Just when I knew all the answers, they changed all the questions. Do you ever feel like that? I have, or at least my much younger self has felt like that. At the end of 2014, I was choosing my word for the year. In previous years, my words to live by included integrity, discernment, and 2014 I chose peace. My question then was how can I live a life of peace? I even designed an acronym around it. P.E.A.C.E. I was sure I had the right answer. Do all these things … and you’ll have inner peace. When you look at the photo, it looks like a good plan, doesn’t it? It was a good plan. I’m still using it (attempting to use it) in 2016. But I learned something about living a life of peace. It isn’t what I do. It doesn’t come from planning my work and working my plan. Peace is a gift from the source of peace, God.
Do you want to live a life of peace? Start here in Philippians 4:4-9
Be joyful – always
When I was 7 years old, I learned a song about Joy. Jesus then Others then You – that’s the way to spell JOY and that’s the way to have joy. Jesus first … you get the picture.
Gentle doesn’t mean shy and weak. Gentle means be kind with your words, think before you speak. Soften your tone, restrain the biting attitude, think ‘peace, calm’ before exercising your vocal cords. Put gentle into action. Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. Right?
Stop worrying – stop it!
Just for a minute, put on your thinking cap. I remember back in the first grade when totally perplexed with a problem, I practically chewed my eraser down to the lead, my teacher would tell me to put on my thinking cap and somehow it helped. Now about that thinking cap – are you worrying about something? Is it helping? Worry compounds worry. It’s like getting a 4-wheel drive vehicle buried in mud up to the axles. You can stop worrying. Say it out loud, “God, please take this. You get to decide anyway, so I’m giving you this heavy burden now.”
Pray in every situation
Take that thing you are worrying about and verbally give it to God. Go ahead. Sometimes I write it on a piece of paper, get it all explained to the Lord so he gets it. Of course he ‘gets it’ but for real fears and things that are hard to let go of, I need to ‘get it’ too. I write a note to God, then tear it up and throw it away and tell God it’s His. I’m not taking it back because these 4-wheels are moving on. Then move!
There is no substitute for an attitude of gratitude. We live in a broken world and we are broken people. In Matthew 9:12 Jesus acknowledges that He came to be the physician to the sick. I don’t know all the ways God interprets sickness, but I think our attitudes which come from our hearts is one area wide open to healing.
Find something to be thankful for and practice being thankful. We have to look for it because the good, the positive, and the joyful will not find us.
Find peace in the dark places
Do you want peace for your day? Do you want to feel in your spirit the way you feel while under the covers before the break of day – calm and peaceful?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
This is not my promise to you. This is God’s promise to you. You become what you think. Today is all we’ve got. Tomorrow is the result of how we live it. Right?
Ready team? Let’s get out there!