Peace. It is something we all want, but often very hard to come by.
We want peace in the mornings, when the house is crazy because none of the children are getting ready for school on time.
We want peace in the evenings, when sibling rivalry seems to be at its peak.
We want peace at work, when the deadlines, office politics and stress are running rampant.
We want peace in our finances, when the bills outweigh what is left in the budget.
We want peace on the highway, when traffic is crazy and we are running late for an appointment.
We want peace in our hearts when the storms of life seem to be pouring down.
We want peace in our marriage, during times when disagreements, hurt and conflict seem to be at the core of every interaction.
Is it realistic to ever think we can really have it? Can we honestly have peace while living in this fallen world, filled with sin, conflict, betrayal, temptations, chaos and busyness?
Can we really have peace in our committed relationships when the temptations to sexual sin are lurking around every corner?
Can we really have peace in our marriages when the sanctity of wedding vows has become distorted and devalued in our country, and it sometimes seems easier to quit than work through the hard times?
The answers to these questions depend on what kind of peace we are really looking for, and most importantly, where we are searching for it.
Just out of curiosity, I searched the word ‘peace’ under Google images. I found infinite pages of pictures of so-called ‘peace’ – but not one picture of Jesus. Not one. There were lots of hippy-type peace signs, circular peace symbols, hand with two fingers held up, groups holding hands in a circle, rainbows, people hugging, and even a picture of guns with an ‘x’ through them.
What I did not find, were pictures of Jesus, Bibles, bible verse references, crosses, heavenly clouds, praying hands or even a beautiful sunset over the ocean. The closest thing I found to resembling peace found through faith were some pictures of doves, but even that symbol can be interpreted as worldly and meaningless without any accompanying bible references.
Strangely enough, all of the images that fell under the category of peace were of worldly perceptions of what peace is. A peace found in other people, symbols, and tangible things. Peace that is temporary and empty.
This spoke volumes to me about why so many people are chronically stressed, living in daily conflict in their homes, struggling in their marriages, drowning in a life full of disappointment and unmet needs, and unable to find any real peace in their hearts or in their relationships.
When we look for perfect peace in people, places, massages, pedicures, vacations, life or marriage – it will never truly be ours.
True peace cannot come from anything we can touch or see. It cannot be portrayed through any silly, creative symbols or fictitious depictions of what someone thought should signify peace.
Peace also cannot be found through simply having better marriages, better children, better jobs, better finances, better family relationships, less problems, or better traffic. We often fall for the lie that if those things got better, then we could have peace, but anything found outside of Christ, is nothing but temporary. Although our continued prayers can be for God to work in the difficult situations in our life, peace can still be ours while God is at work in the midst of the mess.
Last week I told you about a time when peace was missing in my heart, and my life, and God allowed me to sit in His lap. The problems I was facing at that time seemed way too big for me to handle, and certainly beyond my ability to control. It was a time when feelings of despair and hopelessness invaded my heart, making me wonder if peace, much less joy, would ever return.
On that day, sitting in Gods lap, I discovered peace. Real peace. Not a fake symbol or an empty symbolic picture of peace. Not temporary peace. Not a peace found while on vacation or a phone call from a precious friend – but real peace – a peace that was found in the holy lap of my heavenly Daddy.
In John 14:27, Jesus is trying to comfort His disciples, when he says, “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.” (NIV)
There is a key word in that sentence that sticks out to me – and that is the word “my”. Jesus said, I give you “my” peace. Not just any peace, but His peace. Not human peace, but holy peace.
A peace that is completely His, and only His to give, because it was bought with His blood and purchased by His sacrifice. It is His legacy to His people, and we are the recipients of that legacy. This legacy of peace is a gift from Jesus that can be opened, unwrapped and enjoyed time and time again.
Let’s surrender all of our burdens today once and for all and ask and open that sweet gift of peace. The gift that can help us see beyond the problems, and begin to see the problem-solver, so we can begin to really trust that nothing is impossible with God. He can help us face and deal with the challenges of marriage, but just like any other blessing that we desire from our Lord, we have to ask to receive.
Peace has to be in our heart, before it can be in our marriage.
Upon the asking, God begins the giving and we will find a freeing peace like we have never known before – not because of an absence of problems, but because of the presence of the King.
DAY 11 CHALLENGE: PURSUE GOD’S GIFT OF PEACE, AND OPEN IT
Your challenge today is this: if you feel like peace has been missing from your life, your heart, your mind, and even your marriage – or if you have been desperately searching for peace and happiness in places other than Gods Word – take some time to sit in God’s lap today. Empty yourself of your fears and hurts, and ask God to fill those empty spaces with a peace that overflows and surpasses your understanding.
To enter to win, leave a comment about what is stealing your peace right now, whether it be a little daily nagging thing, or a big issue, and commit to asking God for peace in that area of life. Winners announced on Friday March 29th!
If you received this post in email and would like to leave a comment or enter to win, please CLICK HERE. Please do not reply to this in email.
Proverbs 31 Ministries is offering Stressed-Less Living as the next Online Bible Study beginning April 7th. Click here for all the details and to get registered!
Please note: Amazon is currently sold out of Stressed-Less Living and on back order, but good news – we do still have some in stock at Proverbs 31! With your purchase from Proverbs 31, you will also receive access to download my 50 page bible study guide FOR FREE! Don’t delay, the study begins in just two weeks! 🙂