I have pondered in recent days what people might consider good quality of life. A report I heard recently talked about the Australian standard of living being reduced by slow wages growth. That led me to consider what ‘standard of living’ might really mean.
Life is not about the amount of things we buy or our spending power, but much more centred around intangible things that can’t be purchased.
Peace is a key one of those. The ‘sleep at night’ factor has long been recognised, seeing that unwise choices can lead people to agitation, even when they should be soundly asleep.
What is the point of having great wealth and chasing the latest technologies, keeping up with the latest fashions, collecting the most trinkets, when your inner life is in turmoil.
The Beatles released a song in 1964 that declared “Money Can’t Buy Me Love”. Truth is that money is quite limited in its ability to buy things of true and lasting value, such as peace and happiness, contentment, confidence, inner freedom from addictions, etc.
The wonderful thing about God’s peace is that we never have to pay for it.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you. I do not give to you like the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled, or afraid.” John 14:27
God gives us His peace. Christ said He was leaving it with us. We don’t have to pay for it, earn it, or achieve it in some way, but simply receive it.
We receive God’s peace through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, since peace is one of the Fruit of the Spirit.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith” Galatians 5:22
And God’s peace is a peace that does not make sense. It does not fit the circumstances, allowing us to feel at peace when others think we should feel agitated. It’s called ‘peace that passes understanding’, outside our logic and comprehension.
“The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
So, how do we get this peace? Since God’s peace is a gift, not earned, and it is a fruit that grows through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we don’t need to strive to get it. We simply receive it.
That means we start by asking God for His peace.
“Lord God, I see in Your Word that You have promised peace to me. I see that it is a gift from You, so I don’t try to earn it or deserve it in any way. I simply ask You to give me Your peace. Pour out the Holy Spirit on me and stir up the Holy Spirit within so the wonderful fruit of peace pervades my life. I now receive Your peace in my heart, my mind, my body and my life. And I thank You and praise You for Your wonderful gift. Amen.”
If you find that God’s peace is not impacting your life then stop to consider whether you are actually blocking that peace. One way to block peace is to hold tightly to things you fear and which concern you.
We are told to cast our cares and concerns onto the Lord. If you think you are the one who is supposed to solve your problems then your very self reliance will bring you down. When you give your problems to God you can relax, because the solution is not up to you any more, but it is in God’s hands.
“Cast all your care on God; for he cares for you.” 1Peter 5:7
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will do it.” Psalm 37:5
“Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough of its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34
If God is pouring His peace into you while you are determined to be fearful and anxious then you neutralise the blessing that is yours.
You are told to stop being anxious about anything.
The apostle Paul linked our anxiety with God’s peace, suggesting that when we stop being anxious we will experience the peace of God.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7
One of the most wonderful gifts people can enjoy, one that people pursue all the time, that of peace, is being offered to you as God’s gift, through Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. God’s peace is the very best kind, way outside our understanding and turning up when others would never expect it.
Stop and receive this amazing gift.
Stop and think about how agitated you are, and what frustrations bother you. Take stock of the little anxieties you have about yourself, your family, your income, your work, your relationships, your health, your future, your walk with God and anything else.
As you recognise an area of concern stop and pass that concern to God (casting your cares onto Him) and let God be in control of your life, your situation and the outcome. Then trust Him and praise Him and let go of your anxieties, confident that God has everything under control and wants only the best for you.
And claim Christ’s promise that My Peace I Leave With You.