Since the beginning, humanity has been searching for peace. The quest transcends every part of human life, from the nations’ attempts to form treaties and talks to our pursuit of distraction from our soul unrest. Too often, tranquility seems to evade us, slipping in and out of our lives without warning or notice, as we have often settled for a false calm that the world gives.
Though it seems elusive, peace has always been present. Like Adam and Eve, we have sought it outside of God, often in other people, places, possessions, and pursuits, only to find ourselves disconnected from God’s intentions for the peace that comes only from Him.
Finding peace with God.If the only way to bridge the eternal gap is through Jesus, the spotless Sacrifice punished for our peace, why do we wrestle with confusion and unrest? Often, we subject ourselves to anxiety and depression’s ruthless rule as opposed to reigning with the peace that governs God’s Kingdom.
We forfeit the peace that silences the world’s noise and chaos when we clutch worry, stress, and anxiety more than clinging to God’s prescription for our total wellness.
Scripture hails God’s promises for us to have nothing missing, broken, or out of place, as Jesus’ Blood established and sealed the covenant or irrevocable agreement that secured peace on our behalf. Let’s embrace the following moments and scriptures for encouragement in trading our anxiety for the peace that settles all.
Salvation: the door.
Salvation is the door to the abundant life God created us to live. Jesus restored the peace and purity that was intended to govern the world since the garden and the fall. Revelation of God’s promised peace sets our sights on the eternal future to live and reign with Jesus in the hope of a restored Eden and right now for a restored life.
Despite the present turmoil brewing in the world, it isn’t just for someday. God’s peace is for now, for all time, and eternity. When we accept Christ, peace is our automatic abundant portion, but we only learn how to live in it, with the Holy Spirit’s help.
The peace we can enjoy with God is made available through many means, but one of the most salient is prayer. We answer anxiety’s attempts to infiltrate and poison our thoughts when we intentionally communicate with the Lord, swapping out our anxious thoughts for those that reflect His strength.
Our words can be as simple and few as calling the name of the Lord, “Jesus!” or “Help.” He is a God who answers and carves out safe spaces in His name and through prayer to comfort, counsel, and keep.
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 4:6-7, NIV
Source: protection and provision.God intends for us to experience His prosperity or abundance and wellness in every area. The rest of our lives will reflect the fruitfulness of a soul that prospers from cultivating a life with the Lord. Mental peace and emotional stability are part of our soul’s wealth and care.
Often, our pain persuades us to live below God’s highest and best intention. Jesus has already furnished the healing in His life sacrifice. However, it is up to us as followers to apprehend that peace.
When we appropriate God’s Word to our weary and wounded hearts, we nurture our lives with the Word’s healing balm. Speaking, meditating, and obeying the Word welcomes the Holy Spirit to activate God’s peace within. He binds up our shattered and broken places. This doesn’t mean that anxiety stops fighting us. We will still experience challenges and conflicts in this life.
Still, we have an armor in God that secures us and advances God’s will, even when we appear weak and fledgling. Our peace comes from knowing that God is working when we don’t see it or feel it. Faith stands up in us to believe beyond our circumstances and perceived limitations.
In activating our trust to prioritize God’s Word above our feelings and experiences, though legitimate, we shift our focus from what chained us in the past to the vibrant future with God that beckons. We rest the full weight of our confidence onto the God who holds whose peace and power. This frees us to press forward with Him.
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. – 3 John 1:2, NASB
Suffering: a gate to glory.
We will all go through trials. It is a part of this life and faith. For those of us who experience anxiety and depression, peace can seem fleeting when our experiences have been shaped by our mental health challenges. However, that is an incomplete picture. While no one relishes emotional discomfort, we can enlarge our view with God to perceive where He is causing us to triumph, despite our troubles.
Suffering is a gate for the glory of God to flood and overwhelm our lives with goodness. Though unpopular and uncomfortable, suffering is as much a part of our experience of salvation as forgiveness. God works with us to bring about healing, growth, and change in our lives. He works within to produce total transformation, from now until we encounter Him face to face.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. – Romans 8:18, NIV
It is the work of the enemy to accuse God and muddy His holy name. We doubt the goodness of God when we experience the blunt force of this world’s fallen state and humanity’s imperfection. We look at God, questioning His sovereignty and regard for us. This is part of the enemy’s tactic to divide us from the Father and His Protection. He did the same with Adam and Eve in the Garden.
We are not ignorant of his devices, however (2 Corinthians 2:11). While gross darkness covers the earth, we have the power of God living and thriving in us to command peace (Isaiah 60:2).
Although we have peace as our portion, we don’t always avail ourselves of it. We have to reach for God’s peace and be intentional about distributing it through our lives, in word and action. We can release peace into our domains through prayer and scriptural affirmation.
Peace, sent and settled.
The matter of peace isn’t just personal. The earth craves peace and yearns for the sons and daughters of God to arise in the Lord’s strength and release what we have into our world. When we allow God’s peace to regulate our thoughts and emotions, we surrender to its rule as opposed to being dominated by the force of anxiety, worry, and stress.
As we continue to harness harmful thoughts and apply Truth to our thoughts and actions, we awaken the power of God. This welcomes Him to intercede, intervene, and initiate transformation in and through us (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
The words of eternal life live in us (John 6:63, 68-69). They await our partnership to send peace and settle God’s intentions as we obey and carry out His will on the earth and in our lives. Our Father wants to prosper, not harm us (Jeremiah 29:11).
Although our circumstances seem to tell a different story, we must recognize that our good Father is not punishing us or causing our distress. The Word of God is clear that He works all things, including the suffering that comes through anxiety and depression (Romans 8:28).
Next steps for spiritual encouragement.
Wherever you may experience heightened anxiety, deepened depression, calamity, and confusion, peace is calling to you. Peace beckons action, requiring that we exercise the authority of God’s Word in our mouths.
We don’t always realize how powerfully God has outfitted us to walk in His peace, but we can establish peace in the natural and spiritual territory associated with our lives in how we think, speak, and act. Use this site to locate and schedule with a counselor to gain tools and techniques to advance peace over anxiety and depression. Reach out today for spiritual encouragement and to find God’s peace.
“Catching a Feather”, Courtesy of Javardh, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Above the Clouds”, Courtesy of Andre Benz, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Dock”, Courtesy of Tj Holowaychuk, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Flowers of the Field”, Courtesy of Kien Do, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
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