Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
We all want to experience peace—not conflict. It’s not nice to be at odds with your neighbour who has loud parties late a night.
Most of us are busy. Whether you’re in school, retired, working or anything in between, there is always something to do. Something needs to be fixed, someone needs to be taken care of. Sometimes that’s a good thing because that keeps us going. But there comes a point in time when we just want to rest.
But more than rest, I believe we’re really seeking to experience peace. Yet, peace isn’t something we can easily grab a hold of—it’s not tangible. How do you find peace when you can’t turn off your mind and fall asleep or you wake up in the middle of the night and your mind kicks into high gear? For Christians, peace is different. It is often thought of as the absence of something, the absence of conflict or difficulty or trial or persecution. But peace for us Christians means we are in a right relationship with God and with one another.
When Peace Does not Come Naturally
How do we experience peace when our children or grandchildren, or even our siblings are not handling life well and you’re taking on the burden? That can be very difficult.
A student I heard of called Heather, speaking of her Christian faith, put it this way:
To be in a real-life relationship with God is a staggering and beautiful daily reality. There is ‘cosmic companionship’ that I won’t trade the world for. I am deeply known and loved in a way I can only hope to adequately communicate.
Steve Sawyer, a hemophiliac, looked for stability when he found out that he’d received HIV from a bad blood transfusion. At first he was in great despair. He blamed God. Then Steve reached out to God. The result? The last few years of his life, Steve travelled to countless college campuses in the US (enduring great pain) just to tell fellow students how they could know God and experience the peace he had experienced in knowing him.
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God, through Jesus, has said, “My peace is the legacy I leave to you. I don’t give gifts like those of this world. Do not let your heart be troubled or fearful’ (John 14:27 – The Voice)
Like Steve, others have learned that no matter what happens in this life, it’s not ‘the end of the world’—because this world isn’t the end.
Finding Peace Through a Change in Perspective
When life is rosy, people don’t feel like they need God. But that often changes when things get messy,
Life can be a battle. Our peace of mind can be greatly shaken. At those moments when the heat is on, we often reach out to God. That’s OK, because God, the constant, is there and actually wants to be involved in our lives. He says, I, even I, am the Lord; and there is no saviour besides me. Turn to me and be saved—for I am God, and there is no other.
With God involved in our lives, we can rest easy. As we get to know God and listen to what he says in the Bible, he brings about that peace of mind in our lives, because we know him. We see life from his vantage point, aware of his faithfulness and ability to take care of us. So no matter what the future holds, we can place our hope in God as our constant. He’s waiting to prove himself in our lives if we will turn to him and seek him.
We have no idea what the future holds. If it brings hard times, God can be there for us. If it brings easy times, we will still need God to fill that inner void we have and to give our lives meaning.
When all is said and done, what matters most? What really matters is that we are not separated from God. Do we know God? Does he know us? Have we shut him out of our lives? Or have we let him in?
Through knowing him, he produces in us a changing perspective and gives us hope. Through being in a relationship with him, we can have peace in the midst of all circumstances.
(To be continued in A Peace that Doesn’t Disappear – Part 2)