I am not a person often at peace in my soul. Peace is one thing I just cannot seem to hold on to. It's the easiest to take from me. It is the most wavering within me. The fact that I hate how unstable and inconsistent my peace is makes me more full of anxiety. Somebody help me.
(and I think peace is not unstable or wavering... which means my issue isn't an inconsistent peace, but rather a lack of it.)
"Peace I leave with you; my [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid [stop allowing yourself to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled]."
John 14:27 (AMP)
God is the god of peace. He is the Prince of Peace. He is the source and the supplier of peace. He is gracious, and he is generous in giving peace. I know that if I ask for peace, He will be faithful to provide it. He does not hesitate in giving me peace. He is willing and able to give me peace... It's just that most of the time He's not giving me the kind of peace I want.
I want the peace that comes from my circumstance resolving. I want the peace that comes when everything that's bothering me get's figured out. That's the kind of peace I want.
That kind of peace sucks because it's not really peace at all. Peace is a matter of the heart and matters of the heart don't just resolve with a change of circumstance unless that change of circumstance is named Jesus. Real peace goes deep; it changes the heart.
Peace that comes from Christ provides stability; it supplies an inner confidence in the character of God. If I don't trust God's character, his goodness and sovereignty, you can better believe I lack peace. His peace alone brings rest to a weary soul.
When everything around (or within) me is chaos, when nothing makes sense, when things fall apart (or feel like they will), His peace is the only thing that can calm my heart and mind. I've learned that without peace my whole being is thrown into crisis. My whole life and every circumstance can be as good as it gets, but if I don't have His peace, even the best of days are full of anxiety and misery.
Lack of peace will do that to you... at least it does it to me. It takes a beautiful day and tells me that it's terrible. It takes a day that could be spent enjoying the sun and locks me in my dark room to sit alone and self absorbed.
But here's the thing, because Jesus said, "Peace I leave you," though relationships or circumstances may be in turmoil, out hearts and minds can be kept steady and stable. His peace, kept in the heart, and mind, and spirit offers me confidence and unwavering security. It makes me bold and courageous.
His priority is not our situations, but our souls. The peace He leaves with us isn't to resolve situations, but to give resolve to the soul in the midst of them. Our hearts and minds are changed by His peace... not always our circumstances. He doesn't abandon us in our condition; he doesn't deprive us in our plight. He offers what the world cannot... and it's rest in our soul. And I think that's all I'm really ever looking for...
I need to lean into that peace when I am upset and broken for no reason. I need to lean into that peace when I am lonely or afraid. I need to be reminded that He has not left me. I need to be reminded that He is fighting to strengthen my heart and mind and love for Him more than He is fighting for me to just get through the day. But a lot of this is a conscious decision I have to make for myself. I have to choose peace of heart and mind when it's hard. I have to decide to rest in his peace when I would rather be agitated or frustrated. I have to resolve to rest in his peace when I am afraid, I have to choose to have His peace instead of giving into cowardice, instead of being intimidated by life, instead of being anxious. I have to choose peace over being unsettled. I have to choose to look to and rest in Christ.
It's in Christ alone that my peace is found. If I can trust Him with my situations I'm assured that I'll have peace where it really matters.