Peace is a state of the heart and it seems to be in short supply these days. So many people are searching for peace, but the problem is, we look for peace in all the wrong places.
Where do we look for peace?
Addictive substances like Alcohol or Drugs:
Whether it’s literally through some kind of drug, like cocaine, meth, heroine, or marijuana, or we drink or develop some other kind of addiction. The problem with trying to find peace in an addiction is that it just masks the pain. It doesn’t give us anything that lasts. And it takes more and more of it to get the same feeling over time.
We think someone else can bring us peace. If I just find the right person, if I just get into the right relationship I will have more peace. We think that if our spouse would just change, that would bring me peace. This leads to casual sex, divorce and adultery.
Maybe you’ve thought, “If Santa would bring me a new 80” TV with a built-in soft drink fountain, everything would be perfect.” The search through peace through other stuff leads us deeper into debt.
We set goals and think, “if I just reach this next level then I will have peace.” We schedule every minute of our time and fill up our schedules so that we don’t even have time to think about our lack of peace. The search for peace through activity and accomplishments leads us down the path of workaholism.
Stressed out people look for ways to escape. We distract ourselves with entertainment or social media to get our minds off of our problems. We may take a vacation or binge watch a TV series. But the distraction always comes to an end and our situation hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s only gotten worse.
Peace isn’t the absence of problems. Peace is the presence of God.
When the angel that showed up in the field outside of Bethlehem announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds, he proclaimed God’s promise of peace.
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14
Today, it seems like peace isn’t even a possibility. If peace is possible, it has to happen in the middle of a world of problems. So how can we find a peaceful heart?
5 Points of a Peaceful Heart
We fool ourselves into thinking, “if I can just get through this season, then things are going to slow down. If I can make it through Christmas.” Then there’s New Year, and the first of the year and it keeps on going. How do you stop it? You hit the Pause button. We have to learn to practice the Pause. Jesus practiced the pause. There’s power in the Pause. Jesus paused because He knew His peace came from God.
“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10
When you pause, you realize that God is in control.
Peace comes when we resign our position as general manager of the universe.
Sleep is a way to worship. When you sleep, you’re saying, “God, I’m trusting you tonight. I can rest because I know even while I’m asleep, You’re still awake. You’re still working even while I’m sleeping.”
How often should we pause?
We should pause weekly.
God set a pattern in place at Creation. He worked for 6 days and rested for one. We should take at least one day a week to rest, to re-create, and to play, and worship.
We should pause daily.
10 minutes is less than .7 percent of your whole day? It seems so hard to pause for 10 minutes to pray and open up our Bibles, but that 10 minutes can bring
Have you ever gone to a gift exchange where you bring a bad gift and you end up with a great gift? That’s what happens between us and God all the time. We bring God our sin and He brings us forgiveness. We bring God our problems and He exchanges them for His gift of peace. When we have problems, we can either choose to worry about them or give them to God. We can either worry or worship.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Worry and worship can’t inhabit the same heart. So the next time you have a worry, turn your worry list into your prayer list.
You are not unlimited. Your situation will never be completely and totally perfect. You need to accept your limitations. There are things that you cannot control in life.
Jesus mother, Mary, was a poor, young girl who was probably only 13-15 years old. She was from Nazareth, a town that everyone looked down on, located on the wrong side of the tracks. She wasn’t married and was still a virgin. Mary had so many limitations, but God chose her to be the mother of Jesus despite her limitations.
Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever he wants. May everything you said come true.” And then the angel disappeared. Luke 1:38
You may say, “I have limitations in my life.” The very thing you thought would be a limitation is the very thing that He will use to bring glory to Himself. Quit focusing on your limited power and focus on His unlimited power. I don’t have enough power to keep my own heart at peace by myself. So I have to go to a power bigger than myself, the power of God!
When your heart is impure, when you have sin in your life, your peace goes out the window. God’s plan for peace is through confession. Confession isn’t a place you go to or a person that you talk to. Confession is simply agreeing with God about your sin.
When you say, “God, I’ve sinned,” that’s a confession. You don’t have to beat yourself up. When you confess your sin to God, He forgives your sin and completely cleanses you.
“But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9
Don’t miss out on your peace because you don’t want to confess to God. There is amazing peace that comes when you confess.
We also need to have peace with those around us. This comes by being humble enough to go to someone else we have offended and confessing and asking for forgiveness from them.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15 (NLT)
Peace isn’t something temporary. Peace can last your whole life long.
We don’t have peace with others, because we don’t have peace with ourselves. Don’t have peace with ourselves because we don’t have peace with God
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
The best gifts come in small packages. Jesus came into the world as a baby in Bethlehem in a manger. It’s a small but powerful gift.
Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 (NLT)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5:1