From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR MAINTAINING PEACE
WHAT IS PEACE?
The Dictionary of Bible Themes defines peace as “The state of harmony that is available to believers through having a right relationship with God and others and is especially associated with the presence of the Holy Spirit.”
Peace is freedom from disturbance and disquieting thoughts. According to Dictionary.com it is “freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety and obsession etc.; tranquillity; serenity.”
Peace implies much more than the absence of conflict. The Hebrew word ‘shalom’ means wholeness, completeness, well-being and soundness.
GOD IS OUR PEACE
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
God is peace and the source of our peace. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
He has reconciled us to a peaceful relationship with Himself through Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
In His kingdom is peace and rest. As children of God, the Holy Spirit within us infuses us with peace and tranquility irrespective of our circumstances as we keep our eyes on Him. The moment we take our eyes away from who God is to us and who we are in Him, and fix them on our circumstances, we will surely lose our peace. Basically, we cannot walk in the fruit of peace unless we know who God is to us, and who we are to Him.
We will not walk in peace until we know and are convinced that God loves us, cares deeply for us, delights in us, is happy with us, provides for us, strengthens us, etc.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
LIVING IN PEACE
Living in peaceful relationships with others can be challenging (to say the very least). However, as Christians, we are to be known and recognized by our fruit of peace. The Bible teaches us to live in harmony with one another and to love others as ourselves (1 Peter 3:8-9.) We are to seek peace and pursue it (where we can). (Psalm 34:14, 1 Peter 3:11.)
We also have to be at peace within ourselves. We cannot live in peace with others if we are at war with ourselves. God created us as His masterpieces. (Ephesians 2:10.) We are of great worth and value and we should see ourselves as such.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR MAINTAINING PEACE
- Depend exclusively on God for your peace. Know who you are in Christ. Let your identity be fully based on your relationship with Christ. Do not let your peace hang on how someone else perceives you or treats you. Again, do not allow how people treat you determine your peace.
- Plug into God, the source of your peace and purposefully fix your gaze on Him. Spend time worshiping, praying, and fellowshipping with God.
- Renew your mind with the Word. Study and meditate on Scriptures regarding peace.
- Cast your cares on God and trust Him. Learn to turn your worries over to Him. Yes, it’s not easy but it’s possible. God would not require you to do something He has not empowered you to do. Casting your cares is an instruction from Him, therefore, you can do it through His strength in you.
- Obey God in all areas of your life and avoid sin. If you sin, repent and ask for forgiveness immediately. Do not wait, do not postpone. The longer you wait, the more restless and agitated your spirit will become.
- Honestly seek peaceful relationships with people. Desire it, make a deliberate effort to pursue it and ask God for help.
- Walk in love. Give love freely, expecting nothing back. Repay evil with good. Show mercy.
- Forgive! Forgive!! Forgive!!! Unforgiveness will poison your soul and rob you of peace.
- Watch your words. Be slow to speak and give a gentle answer. Stop murmuring, grumbling and complaining.
- Be humble. Be content. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS.
- Be thankful.
- Be wise. Do not overload your schedule. Learn to say “no” when appropriate.
- Greet people before they greet you. Give a handshake. Give a hug.
- Do something fun and enjoyable etc, etc, etc.
Published on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 @ 4:25 PM CDT