‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.’
One Sunday I was sitting in our evening worship service when one of my friends sang this beautiful song. Prior to singing she conveyed to the audience what it meant to her.
She said, “If we’re going to have peace on earth, then it begins with me. We cannot control what goes on around us or in another part of the world. As a matter of fact, there are lots of things we have no control over. But if I’m going to do something about it or have some sort of impact, then it starts with me.”
Her thoughts gave me much to think about.
As I listened my mind kept focusing on personal peace; the kind that comes only from God.
Her words resonated with me in the following days. I kept thinking about the peace and contentment found within each of us. There is so much to deal with in this world and I long for us to have a firm grip on who we are and who we belong to.
As we enter this Christmas season I specifically turn to God’s word in John 14:27 (NIV). “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
The Holy Spirit works in our lives in a deep and everlasting way. His peace allows us to have confident assurance in any circumstance and we can have perfect peace even in the midst of turmoil. There is no need to fear the present or the future.
When we commit our lives to Him, the way we look at things demonstrates an attitude that will be steady and sure. It is not always our nature to see the positives because we are constantly bombarded with the negatives. It is not always easy to see our way through all of the drama heaped on us daily. And, it is not always easy to combat the day-to-day stresses and hassles.
But what we do have through it all is His ‘perfect peace.’ It’s about giving up our human attempts to handle problems, people and challenges alone. It’s about coming to Him with our every need or concern, and remaining steadfast. It’s knowing that our God is in control and that He alone guards our hearts against the unknown.
Philippians 4:7 (NIV) says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
It is my hope that we make decisions that will bring peace and contentment to our lives. That we rid our hearts and minds of all the extra worldly stuff that tends to take up residence and steal our joy.
So the next time a well meaning individual wants to clutter your heart and soul, take a step back, listen as He directs you, pray fervently, and move forward with clarity and conviction. A soul free of all the unnecessary baggage finds joy, contentment, and a real peace that comes only from Him.
I’m so thankful that our heavenly Father is in complete control and that by keeping our eyes on Him, we will find the strength and inner peace that only He provides. Finding real peace comes from focusing on Him and trusting in Him.
It is comforting to know that we don’t have to live in a continual state of anxiety and chaos. Rather we can choose to seek Jesus, the Light of the World, the Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Dear Lord, I come to you today with outstretched arms. I’m so thankful for your unchanging love and mighty power. Lord, I pray that as we move through the days ahead I can be a light for You. I love that Your Word promises that all who follow you can have ‘perfect peace.’ Thank you for guarding our hearts and minds from the things of this world and for giving us strength and conviction to honor You and Your Kingdom. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.