FIRST STEP ON THE PATH TO PEACE

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid

(John 14:27).

Dr. Charles Stanley shares a valuable, teachable moment in his younger years in an “In Touch” Magazine:

One of my most precious memories involves a time when I was experiencing great turmoil. Knowing my distress, an elderly lady in my church showed me a picture on her wall and asked me to tell her what I saw. It was a picture of Daniel in the lions’ den, so I described the hungry lions with closed mouths and Daniel standing with his hands behind his back. But I missed the most important detail. This perceptive woman put her arm around me and said, “Son, what I want you to see is that Daniel doesn’t have his eyes on the lions, but on God.” That was one of the greatest sermons I’ve ever heard in my life.

The Lord Jesus was clear when He said we do not have to live in anxiety but can choose tranquility instead.   Just hours before His death, Jesus promised His peace to the disciples (John 14:27).  This promise is for us too, and we have the same responsibility not to let our hearts become distressed.

When and how often can we experience this peace?  Paul says, “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).

If we would pray as much as we worry, our lives would change dramatically.  Since God always has our best interest at heart, He wants us to thank Him in all things, even when we cannot understand what He is doing or why He allows them (Philippians 4:6).

It is the Holy Spirit who produces the fruit of Christ’s peace within us (Galatians 5:22) as we choose to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:16).  Our thoughts are important in this process because “the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).

Since our actions and emotions usually follow our thoughts, we must be careful in what we allow to dominate our thinking (Proverbs 23:7, KJV).  If, in the midst of a trying situation, we don’t experience peace, we must center our thoughts on Christ.  When our minds are focused on Him, we can face stressful circumstances with a settled assurance because we trust in His sovereignty and love.

Where Jesus reigns there is no fear,

No restless doubt, no hopeless tear,

No raging sea nor tempest dread,

But quietness and calm instead. –Anonymous