We live in an uncertain world where things can change without warning. The recent pandemic serves as a rude reminder that life can take twists and turns we never imagined possible, and that our lives here on earth are on a slippery slope. Any security we may have had in our world has been stripped away and many of us have been infiltrated with fear and worry. Peace might seem impossible like a far-fetched dream or even a fantasy we’d love to achieve one day. But the Bible makes it very clear that we can experience peace no matter what is happening around us and that raises a good question, “What is peace and how can we, in an uncertain world, experience it?”
How would you define peace?
Peace is often a misunderstood word because everyone has their own definition of what peace means to them. To some, peace is a tranquil location like a serene beach or beautiful mountain top. To others it might be a feeling like the inner calmness enjoyed after taking a yoga class. And still others might describe it as a problem free life or a world without conflict, war or even a pandemic.
We can experience two kinds of peace: worldly peace and God’s peace. Worldly peace is based on what is seen and known…what is happening around us. It is subject to the physical world and therefore, is unreliable, unpredictable and can come and go without warning.
- Based on circumstances being good, right or perfect
- A problem-free life
- A calmness inside and out
- No suffering or pain
- No relational conflict
- Must be in a specific location to experience it
- Anchors on what’s happening in the world, politics, pandemics, crime, etc.
Worldly peace isn’t sustainable because it depends on things we cannot control. And let’s be honest, there’s very little under our control so peace comes and goes like the wind. It’s here and then it’s gone.
Thankfully there is another kind of peace- God’s peace. The Bible says,
“I am leaving you a gift- peace of mind and peace of heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 NLT).
God’s peace isn’t the same as the world’s peace. The peace He gives isn’t based on the world or circumstances or what’s happening around us. It’s founded on the solid ground of Scripture and the promises of God.
- Exists regardless of our circumstances
- Comes to us in the middle of our problems and storms of life
- A calmness inside no matter what it looks like outside
- Is based on God’s sovereignty
- Is a God-given gift
- Rooted in God’s promises
- Provides a covering during hard times
- Protects us from anxiety
God’s peace isn’t the absence of problems or difficulties but it’s an inner strength, faith and calmness that sustains us through our trials and challenges. Life this side of heaven is guaranteed to have storms…Jesus told us so- “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustrations” (John 16:33 AMP). BUT He also said, “Be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain and undaunted]! For I have overcome the world [deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:33 AMP).
But you might be asking how. How can I experience God’s peace in the midst of my storms? And that is a great question. One I needed to know about too because honestly, my peace has been shaken up over the last few months.
Once again we can look to God’s Word to show us the way. Isn’t His Word AMAZING!! I hope by now you’ve noticed a theme in everything I write…God’s Word has the answers we so desperately need. And Philippians 4:6 is our guiding Scripture to the peace we long for. In it we learn there is a specific way we can pray and when we do, we will experience God’s peace.
- Worry is an Invitation to Pray: worry yanks our peace quicker than anything else. The constant ruminating on fear of the future, how things will work out and “what-if” can push out the peace God promises us during hard times. When we are worried, afraid, sad or doubtful look at it as an invitation to pray.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything.” (Philippians 4:6)
- Honest and Specific Prayers: when you’re fighting to have God’s peace it’s not the time for generic or general prayers…it’s time to pray honestly, specifically, and with great detail. Let it all out!
“Tell God everything.” (Philippians 4:6)
- In Prayer, Thank God for What He’s Done: look back on the past and be thankful for the prayers God has answered. By directing our thoughts to answered prayers we are reassured of His provision, protection and love for us in our present moment.
“Thank Him for what He has done.” (Philippians 4:6)
God promises to deliver peace to us. When we pray about everything, pray specifically and thank Him for what He’s done it goes on to say that we will experience the peace of God which is beyond our human understanding (Philippians 4:7). And that in Jesus our hearts and minds are protected by His peace!
But there’s still more. Two more practical things we can apply from Philippians. I LOVE finding these treasures in the Bible. I call them gold nuggets because to me finding practical ways to apply the Bible to my life is like striking gold!
- Check your Thoughts: we must consider what thoughts we are thinking. We can lose the peace of God if we are fixed on the things we cannot control, the lies of the enemy or the circumstances that look impossible. If we have “stinking-thinking” then peace will be far off, but if we fix our thoughts on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) …peace will surely flood our hearts.
- Put it into Practice: so often we can hear and read about what God wants us to do, but we stop short because we don’t act upon it. Putting it into practice is essential to having God’s peace. All that we have learned today…put it into practice. (Philippians 4:9)
Sister, I know our world is a scary place and the recent events have amplified it even more. However, we can have peace no matter what is happening. It’s not a denial of the facts or our feelings, but rather a surrender to God…a letting go of our fears, worries and doubts unto Him…the Eternal Creator God who has the power to give us an everlasting peace.
“I am leaving you a gift- peace of mind and peace of heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT
COMING SOON: A companion study guide to compliment my new book Chickening IN- from FEAR to Courageous FAITH. This study guide can be done alone or in a group! It will provide additional space to dig deeper into overcoming fear and applying the practical steps of the 8 Pillars of Transformation.