Peace. It is not being in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or challenge. It is our ability to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in our heart.
This is a quote on a magnet that has been on my fridge for about thirty years. It is something I must remind myself of quite often these days.
Today, we face many things that attempt to destroy our peace. Wars, rumors of wars, exorbitant gas prices, skyrocketing living costs, and personal battles and attacks. All these things demand our attention and attempt to annihilate our peace.
The peace the Bible talks about is not a mental attitude, it is something that comes from deep within. It is based on a consistent relationship with God. It is a response to His grace and faithfulness.
Peace, God’s peace, is available to all of us. Sadly, we do not all pursue peace on purpose. As believers, we know that when we need healing, we must pursue healing. We dig out scriptures that affirm our belief in the healing power of God. We confess those scriptures over our bodies daily and stand firm in faith until healing manifests.
It is the same with prosperity. When we are convinced God wants to bless His people we pursue that blessing. We dig out scriptures that give validity to this belief. We create prayer boards. We confess God’s Word over our finances and our debts, and we stand firm in faith until we see His blessings come into our life.
There is nothing wrong with either of these responses. In the same way, I believe we should pursue peace.
Yet, many believe we can’t possibly have peace in the chaos in our world today.
But that is not what the Bible says. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (Jn 14:27)
Unexpected and prolonged difficulties such as what we have faced in the last few years can evoke fear and anxiety. People have felt overwhelmed as everything around us appears to be out of our control. Beyond what is going on in the world, many are facing personal challenges such as job loss, grief, sadness, fear, and confusion. It is in times like these that we must pursue peace on purpose and attempt to remove all negative emotions that will affect our physical and emotional health.
Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body.”
The last few years have had a significant impact on us, both mentally and physically. Stress is at an all-time high. The future seems murky and uncertain for some. Trauma is prevalent across the world and its long-term effects can have devastating consequences.
We must pursue peace on purpose.
If we do not, we will deal with the residual effects of the stress of this season for years to come. According to recent surveys, mental health issues and substance abuse are up 30% since 2019. Four out of ten people report they are dealing with anxiety and depression disorders since the Covid pandemic.
The enemy is working daily to steal the peace that Jesus left us. Why?
Because he understands God’s peace is a bomb that explodes all his plans.
His tactics are all fear-based. His plan is for you to believe him and repeat his lies, instead of God’s Word. If we choose to believe him over what the Word of God says, he’s got us. However, we must choose to remain in peace, ultimately trusting in God and His Word. When we do that, we destroy the enemy’s plans.
The Strong’s Concordance describes peace as “the tranquil state of a soul assured of what Jesus purchased at the Cross, and one who fears nothing that is to come.” Oh! That we could all walk in this kind of peace. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:14 to pursue peace. The word pursue means to run swiftly after to catch it. In other words, we must go after peace until we attain it. Peace is a commodity that, in this current atmosphere, is priceless. We must go after it.
How do we do that? John F. Kennedy once said, “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. And however undramatic the pursuit of peace, that pursuit must go on.”
We must dig into the Word of God concerning peace. We must daily tear down old, negative, fearful mindsets and build new, strong, peace-ruled structures by confessing His promises of peace over our lives. It won’t happen in a day – but it will happen if we pursue it. Peace remains a free gift from God, but it is up to us to walk in it. Our very lives depend on it, both physically and mentally.
My prayer for you today is this, “May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing, bubbling over, with hope” (Rom 15:13).