What a question…do you choose peace? Of course, I choose to have peace but how do I do that, especially in the middle of uncertainty, stress and pressure? Is it really a matter of decision or of something else?
First of all peace is a choice. It is something that you decide you want to have and therefore make an effort to obtain. (Though I have received its calming effect without any effort on my part on more then one occasion.) However, meditation is an excellent practice where you can train your mind or invite a mode of consciousness to embrace a calmness. Meditation refers to a broad variety of practices which include techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy and nurture the fruit of the Spirit. One of these techniques is remembering or holding the Word of God in your mind until it has affected every area of your life and character.
Hold for example, the image of the panic stricken disciples on the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a wicked storm with Jesus sleeping peacefully in the boat. How could He possibly be sleeping in such a time of danger, fear and uncertainty? It was a part of who Jesus was to do the following things. He knew Who He trusted. His trust in His Father to protect Him was solid regardless of the circumstances and how they appeared. He knew His Father was able to protect Him regardless of the reality of the situation.
The first thing we must practice is choosing to trust in the Lord and not trust in our own understanding of things. (prov. 3:5-6). Consistently, choose to trust!
The second thing we practice is acknowledging or obeying Him at His Word. If the winds and waves acknowledge and obey Him why shouldn’t we choose to practice the same? Acknowledge the Lord in every circumstance and do what His Word says.
The third thing we need to practice is praising Him regardless of the reality of our situations. Our realities are ever changing but He is not. Our realities do not lessen His power, His abilities or wisdom so He is worthy of our praise all the time and not only when He comes through for us.
The fourth thing we need to practice is thanking Him in spite of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. Our circumstances should not determine our expression of gratitude to the One who doesn’t change when everything else does. Our relationship with Him is not based on our circumstances, nor our emotions, but on His unchanging love for us. He is always worthy of thanksgiving regardless of the details of reality.
The fifth thing we do is rest in Him and this is where we find our peace. In fact, resting in Him is evidence of our peace resulting from the practice of the technique of holding the Word of God (in images or word) in our minds until it has effected every area of our lives and nurtures the fruit of the Spirit.
So do you choose peace by practicing these five things, especially when it is tough to do? I’d love to know your thoughts, insights and perspectives on how you choose to find peace!
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