Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)
TITLE: The Secret to Great Peace
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Do you have great peace today? Is your life free from anxiety and concern? Have you experienced freedom from stumbling? Or are your days filled with anxiety and stumbling? I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum. A pastor who has since gone on to be with the Lord, once shared the above verse with me. As I observed his life, it was filled with peril and difficulties. Yet through it all, he had great peace. He was always happy. I watched him some more and discovered much of the time he was reading his Bible or on his knees praying. There must be something to this, I thought.
That pastor’s heart was steadfast. “You will keep him in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” – Isaiah 26:3 To gain peace, I first of all had to cast out envy. Envy eats us up inside whereas peace gives us life. NIV “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” - Prov. 14:30, NIV
Next, I had to receive Christ. Christ came “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” – Luke 1:79, NIV Jesus’ words ring out. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27, NIV
Then I began to spend more time reading, studying, and memorizing my Bible. There were times when my life got off center and a friend would quote me another scripture. Gradually God’s peace became more and more a part of my life. Whenever I got too busy for this, I began to lose inner peace. The cares of the world pressed in, just as they are probably doing for you now. I began to get my focus off Christ and onto circumstances instead. But my relationship with God was not something static that I could take for granted. Neither was peace. It required action.
Like love, peace required an act of the will. To gain it, I had to turn from my bad ways and pursue peace. – 1 Peter 3:11 It was not static, not something I could just take for granted and do nothing and expect to receive it. The pastor I admired, labored hard in prayer and was diligent in his daily Bible reading. I learned that if I wanted great peace, I had to follow his example. I used to think he had the gift of faith and I had no hope of being that way. Now I know it wasn’t so much a gift, as much as an acquired characteristic generated by a lifetime of obedience. That was the secret!
Prayer. “Father, help us to be obedient to stay constant. Help us to be constantly in prayer and in your Word. Help us to turn from sin and look for opportunities to do good. And as we become obedient, may you please grant us your great peace through the riches of Christ Jesus. Amen”
What about you?
Has your life been up and down? Or are you experiencing that great peace today? God wants us all to have it. Our biggest obstacle is ourselves. May God grant you mercy and great peace today, as He blesses your life richly!
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