Copyright May 2016
Wars, earthquakes, bombing, drama, financial distress, political climate, uncertainty in life, discord - these are just a few of the things that can steal our peace and joy in life. I am sure you have your own list of things that keep you up at night and stress you out during
the day. When I was younger I often said, “When this happens things will be better or easier,” only to discover that when things got easy in one area there was often times something else to contend with. Life is full of challenges and constant uncertainty; on this earth we will always have to contend for peace.
The definition of peace in the Old Testament is: prosper, rest, be safe in mind and body, to make restitution. In the New Testament it means: quietness and rest. It is good to know God’s heart for us is to live in a place of quietness and rest.
I use to blame God for not giving me peace or allowing the stressful things in my life until He began to teach me that I had a God given right to walk in peace all the time. I would frequently say things like, “why is this happening to me?” Thankfully God was very patient with me, always loving me, and I am sure he was sometimes shaking His head and smiling and wondering when I was really going to understand. His intention for me in the difficulties of life is to access the peace and joy that is available to me as His much loved child.
Isaiah 9:6-7 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” (NIV) God was telling his people that He was sending Jesus in the days ahead and his purpose was to bring us peace. The peace we can find in Him will never end! Peace is part of His name and it states that He is the Prince of Peace.
When God first began teaching lessons about walking in the peace He had provided for me, I remember it was a very trying time. My mom was just diagnosed with a very unusual auto immune disease and overseeing her care was challenging as a busy wife, mother of three children. I had just begun a new job dealing with women in crisis. One day I felt God say, “Kathleen, I am the Prince of Peace. Let me escort you through this day.” I accepted the offer, and that day as I was walking through the hospital and dealing with the harsh reality of the diagnoses I constantly pictured myself being escorted by the Prince of Peace. It was amazing how it changed my perspective on things. I was at peace because I was accessing the peace that was available to me as a believer. Really, I was hanging on for dear life to the Prince of Peace to just get me through the day! The good news in the midsts of the stress was that I had an escort and I was not alone.
John 14:27 say, “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.” Jesus left us with peace. It was His gift to us. Peace is the perfect inheritance gift and it is available to each of us. We have a choice to walk in peace that has been provided or not. It takes discipline and self control to choose peace when life doesn’t go as planned or the unexpected happens but this is typical of life.
Colossians 3:15 says, “ Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (NIV) This scripture clearly states that peace is a choice. We can let peace have the final say, be the umpire, if we choose.
I will never forget the day I was driving past Wal Mart, exhausted, running late, needing to be three places at once and feeling like a failure in all areas of my life. I was overwhelmed. I felt I heard God say, “Overwhelming feelings are not from me.” With tears streaming down my face I quickly realized that God had a better plan for me and I told the overwhelming feelings to go. They were not my friend. Often times our feelings can lie to us. One of my constant prayers is for God to reveal truth to me where I have believed a lie. God is a God of truth and loves to show His children the truth if we just simply ask Him. He always reveals the truth. That is one prayer I can always trust He will answer.
When we access the peace God makes available to us, it becomes a gift we can give away. One morning, I heard the words, “Walk in peace and others will follow.” That day I wasn’t concerned about anything in particular but I wrote it down in my journal and filed the phrase in my mind. I wasn’t at work 15 minutes and there was a crisis and I had a volunteer very stressed about a situation. I remembered what I had heard in my quite time and reassured her God would provide. I brought peace into the situation and she calmed down. Within minutes, the problem was solved.
The other day I had a woman approach me and she was so nervous ringing her hands and anxious because of a situation in her life. I had plenty of peace that day and as I held her hand and prayed for her, her body totally relaxed. When we walk in peace, we can help others find God in their situation.
In conclusion, peace is our God given right, our inheritance, and is a choice. Jesus will be our Prince of Peace if we let him and when we walk in peace, access the peace available to us, we get the privilege of giving the gift to others.
Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com