There is no question that life’s trials can push even the strongest in faith to a point of weakness. The sudden death of a loved one, the loneliness of being single, the recent loss of a job, or even the stress that comes with seeking academic, professional or social advancement can all open the door for depression to enter in. The despair of sorrow, loneliness, solitude, suffering and sin are struggles that can lead to a loss of focus, causing the depletion of our own inner peace, and ultimately consuming every glimpse of hope. How can you possibly have peace if you aren’t truly living with purpose? Well, the answer is simple – you cannot!
At times, you may have felt the reality of the phrase, “When it rains, it pours,” which encapsulates the notion that “if it’s not one thing, it’s another;” negative circumstance followed by negative circumstance, leaving you to ask: Why me? How much more can I take? We have all experienced turmoil in our lives, but not all of us learn the lesson
With the world in such a constant state of chaos and turmoil, it seems as though many of us just exist; but how many of us are actually “living?” More important, how many of us are living with purpose and in peace? How many of us spend more time worrying about our day-to-day activities, with little time spent praying, fasting, believing and meditating on God’s Word? Why pray if you are going to worry? Has God not delivered you from past hurts? Has He not comforted you during your loneliest hours? He has. And He can and will do it again. Paul reminds us: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT).
Three Steps to Receive Peace:
- Recognize where your power lies.
We must recognize that God is the only source of power. If you “started from the bottom,” it is because of God that you have risen to arrive at your current place in life. Don’t get lost in the ways of the world, thinking that you operate on solo-power. You are not your own; therefore you are not capable of finding true peace without the love, guidance, and protection of the Most High. When tumultuous occurrences take place, rest serenely knowing that God is with you and the power is in His hands. Focus on the lesson that is to be learned and be thankful for the positive things that are still to come. Remembering this will permit you to step out of despair and into your purpose; God said, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NLT).
- Transform your pain into purpose.
Allow your adversities to breed a spirit of gratefulness within you. More oft than not, we give praise for the good that comes along, but cringe, cry and complain when things do not “go as planned.” Being pessimistic strips you of receiving all that God has planned; learn to have joy and peace, even in the midst of the storm. Remain focused on the course. Stick to the calling that God has placed on your life. You were created with a purpose. It is up to us to seek His face, learn the lesson in the test (because it is always a test), and move forward through obedience to His will. A great deal of the suffering we experience is as a result of our own disobedience. The personal choices we make are not made without consequence. In the process, feelings of guilt and shame can enter into our hearts, creating a spirit of defeat and disparity. Rather than entertain thoughts of pity mounted upon negativity, pledge to transform your pain into purpose. Repent. Reclaim your purpose. Receive your peace.
- Be open to receive inner peace.
When you have peace, your life can be reconciled, your heart settled, and your brokenness made whole again. Envision yourself as you would want to be – living fully with purpose and peace. An optimistic outlook on your life’s circumstances can mean the difference between success and failure. Which one will you choose? Today, promise to see your potential as limitless, walking tall with a renewed faith in God, with an open heart to receive inner peace. An open heart which loves is a heart which will also have peace. Jesus said to those who followed Him, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another.”
Let us reflect on these three steps, being ever mindful of the power we have been given to walk boldly with purpose – “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1 NIV).
Prayer: “Dear God,
Please send to me the spirit of Your peace. Then send, dear Lord, the spirit of peace from me to all the world. Amen” (Marianne Williamson).
Ms. Netta Stampley
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (USA)