by Anita Zidar
Our Definition of Peace
We see peace through the poverty of our humanity and as something that is at the mercy of our environment. How can we be still when there seems to be bad news and chaos all around us? How can we rest in the stillness when it seems like all the news we read is bad news, when your husband is talking a little too loudly during a meeting or when your child is screaming at the top of his lungs and your head feels like it might explode? Is peace truly attainable? Is it truly that fragile?
God’s Definiton of Peace
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3)
Getting and keeping the peace of God comes when our mind is focused on Him. Our minds are key to our well-being, and we see this emphasised in Scripture time and time again. If we keep our minds fixed on the Lord, we will experience the peace of God. How do we keep our minds focused on Him when life is hard or when scary and seemingly impossible situations keep coming our way, and there seems to be no end in sight?
Trust in God
Verse 3 (of Isaiah 26) also says that our minds are fixed on the Lord because we trust Him. If we take a moment to reflect honestly, can we truly say that we trust God in all things, all the time? This author definitely cannot claim this, at least, not all the time. It is easy to identify ourselves as Christians yet another thing entirely to drop our nets and truly live as disciples of Jesus Christ.
It is certainly not easy to trust in God’s plans when we cannot see what they might be or where they might lead. It is scary and makes us feel vulnerable. And yet, even choosing to trust while feeling fearful is a big step towards greater trust and communion with the Lord. Scripture reminds us that even when the people of God were not faithful and fell short, the Lord continued to provide for their needs (Psalm 81:10), promised to not leave them and hold them up (Isaiah 41:10), and assured them of His great love (Isaiah 54:10).
Living A Righteous Life
“The way of the righteous is smooth; O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.” Isaiah 26:7
We often confuse righteousness with being holier than thou, and blameless without sin. Viewed through this lens, it is no wonder that we often give up before we even try. Could any human being even dream of living up to such a tall order?
The truth of the matter is different. A lot of our faith has to do with showing up, rolling up our sleeves and doing the work, and being willing to start over again day after day after day.
In Psalm 1:3 it says of the righteous man,” He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Such promises are not for the faultless and perfect, but precisely for all of us who struggle and fail, who desire for more of the Lord and fall short. These encouragements remind us that we need not strive on our own strength. The Lord multiplies even the smallest of efforts because He is looking at our hearts, and not our performance.
Daily Practices to Keep the Peace of God in Every Season:
1. Never Cease to Worship the Lord
Just as in Scripture when seven days of worship and prayer brought the walls of Jericho down, worship is the perfect opportunity to usher in God’s Lordship and see obstacles broken down. Prayer and worship are never a remedy when something is already wrong, but a constant practice of giving the Lord permission to bring His victory into our lives!
2. Keep Your Heart, Mind and Eyes Fixed on God
Surround yourself with reminders of God’s promises and goodness. This can come in the form a crucifix you keep near you as you study or work, passages of scriptures or artwork. *We have prepared a mobile and desktop wallpaper that you can download and save on your devices. Click below to download them!
3. Develop a Daily Practice of Trusting in God
Each time you feel yourself getting anxious or starting to feel weighed down, make a habit of giving it to Jesus. Claim that your struggles and worries are safe with Him, and that He desires victory for you! Move on with your day in confidence knowing that Jesus fights for you!
4. Commit to Starting Anew Each Morning in Your Pursuit of Living a Righteous Life
As part of your quiet time each morning, make a prayer of re-commitment to begin anew with Jesus. Claim that His mercies are new each morning and focus on today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow will worry about itself. Choose to focus on what you can do instead of what may or may not come, or what has already passed.
5. Learn to Put Aside Our Own Deadlines and Wait on the Lord.
The Lord tells us in Scripture, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11. As an impatient person, I have often reflected on hindsight that most of my suffering usually stems from wanting to wrestle control back from the Lord. When I am at my most tired, and choose to surrender, I can see that He knows what He is doing.
6. Pray for The Grace to Desire the Things of God
Have you ever wished you had a greater desire for the Lord than for earthly things? That is already the gift of grace at work in you! Scripture reminds us, “Ask and it will be given to you.” – Matthew 7:7
7. Watch for God to Move
Have you ever heard of the saying,” Whatever you look for, you will find.”? It is very true. If we look for reasons to despair, we will find them. Instead, develop a habit of looking for God’s hand. If you seek Him you WILL find Him.
*Wallpaper illustrations by Lim Zhenting