this job that helps my family to pay our bills. Thank you for these people who are trying to agitate me;  their actions make me aware of how much more I need you and to be filled with your love for others so I don’t respond in a way that would displease you and compromise my Christians witness. Thank you for using this situation to make me more appreciative of the humiliation you willingly endured for me on the cross, and for giving me an opportunity to model your love to those who I feel are persecuting me. If there is anything that I am doing that is the cause for their behavior, please reveal it to me so I can repent of it. Please give me the wisdom, discernment and strength to do only that which would reflect your heart in this matter. Amen.”

‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Your Mindset Can Bring Peace

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) God is telling us plainly in this verse not to focus our thoughts on the things of the world. He warns us not to think the way the unbelieving world thinks; not to desire what the unbelieving world says is important; and not to follow secular advice, which can be foolishness. Why?  Because God loves us, and He wants what is best for us. He knows that we will not have peace but death if our focus is on this world’s priorities instead of on God and His priorities. We need to set our minds on the things of the Spirit which alone can bring life and peace.  Here are some examples of how we can do this:

-  Pray

  • Read God’s Word and meditate upon it
  • Study God’s Word
  • Memorize scriptures 
  • Get involved in a mentoring relationship with a person who is further along in her walk with the Lord 
  • Join a small group Bible study
  • Listen to Christian music 
  • Read Christ-centered books/magazines
  • Ask God to replace your selfish, worldly desires with His perfect desires for your life

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

When the Spirit Leads You Will Have Peace

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

When our minds are focused on the things of God, the Spirit of God will lead you in peace.  Peace is an attribute of God’s character and is a fruit that God desires for every believer to have.  You can know the Spirit of God is leading you when you are at peace. The peace of God is not dependent on the outcome or circumstance, but is a character trait of God who lives in the heart of the one who believes in Him and has chosen to follow Him.  This peace transcends all understanding because it is always available regardless of what is happening in the moment.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

The peace of God ‘guards our hearts and mind’.  When we believe, obey, are thankful, and keep our minds focused on God, He will protect our hearts and minds from the kind of thinking that causes us to lose our peace because we will be confident that we can trust God no matter what.  We will be confident that God is in control, and He is faithful and to be trusted at all times. I have found that often restlessness and anxiety is caused by our desire to determine an outcome. What peace there is in knowing that if we obey God, we can always trust Him with the outcome! You can trust the Man who died for you— with everything that concerns you! If you want the peace that God longs to give you, stop striving, stop manipulating, and stop trying to control your life! Instead, relinquish control and put your full trust in God, Who is a wise and loving Father who always has your best interest in mind.  We may not always agree with His decisions because His ways are so much higher than our ways (Isaiah 55: 9), but we can choose to trust His power, His love, His wisdom, and His good and never changing nature.

Make the choice today to believe God, obey God, follow God and keep your mind fixed on the promises of God.  He is a wonderful counselor and the prince of peace Who will never leave you or forsake you. 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 ESV).

Written by: Jamie Shaver

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?

"Increase the Peace"- Part 1

Have you ever been around a “peace taker?” Have you ever started out your day filled with peace and joy and then realized by the end of the day you’d ‘lost’ your peace? Perhaps you noticed it was gone after you’d encountered someone who was fearful, anxious, critical, irritating, or someone who did something that offended you.  

The first thing we need to recognize is that nobody can ‘take’ our peace from us unless we are willing to give it away.  

Are you allowing someone to take away from you the peace that God has given to you as a priceless gift?  

What can we do to have true peace in all situations?  God’s Word speaks on this very issue.

True Peace is From God

As a believer and follower of Christ, we can have a peace that the world cannot possess or even understand.  It is a peace that is not determined by or affected by our circumstances. The amount of money we have in the bank; our physical health or appearance; our job status; our marital status; crises in our family, the nation, or the world cannot take away the peace that we can have in Christ. It is a peace that transcends all ‘human understanding’. (Philippians 4:7)  

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27 ESV

Jesus tells us that He is giving and leaving His peace with us. He gives it to us and commands us to not let our “hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  (John 14:27) Jesus reveals that we ultimately determine whether we will have peace, regardless of our situation. “Let not” means that we have the ability to control whether our hearts will become troubled or fearful. Jesus knows that when we allow fear to enter our hearts, we will lose faith because fear and faith cannot coexist.  Where there is no faith, there can be no true peace.

Jesus came to the disciples who had locked the doors in fear of the Jewish leaders and declared “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19)  Whatever your situation is, He is declaring the same thing to you today!  We can find ourselves full of fear about so many things, including what a person may think of us; our own or a loved one’s health diagnosis; our co-workers’ or boss’ expectations of our performance; or in a panic due to national or world crises. However, we need to recognize that it is our choice whether we will allow our hearts to be troubled over a situation and to think fearful thoughts. If that it the choice we make, we will be giving away our gift of peace that we have from God.

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Peace Comes from Believing:  

  • That God is Who He says He is
  • That God’s Word has power
  • That God can do what He says He can do
  • That all things are under God’s authority 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  Romans 15:13 ESV

“The God of hope” doesn’t just desire that we have peace. He also desires that we have joy, abounding hope, and all the things that He alone can give us that lead to an abundant life! He tells us exactly how we can get these things…it’s “in believing” in Him.  What do you believe about God?  Have you sought to learn about who He says He is as revealed in the Bible, His love-letter to mankind?  The God of the Bible is where peace resides, through His Son, the “Prince of Peace” Jesus Christ!  Do you believe in Him?  Do you believe His Word is truth?

Peace Comes from Obeying

God also tells us that peace comes through obeying His commands.  In His great love for us, God desires for us to have peace and He gave us many commands that He knew would lead us to quiet, peaceful confidence in Him, not in our own abilities.  “The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.”  Isaiah 32:17

Notice in Isaiah 32:17 what God tells us about ‘the fruit’— or the result— of righteous living; it will be peace.  The effect of that peace will be quietness and confidence forever.  What a contrast that is to when we choose to disobey His commands which results in confusion, chaos, uncertainty, and ultimately destruction. 

“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace” (Isaiah 32:17), and “the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”  (James 3:18) This is the principle of sowing and reaping.  If you sow in peace, you will reap righteousness, and that righteousness will bring forth peace and steadfast love. (see also Hosea 10:12) 

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”  Psalm 3:1-2

“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

Written by: Jamie Shaver

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?