Peace Takes Effort

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You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3

Have you ever considered how much mental effort goes into maintaining a sense of peace in our lives? I have struggled with anxiety and fear in the past and would exhaust myself thinking of all the potentially negative outcomes, conversations, and conflicts I might have. I spent so much time entertaining negative self-talk that I had little time to consider the goodness of God; that things might actually turn out well.

Once I surrendered my fears and anxieties, I experienced an overwhelming peace like never before. It was dramatically different from the fog of worry I had grown accustomed to. My thinking was clear, I was less overwhelmed by uncertainty and I began trusting God to be in control of whatever comes my way.

Peace is an amazing state to be in. I wish it was my natural state. But the sad truth is, my nature is to be afraid. To doubt God has a good plan. To worry how my failures will affect others. It wasn’t until I experienced God’s peace that I knew what I was missing out on. Once I had it, I wanted it all the time. It was as if I was becoming addicted to the Lord’s presence in my life.

What’s the problem with that?, you might ask. It’s not that desiring peace is wrong, but expecting it to naturally occur in my life without working for it is.

I recently went through a season of questioning and found myself entertaining old negative thoughts. I felt discouraged by my lack of sustained serenity, frustrated how I got off track so quickly. Then it dawned on me – having peace takes effort.

Isaiah 26:3 reminds me how the Lord “will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”Those whose minds are steadfast – marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable.

I don’t know anyone who never doubts, never feels insecure, never worries. So if perfect peace is desired, we must pursue a steadfast mind. Satan’s mission is to keep us from perfect peace and if his firm determination is stronger than ours, we lose.

So how can we maintain this perfect peace available to us when we have an enemy relentlessly inhibiting it? Colossians 3:2 tells us to “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

We won’t find peace by praying on a whim when we’re in a tight spot. We won’t find peace by going to church weekly. We won’t find peace simply reading our bible occasionally. Maintaining perfect peace takes firm, consistent determination to set our minds on God, to refuse to entertain negative thinking, and to bathe our minds in the truth of God’s word.

If you find yourself struggling to maintain peacefulness in your life, be encouraged today as you meditate on these truths –

  • Grace and peace are yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2)
  • And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
    will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)

Perfect peace is absolutely possible. It just takes effort.

Lord, thank You for Your perfect peace which is available to us through Your Holy Spirit. Teach us to surrender any thoughts that may be preventing a steadfast mind set on things above. My we learn how to experience peace by trusting You in the difficult times.
Amen

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