Written by Madeline Twooney
We are all no strangers to trials and tribulations. It can be a confusing and even difficult interval in our lives that we have no choice but to endure.
Sometimes these times means that a new chapter is being opened for us, other times it heralds the end of a significant period and the need for closure.
When our circumstances change, God will always help us and provide a solution. However He is more interested in the changes He can make in you.
“Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4 (NRSV)
No matter what is going on in our lives, God encourages us to be at peace.
Where does this peace derive from?
From the Prince of Peace himself, Jesus Christ.
For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
In the Book of John, Jesus states:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
Jesus gives us the free gift of His own peace. It is a present that He handed over to us, before He left to be with the Father. That’s not just any peace. This is a level of peace that has withstood open criticism from the Pharisees, trials in the desert from the devil, public prosecution, degradation, pain, suffering, and even death.
No wonder that Jesus goes on to say:
“Not as the world gives do l give to you.”
Is there any treasure on this earth, which can be comparable to the peace that Jesus gives us? With Jesus’ peace inside you, you don’t need to feel fear anymore, you can stop worrying. Nothing can intimidate you.
In fact, Jesus tells us that these negative feelings have no more place in us:
“Therefore, do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Now that is one special gift.
So, if peace is already in us then why must we pursue it?
When we experience difficult times, we often get distracted or even overwhelmed by the given situation. We start to fret and get annoyed. We become emotional. Consequently, we start making wrong decisions that can make the current situation even worse.
l used to feel miserable, scared, and defeated when I found myself in a bad situation. Only when l actively sought to be peaceful in such times, did l discover a new interpretation of how l could live my life.
I realized that living a life filled with peace begins with a choice.
The conscious choice to pursue it.
The purposeful pursuit of peace is something we as Christians need to be exercising. It is, with the other Fruits of the Spirit, a ready arsenal that can make not only our own lives, but the lives of our family, friends, and others who interact with us, all the more richer and victorious.
Ok, so let’s say you’re in the peace zone. What happens next?
Well, once you have peace, you have to maintain it.
Think about Exodus 14:14 (KJV):
“The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. “
God is telling us that not only should we aspire to acquire peace, but that we also need to stay in peace through trials and tribulations. He will deal with the issue at hand, but we need to do our part and be at peace and rest, being confident that He will provide us with the best outcome.
Holding our peace is telling God that we trust Him.
I am so grateful to the Lord for showing me the importance of pursuing peace, while He deals with my present circumstances.
Currently, l am experiencing a severe relapse in my convalscence from burnout and chronic depression. Panic attacks, feeling overwhelmed, and extreme social anxiety are daily battles l have to face, as well as depressive episodes.
However, in the deepest depths of the darkest, miry pits, l can only stretch my hands out and rely on the grace and goodness of my Father, who promises to never fail me, nor forsake me. He walks with me in the shadow of the valley of Death. He is my light in the darkness, and His peace is a gift that l can accept and rely on, as He walks through this period of illness with me.
The intensity with which we experience pain and suffering is subjective to each individual. No one can understand what you are going through as well as God.
Put Him first, do your part and hold your peace and He will do His part and help you. He loves us all so much and He will never ask us to do anything we couldn’t do.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.”
I wish you peace brothers and sisters in Christ. Whatever storm you are in at this moment, it too shall pass.