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How to Have Peace in All Circumstances
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For years I have prayed for God to change my circumstances. For example, since I was a child I have been insecure about my appearance. I cannot even guess how many times I asked God to change things when I was younger and even at times as I have aged. Even now at 57, insecurity has been my constant companion, sometimes far from my thoughts and at other times very present. Insecurity is fear and it has stolen much from my life. Recently God led me to change my prayer and my life, which I will reveal further in this article.
Jesus clearly tells us that the peace he left with us is not as the world gives.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
God’s peace surpasses all understanding.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7
It is the peace that Paul and Peter displayed while locked in prison not knowing what would happen next. It is a peace that makes no sense to the world and a beacon to the lost if displayed by Christians.
On the other hand, the world’s peace is based on circumstances. Things are going good and we have peace. Things are going bad and when we need it most, circumstantial peace is nowhere to be found. We are so attuned to this type of peace, we even try and change our circumstances to find it, often by selfishly doing the wrong thing.
God pointed out to me that when I ask him to change my circumstances, take away the problem as Paul did in 2 Cor 12:8, I am seeking the world’s circumstantial peace and not God’s peace that overcomes all circumstances.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 2 Cor 12:8
Paul wanted his circumstances changed and God would not change them. Instead God told Paul he had everything he needed to overcome the problem in his grace.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Cor 12:9
Note that God said his power is made perfect in our weakness. Paul then says this new stance would allow the power of Christ to rest upon him.
Later in Phillipians we see a transformation in Paul, where his contentment and peace are no longer dependent on his circumstances.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. Phil 4:11-12
So what do I ask God for in prayer now instead of a change in circumstances? I ask him for the power to rise above and overcome my circumstances. In this particular case, to rise above my insecurity and break free from the fear that has robbed me of so much life. To step out and walk in Christ above any and all circumstances, where I can be of good use to those who are struggling.
Like Paul, I now believe “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
Now let me ask you, which kind of peace you would prefer if you had a choice? Do you want the world’s peace that is based on circumstances where life is like a roller coaster, or do you want God’s peace that surpasses all understanding and overcomes all circumstances?
If you choose God’s peace over the worlds, which I hope you do, then tell your Heavenly Father. Pray and ask him to help you and guide you away from seeking the world’s circumstantial peace and into a life filled with his peace that surpasses all understanding. I did in a prayer awhile back and while it has been a rough journey at times because I am so thick headed, it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
One of the keys to walking in his peace is found in the second part of John 14.27. This verse tells us to not let out heart fear or be troubled by circumstances.
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.John 14:27b
The next time satan tempts you towards the sins of fear and worry and as soon as your heart feels troubled. Reject the temptation towards fear and worry and say “heart, do not be troubled or afraid”. Doing this consistently lets your Father and the enemy know, you really believe Gods word when he says you do not need to fear or worry.
I also believe that God will reward those who embrace his truth in this way. Possibly even changing circumstances by blessing the person greatly, just like he did Solomon when he prayed for wisdom and was given much more. But in the end it will not matter. Peace in the storm is much more exciting and enticing to me than the worlds kind of peace.
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