One of the greatest gifts we have as children of the living God is inner peace. A peace that “transcends all understanding” is always available to us. Sadly, we often neglect to call upon it because we have been caught up in the cares of this world. We chose worry and fret over resting in the peace of Christ. What a shame we do not make the most of this precious blessing.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Another way we lose peace of mind is when we look for peace elsewhere than in Him. We may look for peace through materialistic purchases. Maybe we look for inner peace by expecting another person to distract and cheer us up. We would be wise to remember that God is our power source! We may even expect to find peace by going on a long trip or having an indulgent night on the town. The problem is that these are all temporary fixes. They are like bubblegum on a broken and gushing waterline. Only God can provide a supernatural peace
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (NKJV)
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)
When we neglect personal time in the Word of God we will find that our peace of mind suffers. Scripture is spiritual food! We need Scripture to feed and fuel us. Just as the Israelites were told to daily collect manna in the wilderness, we are to actively collect encouragement, guidance, hope, and peace daily through Bible reading.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.’” Exodus 16:4 (NIV)
Some people are never content with what God has provided. They see the blessings bestowed on others and question why they have not received the same blessings. Their discontent robs them of peace and often waters a root of bitterness that leads to resenting God and His ways. Contentment is only found in Christ.
“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:10 (NIV)
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
“Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked.” Psalm 37:16 (NIV)
There are many other ways to lose our peace but the last one I will mention today occurs when we question (even refuse to accept) God’s will for our life. Has He called you into a season of singleness? Is missionary work, which requires a move to a foreign country, your calling? Have you been asked to love a very unlikable person? God has purposed many tasks for us, all of which is to give Him glory. He created us with special gifts and we are completely equipped to carry them out with His help. We may see the sacrifices and losses these requests cost and our shortsightedness keeps us from seeing the eternal value they provide.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8 (NIV)