Getting To Know God
Keys To Experiencing Peace
Peace of mind is consistently one of the most sought after things in all of humanity. Self-help books, conferences, essential oils, songs, and even apps for your phone all centered around creating peace of mind. People will spend thousands of dollars for counseling, abuse substances, and travel to exotic locations just to obtain a glimmer of mental peace.
Unfortunately our own efforts rarely produce the serenity that we’re all hoping for.
3 Things That Rob Our Peace
No matter what we attempt at recovering our peace of mind, there are things in life that will consistently come in and rob us of the peace we so deeply long for; the peace that God longs for us.
- Circumstances that are uncontrollable
- People that are unchangeable
- Problems that are unsolvable
Any one of these can feel unbearable, but when they all come up at once it pushes us beyond any hope of experiencing peace. And this is exactly why there are so many methodologies to rid our burdens in life and quick-fixes as a means to peace.
But doesn’t this seem a little off? If God created us with a need and longing for peace, and if He actually wants us to experience peace, how do we remedy the fact that there are constantly things robbing us of peace?
I Am The God of Peace
One of the Hebrew names of God is Jehovah Shalom. Shalom means peace. Jehovah Shalom means, “I am the God of peace.”
Peace is not just who or how God is, it’s actually something that He gives us. He is peace, and He is the source of peace; lasting and sustainable peace.
In John 14:27 He says, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
If God says, “I’m offering you a gift of peace,” He means it. It’s not something we could ever work for or earn, and it’s definitely not something an essential oil or iPhone app could ever give us. God is peace and peace God freely gives to us. But there is a process that we should be aware of if we want to experience the peace that God freely gives, because just like any gift, you have to receive it to experience the blessings of it.
Disclaimer: Nothing up to this point or from this point forward should give you an impression of problem-free living. If you had to wait for all of your problems to be solved then you’d never experience peace. Jesus even told us, “in the world you will have problems.” The peace that we’re pitching comes amidst the ebb and flow of life. It is not the absence of problems, but the presence of Jesus that creates unending peace and unfailing hope in your life.
2 Decisions That Determine Peace
1. Trust in God
Isaiah 26:3 “You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on You because they trust You.”
Trusting God determines peace. Depending on God dictates the outcome of peace. And if you think about it, it should be no wonder… Our God is the almighty God, creator of the universe, ruler of all things, capable of all things, provider of all things that are good, and the perfect shepherd that leads us to all that we need and through anything we face. Doesn’t it make sense that trusting God and depending on Him would lead to peace and lasting success?
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
Your life is never going to be problem free, and ultimately that’s not the point. The reality is that when we trust God and depend on His understanding, we will experience peace. It is not that God removes all trouble from our lives, it is that God gives us complete peace, hope, and confidence as He successfully navigates us through the trouble in our lives.
2. Surrender to God
Every day that you wake up you will have a decision to make: Who is going to be in charge of your life? Is it going to be God or you?
Psalm 37:7 “Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”
The more you wrestle with control in your life, the more anxiety, tension, and frustration you will face over and over as you fail to find what you’re really looking for, or fail to experience what you deeply long for. The more you try to take control, the more miserable you become and the more out of control your life actually becomes.
Give up the fight. Surrender to God.
Romans 8:6 “If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, then there is life and peace.”
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
The outcome of going our way is not going to be pretty. There’s no fluffing it. To think we know a better way forward than God is extremely prideful. If God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble, wouldn’t you rather be given grace than position yourself in direct opposition to the creator of the universe?
If you want to have deep, satisfying peace of mind in heart and soul, you have to surrender control of your life totally to God. When you’re willing to admit you’re at the end of your rope, that you cannot go any further apart from God’s grace, guidance, and strength, then you will find peace. Peace founded in a satisfying and successful life. The peace that you’re really looking for.
How do you know if you’ve surrendered?
The evidence is in obedience.
Job 22:21 “Stop quarreling with God! If you agree with Him, you will have peace at last, and things will go well for you.”
When you listen to God’s direction, when you seek His word, when you’re willing to act on it… that is when you will experience peace.
Psalm 119:165 “Those who love your teaching will find true peace, and nothing will defeat them.”
No Matter What you Face Today
Today you may be facing an uncontrollable circumstance. You may be dealing with a person that won’t change. You may be experiencing an unexplainable problem. Or maybe you’re dealing with all three.
You can still have peace.
You can have the peace of God in your life as soon as you’re willing to trust and surrender.
Romans 5:1 “Since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.”
Whether you’ve been a “Christian” for years or if you have never made that choice before, today is the day that you can declare bankruptcy on your personal attempt at peace. Realize that the single greatest stress in life is going against the way God has designed you and this world to work. This world may be broken and you’re certainly going to continue walking through challenges in life, but you can do it under the guidance and strength of the creator of the universe. You can choose today that you want to live by the grace of God rather than the opposition of God. Choose today that you’re going to seek God in a deeper and more personal way and that you’re committing from this day forward to live by the power of the cross and for the purpose He’s leading you to. If you want peace, power, purpose, and to experience God’s promise and plans for your life… Trust in God and surrender to Him.
- What areas of life to I tend to depend on my own understanding instead of God?
- Jot two lists of words: One list of words describing the usual outcome of going your own way, and one list of words describing the usual outcome of going God’s way.
- If the “evidence is obedience,” in what practical ways do I need to be obedient to God’s direction this week?
- What is one Bible verse from this reading that I can memorize or set as a screen saver on my phone to remind me to trust in God and surrender to Him?
Father you are the God of peace. You are Jehovah Shalom. I am choosing today to put my trust in you and to surrender my life to you. Please reveal any way to me that I have been prideful, living in disobedience, or need to adjust to be in line with your word and your ways. I know that I cannot experience peace in life apart from you and that it is only by the amazing grace and unending love of Jesus that I have a hope and a future. Thank you for proving your grace is enough for my past and your power is enough for my future. Thank you for being totally reliable. Thank you for bringing your power and promise into my life and what that means for my future. I pray these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Want To Go Deeper With CCC?
We have a variety of opportunities to connect at a deeper level and make Chico Community your Church home. Whether you’re looking for a small group to connect with, a class to learn what we believe and how we work, or a training program to grow in your relationship with God and ability to lead others to Him, we would love to talk about how you can go deeper with us.