We live in a troubled world, and it’s easy to get distracted by all the unrest and injustices of the world. But when we do that, we rob ourselves of the peace we can experience. Today, I want to take a few minutes and share with you 5 simple things you can do to experience peace from The Prince of peace- The Lord Jesus Christ.
My husband and I have been married for 15 years and we have 3 kids. In that time, 3 out of 5 people in our house are getting support because of a high level of anxiety.
Needless to say, we are well-versed in feeling anxious, stressed and worried.
My husband and I have been married for 15 years and we have 3 kids. In that time, 3 out of 5 people in our house are getting support because of a high level of anxiety.
Now when I say support, I mean either medication or counselling or both. And I’m not just talking about everyday anxieties. I’m talking about extreme anxiety that actually inhibits people’s lives.
Needless to say, we have a lot of experience with feelings of anxiety, stress, worry, and a bunch more.
When our kids act out due to their anxiety, we encourage them to use calm-down routines and work on finding triggers for their anxiety.
Those things can take a lot of time, but it’s not everything we can do.
We also encourage our kids to refocus their thoughts on The Lord and take time to thank Him for who He is and what He has done for them.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.John 16:33
The Bible tells us we are going to face hard times. Just because we are Christians, it doesn’t mean we are exempt from facing trials.
Since we know we are going to face trials, I want to share with you some practical things we can do to have peace regardless of what goes on around us.
One of the things I love to do is teach people to turn to scripture for answers. The Bible is extremely practical and tells us exactly what we can do to gain peace.
I want to spend a few minutes sharing practical things we can do, or stay away from to gain peace.
5 simple things you can do to experience peace
1. Accept The Lord as saviour
The first thing we need to do is accept The Lord as our saviour. To experience true peace, we must be saved.
True peace doesn’t come from ourselves, doesn’t come from the world around us. It comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.Romans 5: 1-2
Our salvation gives us access to God- He is the source of all peace.
We are enemies with God, and so we’re not close to God. And so we’re not going to feel peace when we’re separated from him. But when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as a Lord and personal saviour, we suddenly gain a relationship with the Lord.
But then we get access into his presence and so the King of peace himself, then his presence and who he is is what gives us peace.
Not only that, but once we’re saved, our salvation guarantees us eternity with him. So that means that regardless of what’s happening in their lives, we can know it’s not going to last forever and that one day I will be with God in heaven, with him for eternity.
I don’t know about you, but when my life is going crazy and things just keep happening and things feel really stressful, one of the ways my heart gets encouraged is to think about God’s timing and how certain seasons can feel really long and really hard.
The Bible tells us that those hard seasons pale in comparison to the glory and the Majesty of God and heaven. And so thinking about these things not only encourages me but gives me peace, knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that one day I will experience that eternal peace in heaven with God.
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2. End your day focused on Christ
For some reason, nighttime is when most of us feel the most unrest and anxiety. That is because we have time to think about all the things that may go wrong, worry about the future and so on.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.Psalm 4:8
One way we can keep that unrest at bay is to end our day thinking about The Lord. By refocusing our thoughts on him, we can have a much better perspective on everything and lay down all our anxieties on someone who can actually change things.
Refocusing our thoughts from all our worries and turning our thoughts to Jesus, helps us put our trust in Him. It helps us shift the burden we are carrying from our shoulders unto His, and realize that we may not have the power to change what’s happening around us, but God does.
So instead of trying to do all those things on our own, when we take it from our shoulders to his, it’s like taking that burden off. It’s saying, OK, you know what, I can’t worry about this anymore. I cannot solve this problem. I’m going to go to the person who can solve this problem give it to him and say, OK, I trust you. And that act of trust and submission and just unloading gives us so much peace.
My middle daughter is 10 years old, and she really loves knowing exactly what’s gonna happen. You know, from morning until the night she needs a schedule.
When she doesn’t know what’s happening next, she feels really, really anxious. And so she tries to rush the schedule or she’s always asking me what’s happening next, what’s happening next, what’s happening next.
It’s gotten so bad that in some instances I have to take her face and point it towards mine and say: Hey! Worrying about what happens next isn’t your job. That’s my job. I know the schedule. I know what we’re doing first. I know what we’re doing next. So don’t worry about it. I’ve got this.
As I’m having those conversations with my daughter, I can’t help but relate it to my relationship with the Lord.
Sometimes I go to the Lord. I say, what are you doing? I thought we were doing this, this, this and this. And I want to do all these things. And The Lord looks at me and says: I know what’s coming down the road. Trust me, I’ve got it.
And so handing him over that control, which really wasn’t mine, to begin with, God is in complete control of anything, suddenly shifts that burden off of me and to the Lord.
So I want you just to take a minute and to think about some burdens that you are carrying or things that you’re worried about. And say. Is that my job to worry about this or is this something I can give to the Lord?
99.999 % of the time it’s not your burden to carry. And even if it is, the Lord says you don’t have to carry alone. Bring your burdens to me. I want to carry them for you, or I want to give you the strength for you to carry them yourself. So let’s not end our day feeling anxious and worried.
Let’s end our days thinking about the Lord and giving him our burdens in our worry. And I promise you that peace will come.
3. Pursue Peace
One of the things I get caught up in is perceived or actual injustice. There is nothing else that gets me so riled up.
It’s even come to the point that sometimes, my husband and I will be laying in bed and he’ll say, I’m not sure if I need to tell you now or later, because if I do, you’re probably going to be bothered by it and you won’t be able to sleep.
But I wish he wouldn’t even say that because then my mind gets curious and I want to know what’s the thing? And so I beg him to tell me. And then he tells me, and guess what happens? I get fired up. And then I have the hardest time falling asleep because I don’t want those injustices to continue.
I want to find a solution to the problem and get it done. And these events really bother me, and they weigh on me. I really noticed this during COVID.
I got caught up in all the different opinions of what was happening with COVID regulations and what we weren’t allowed to do, and vaccines are no vaccine.
And I’m sure this happened with you and your family or your church, but suddenly you had two very different camps and they were in opposition to each other. And so I was in a particular camp, and any time I thought about the other camp- I would just get frustrated and think: what are they thinking? That is so completely and utterly ridiculous.
And the frustration would rise in me and I would just feed into it. I’d read the news stories, and I’d read the comments. I was very tempted to post on social media a million times trying to “be like, no, we got to”correct” the other side.
There is a better way
But there’s a better way. What I noticed is that those actions were not in pursuit of peace. They were in pursuit of being right or showing that they know more than this person or that person and the divide just got bigger and bigger and bigger.
The Lord was so gracious to me and showed me that I was getting angry at your brother and sister in Christ. You know what? They may be wrong. I may be wrong, but the Lord wants us to pursue peace, not unrest.
And so when we fight with one another when we fight with other Christians- that’s just bringing more unrest. And so the Lord encourages us to say, I don’t want you to go after those things that bring up arguments.
These types of divisions bring nothing but unrest.
Scripture tells us that there is a better way. The Bible is full of verses that encourage us to stay away from these types of arguments.
We are called to seek peace and pursue it. But too often we pursue being right and put it above our relationship with God and other Christians.
Learning to drop issues
We’ve got three kids and they fight about everything, and sometimes they’ll come to us and they’ll just start telling us all the things that they’re fighting about.
And one of the things I start thinking and telling them is this is not worth an argument, just let it go. And then I think ohh you know what? That is also something I need to tell myself.
How many times do I get upset about something that just gets me fired up and not at peace at all? That is not worth the energy or the argument.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.Psalm 34:14
Growing up in my family, we argued a lot. And so when I got married, my husband does not like confrontation. And so suddenly there was no argument and I hardly knew what to do with myself.
Sometimes I would try to like poke him just to start an argument and he just would not bite. And so one day I was feeling like I needed an like a fight. And he asks me why don’t you just call your sister? So I called my sister and I forget what in the world happened, but we ended up in a big argument.
At the end of the phone call, we were both like, thanks, I needed that.
The reason why that was so fulfilling was that I had just known this pattern of just fighting. And my husband just showed me a new way.
Pursuing peace, pursuing relationships, and dropping arguments that are just not worth it, is so much better for me, for my mind, for our home, and for just so many different things.
But I have to choose not to let things bother me.
I need to choose to say, I’m not going to think about that. I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole. I’m not going to get into that argument.
If people want to start an argument with me, I need to be the bigger person and not taking the bait. I’m going to let it go. And then later, if it’s still really bothering me, I can wrestle that out with the Lord, but I’m not to take these different things and then go to war with other Christians.
To have true peace, we must pursue it.
I want you just to take a minute and to think about the things that are making you upset right now and to say. Is this an argument that I can just drop? Is it really worth getting this upset over?
I don’t know what it is that you’re thinking about right now. I know there are a ton of different scenarios, and for some of you, there are going to be fights you need to face.
But then most of the time, that argument is only going to lead to worse things down the road.
It’s not going to lead me to good relationships. It’s only gonna bring me more trials or more hard things, and so just pursuing peace is actually better in the long run for everybody.
4. Listen to The Lord
To experience true peace, we must learn to listen to The Lord and what He has to say.
I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly.Psalm 85:8
The world is full of noise and people telling us what we should do, think and act. Every single one of us has an opinion on what is right.
We have mini-computers in our pockets that we scroll through news or social media. We’ve got a bazillion different people telling us different messages coming from all different directions.
It’s really easy to start listening to those voices and to believe that they are right. It’s really easy to get caught up in all of it and to actually lose focus because we get strung along over here.
The Bible tells us we can be in the world, and we can be hearing those things, but The Lord wants you to listen to Him.
We have access to the God of the universe and he wants a relationship with us. He wants to speak to us through his word and through, you know, other Christians and fellowship.
But we need to take the time to choose to listen to the right voices.
Testing what we hear
My daughter came home from school one day and she was telling me how her social studies teacher studied the Bible, and she had her degree in religion.
The teacher shared an opinion with my daughter. And my daughter was convinced that her professor was right.
She thought her teacher must be right because she knew more about the Bible than my daughter does and my daughter knows a lot about Scripture.
This teacher also has a degree in religion, so she must be right.
I tried to explain to my daughter that just because somebody knows Scripture or has a degree in religion does not mean that their opinion is the right one.
Because in most cases it’s really easy to take anything we hear from the scripture and to shift its meaning or to make it say what we want to hear.
And then we only join groups that agree with us so that our point of view continues to be validated, regardless if it’s biblical or not.
And so my daughter now thinks that I’m completely wrong. But I was just trying to explain to her that it’s easy to get caught up in people’s opinions because then, you know, they tell us, well, I know this because I’m an expert, and so you have to believe me.
Why we need to test what we hear
When we don’t compare those things to what we read in Scripture, then there’s no guarantee to know that anyone is actually telling the truth.
We always need to compare what people say with God’s word.
This wisdom and practice takes time.
I’ve been a Christian for 35 years. And I’m still learning to get the noise out of my brain and to hone in on the Lord himself.
It takes time to know what Scripture says, and it takes time to be able to discern the voice of the Lord so that we can hear it above every other things.
But not only that, but then we need to choose to listen to his voice.
Choose to listen to The Lord’s voice
So we have to learn what The Lord sounds like, and then we have to choose to listen to it above everything else.
But it doesn’t end there. Once you know what The Lord’s voice sounds like, now that we’ve heard Him speak to us, we need to go ahead and obey Him and do what The Lord calls us to do.
And so I encourage you to take some time and to think what are all the things that I’m watching, listening to, hearing, and thinking that are not from the Lord?
And then think about how you can drown out those voices so that you can focus on the Lord and His voice and what He wants you to do.
And like I said, that’s a process and it takes time. So I don’t want you to feel discouraged that you, you know, don’t get it right or whatever.
This is just something that I want to encourage you just to be continuing doing.
Always challenge what you think you know. Always challenge yourself and your thoughts and what you believe and challenge it with the truth, which is Scripture itself. So drown out the noises and instead of listening to all those things around you, focus in and listen to the Lord.
5. Love the Word of God
To end our time together, I want to share one more practical thing we can do to gain peace. That is to LOVE the word of God.
The Bible tells us that spending time in God’s word brings us peace.
The Bible tells us that spending time with the Lord in his word will bring us peace.
Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.Psalm 119:165
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in scripture and it’s all about the word of God and encourages us to love it and enjoy it. This verse uses the word law, but this word is referring to the word of God.
Psalm 119 is a poem and has 26 sections I believe. Each section is a stanza that expresses and tells people and saying how they love your word and is talking about loving the word of God and the benefits of loving the word of God.
And so this entire chapter is about encouraging us to not only read God’s word but to love it and to want to spend time with it.
So if you’re not loving the word of God and you’re not longing to be in it, instead of feeling discouraged, I encourage you to bring that to the Lord and say I want to love your word. Please give me that longing so that I can spend time with it.
And I know that when I’ve done that, the Lord has either shifted my perspective or He’s helped me make that time to really spend time with him.
And then when I’m studying the word of God for myself and I can find those gold little Nuggets that are really, truly encouraging to me.
Then I start loving spending time with the Lord because I know that if I keep digging, I’m going to find more treasure. So when we love the word of God, then we want to spend more time with him.
And then when we do that, we learn more about him.
And anytime we’re focusing on the Lord and not ourselves and not the other voices around us, we’re only going to gain more peace. And this is the number one thing you can do to gain peace.
The Source of Lasting Peace
So if you’ve forgotten everything else, I want you to remember one thing if you’re feeling anxious or unrest or you’re lacking that peace, and you want more of it—-
I encourage you to spend time with the Lord Jesus Christ. And you can do that through scripture reading, prayer, and lots of other ways.
But that is how you’re going to gain peace just to spend time with God, learn who he is, and learn his perspective on things.
So that you’re not getting as anxious about different things and you’re learning to trust him with all of those worries.
So I want you to know that regardless of what’s happening in your world right now, you can find peace.
Our peace is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He has conquered death and gives us everything we need to find peace in him and have a relationship with him.
So I encourage you today just to take a moment and spend time with the Lord and go to the source of peace so that you can experience it.