I’m so excited to introduce you to my multi-talented niece Kelsey Flowers. Today, Kelsey shares four ways to experience the peace of God.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 4:4-7, NIV)
While I have a strong assurance of my peace with God, the peace of God is something that I sometimes struggle to preserve in my daily life. When I graduated from college a few years ago, I experienced a time of anxiety as my career path developed and I left the relative security of my hometown and university campus. While I have been able to push through the unknowns in my career, I still sometimes struggle with anxiety.
In his book, Anxious for Nothing, Max Lucado writes, “Anxiety is trepidation. It’s a suspicion, an apprehension. Life in a minor key with major concerns. Perpetually on the pirate ship’s plank.”
Anxiety barrages a person with what-if questions. What if I don’t meet the deadline? What if I don’t find the right job for me? What if I fail?There are two kinds of peace that are important to understand: peace with God and peace of God. #peace, #ChristianDevotional Click To Tweet
There are two kinds of peace that are important to understand: peace with God and peace of God. Peace with God comes when a person enters into a personal relationship with God by trusting in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
As Romans 5:1 says,
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.”
We have peace with God through faith in Jesus, and as a result, practically, we can experience the peace of God. The peace of God is a moment by moment rest and assurance in God regardless of circumstances. It is an inner calmness of the soul that exceeds our understanding.
Here are four ways we can enjoy the peace of God in our daily lives.
Rejoice in the Lord
Paul says in Philippians 4:4-5, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” It is easier to rejoice when things are going well than when life is hard. Lucado writes, “But how can a person obey this command? Rejoice always? Is it possible for a person to maintain an uninterrupted spirit of gladness? No. This is not Paul’s challenge. We are urged to ‘Rejoice in the Lord.’ This verse is a call, not to a feeling, but to a decision and a deeply rooted confidence that God exists, that He is in control, and that He is good” (21).
Though our life circumstances change and stressors come and go, the Lord and His character remain steadfast. When anxiety creeps in, we can rejoice in God, trusting that He is always faithful and that He has a good plan for us.
Ask God to Help
The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
We can bring our requests to God because He is near to us and able to help. God loves to help His children and make His power known through us. He wants us to go to Him with our troubles and cares. Lucado put it this way, “This much is sure: contagious calm will happen to the degree that we turn to Him.”
Paul included the words, “with thanksgiving,” when instructing us to present our requests to God. In her book Armor of God, Priscilla Shirer writes, “When we choose thankful prayer over wallowing in anxiety and worry, we are demonstrating an unwavering trust in God. Prayer shrouded in gratitude expresses firm faith” (111).
We can experience the peace of God that surpasses all understanding when we trust God and express gratitude to Him. Keeping a journal of things that I am thankful for has helped me to practice gratitude.
Think About Good Things
Our thoughts can have a major impact on our feelings, emotions, and actions. When worry and negativity overtake our thoughts, we need to intentionally turn our minds towards good things. Paul writes in Philippians 4:8-9,
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
If we think about things that are good and praiseworthy, the God of peace will be with us.
When anxiety tries to steal our peace, we can rejoice in the Lord and ask Him to help. We can thank Him for His specific blessings, and we can think about good things. We can trust that we have all that we need in Him and that He works all things together for our good. Then we will experience the peace of God that exceeds all understanding, and it will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ.
God did not intend for His children to be plagued by crippling anxiety. As God’s children, we can rest assured that He is working in each of us to be more like Christ and to enjoy His incredible peace.
Question: Which of Kelsey’s points resonates with you?
Kelsey Flowers is a freelance writer and finance and accounting supervisor at a non-profit ministry in Atlanta. She studied magazine journalism at the University of Georgia and enjoys reading, writing, and playing tennis in her free time.
Is Your Brain Being Hijacked by Someone Else’s Stress? is a fascinating article that discusses research that shows how other people’s stress affects us and how our peace can help those who are stressed.
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