How to be at peace

How to be at peace

How can I find peace of mind? It’s a question often asked, but rarely answered in a satisfying way.

Some say peace of mind lies in security. Some say it’s about de-cluttering and finding stillness and calm in life. Some say it’s about acceptance and letting go. I say it’s all about what you do.

Let me introduce myself. I’m an addict. An alcoholic since my teens, I lived most of my life on various edges.

At twenty-one, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, as if being an alcoholic wasn’t bad enough. If you don’t know what BPD is, it is an unsettled and shifting sense of self, and it’s unbearably difficult to live with.

I possessed a fearful and fraught mind at the best of times. Both my addiction and my BPD led me to do some pretty crazy things. Crossing a drunk person with a personality disorder is not conducive to the sort of life you would wish on anyone.

I spent my twenties clambering out of one catastrophe and into another, doing some fairly disgraceful things—hiding, lying, hurting other people and myself. At least one hour a day was spent in absolute misery and penance, sorry for myself and for anyone who crossed my path of destruction.

But behind the carnage, I was a genuinely good-hearted person. All through my mental illnesses, I tried to make the best of it, to be a nice person. And there was no one more empathetic than me. If anyone else had a problem, I would drop everything to run to them.

But my mind was not somewhere you would want to take a fishing trip, let alone a whole vacation. Of all the people I hurt in my life, I hurt no one more than myself. I hurt myself by doing things that would make me feel guilt and shame later on.

When I finally got the right treatment and got sober, after a decade of madness, I heard people speak about serenity and finding peace of mind. In early recovery, it was still an utter mystery to me.

I saw a counselor who told me to give it time. I went to alcohol services—they told me to work a program. I listened to “spiritual folk” who told me to meditate.

No one seemed to be giving me practical answers about how to achieve something I had been searching for all along: peace and self-esteem.

But the answer was so simple. You create your state of mind by the things you do, and you cement that by the things you tell yourself.

As long as I behave with integrity every day, I can feel at peace with myself.

Things will always change. Life will sometimes be tough. People will say and do things that upset you. That’s just the nature of things.

As long as you hang onto your integrity, no matter what is happening in your world, you can go to bed with a clear conscience. And no matter how tough things get, you can still have that wonderful sense of peace within you.

But it takes some practice to really start to feel it, and to live with integrity at all times. Here are some tips to help you cultivate a sense of peace.

1. Know your ideal self.

Make a list of all the good qualities you intend to cultivate. Are you going to be kinder, fairer, more tolerant, more magnanimous, more patient, more dignified? What are your responses to difficulties going to be? What principles do you wish to uphold?

2. Do the next right thing.

If you’ve been struggling with your emotional or mental state like I was, it may be difficult, at first, to act with integrity all the time. You may find yourself making mistakes and sometimes behaving in a less than ideal way. In order to build up a habit of sticking to your principles, just practice doing the “next right thing” all the time.

3. Let go of perfectionism.

I could have made my life a lot easier if I had validated the attempts I was making to do the right thing even when things were a struggle. Instead, I beat myself up and made myself feel worse because I was angry with myself for not living right. It’s all a journey. Allow yourself to be imperfect, and yet still make progress.

4. Make amends immediately.

If for some reason you end up treating someone unfairly or unkindly, or doing something dishonest or mean, make amends for it as soon as you can. Don’t wait. Correct your mistakes as soon as possible, and you can find peace of mind in the fact that you have improved upon your actions and done your part to relieve any ill feeling or guilt.

5. Practice patience.

Other people around you may not be living in the same way that you have chosen to. It doesn’t matter; they will have their conscience to live with at the end of the day, and you will have yours. Choose to respond in a way that will give you peace of mind. Take a deep breath before reacting to people who push your buttons.

6. Let your head and heart support you.

You won’t have a peaceful mind if you allow negativity to dominate your thinking. Try to understand others rather than judging them. Forgive others and you free yourself. Radiate compassion and be a good Samaritan. Not only will others benefit; you’ll also add to your own sense of self-esteem.

7. Think long term.

It may be tempting to lose your rag when you’re feeling angry or frustrated. But think about how you will feel about yourself and your own actions later on. Will you be happy about your behavior? Will it lead to you feeling peace of mind? If not, don’t do it.

8. Validate yourself.

You will not get to feel that lovely sense of peace if you don’t take the time to fully acknowledge it. In difficult situations, look at what you did well. If you’ve been struggling, notice when you make progress. At the end of each day, summarize to yourself how you’ve acted well and kept your integrity.

How to be at peace

No matter where you are in life or how spiritual you are, finding a sense of inner peace is a constant yearning you may face. Learning to become at peace with yourself is one of the most basic human desires, and is often a skill that requires a lot of practice.

In this post we’ll take a look at what it means to be at peace with oneself, as well as a few simple ideas you can incorporate into your life to begin to feel more peaceful, starting today.

The Meaning of Being At Peace With Myself

Before you can learn to practice peace, you must first understand what it means to be at peace with yourself.

Many people think that peace means they must shy away from the challenges of the world, have a deep spiritual practice, or spend hours in meditation. While you may find it is easier to be at peace when you simplify your life, doing so is not necessary to attain peace.

How to be at peace

Being at peace with yourself simply means that you have an ability to focus on your natural energy of joy. This joy rests within each and every one of us at all times, and is always available to you, should you choose to focus on it.

When you can learn to feel this intuitive source of stillness, you will also feel an overwhelming sense of peace, happiness, and love, which cannot be overcome by the circumstances around you.

Knowing how to rest more consistently in this state of unconditional love is the essence of being truly at peace with oneself.

While this may sound like a lofty ideal, it is actually a realistic aim for most people, as long as you follow a few core ideas and techniques.

Techniques and Exercises for Being at Peace With Yourself

Focus on the Breath

The first technique for increasing your sense of peace is to learn to draw your attention to your breath. You can do this through meditation, but you can also find immense benefit from noticing your breath as you move throughout your normal life.

Just by taking the time consistently throughout the day to pay attention to your breath, you will begin to tap into your natural joy, and will begin to feel calmer and more peaceful, every day.

Accept the Present Moment

Another great practice of learning how to be at peace is to accept the present moment for what it is.

Often, we create unnecessary struggle because we believe that wherever we are is not already perfect in its own way. We focus on doing more, having more, and being more so fully that we imply to ourselves that we are not yet good enough.

Learning to accept the balance between wanting to grow and expand as an individual (in whatever form that takes for you) and accepting the journey right where you are will dramatically increase your sense of ease, peace, and fulfillment as you progress through life.

Release the Past Guilt and Future Worries

How to be at peace

Hand in hand with accepting the present moment is our ability to release the concerns of the past and future. More often than not, we spend so much time preoccupied with what has already happened, or with what might happen, that we fail to notice the inherent beauty, joy, and perfection that surrounds us.

When we insist on holding onto negative emotions from the past – no matter how “justified” you think they may seem – we stop ourselves from feeling our inner joy. The same is true when we extrapolate into the future.

Learn how to let go, stay centered in the present moment, and you will feel more peaceful immediately.

Practice Loving Kindness for Yourself and Others

Along with accpeting the present moment is the idea that you must also accept yourself. You will never be at peace so long as you continuously judge yourself for your mistakes, and other people for theirs. Instead, strive to learn how to practice loving kindness and compassion in all of your thoughts and actions.

When you can recognize that we are all human, and that we all experience the same fundamental struggles, which we express in different forms, you take a major step forward in becoming more compassionate, kind, and loving towards yourself and the world around you.

Develop a Habit of Appreciation

Lastly, remember that peace is a choice that comes through your own decisions about where to focus. When you focus on the good that is already before you, you grant yourself the ability to feel positive emotions, including peace, joy, fulfillment, and love.

Take the time to develop a habit of appreciation by focusing on the good that is around you in every moment. Whether that means appreciating a flower, a bird, a piece of music, or a compliment from your spouse or co-worker, appreciation can be found anywhere…as long as you train yourself to find it.

How can I be at peace with God? Hello, I’m an 18 year old college student wanting change in my life. It was evident that God watched over me throughout the early stages of my life. Even though I knew I was bestowed with many blessings, I never fully committed my life to God. As I get older I feel as if God is not much of a factor in my life anymore. On too many occasions I have taken him for granted. I know that I want to give my life to God, but I haven’t yet because I want to fully commit my life to him, and not turn back to my old life. I’ve been feeling the need to do for quiet a while, I just can’t figure out why this feeling came upon me suddenly. How can I fight the temptations in this world so that I can find peace through God? I only desire to live for him.

Bible Answer:

Our God is a God of peace. Since He is our creator, it is reasonable that we want to be at peace with God. He wants us to be at peace with others, including Himself. He seeks peace. That is the message of Romans 15:33.

Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. Romans 15:33 (NASB)

Peace is an amazing attribute or characteristic of God (1 Cor. 14:33; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:16; Heb. 13:20). This is an important truth because it reveals that our God does not rejoice in conflicts and interpersonal tensions. Peace was lost in the creation when Lucifer (Satan)sinned and peace was lost in the universe when Adam sinned.

Positional Peace

Romans 5:10 teaches that every human being is born as an enemy of God. We are the ones in conflict with God. Yet, God seeks peace. We do not seek peace. So, God provided a way for us to have peace with Him. He sent the second person of the godhead into the world to be born as a human (John 16:28). Colossians 1:20 says that God offers us spiritual peace with Himself, that is, the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. This description reveals that non-Christians are in conflict with God. God has called us to be sinless or obedient (1 John 3:10). Those who practice sin are in conflict with God.

Here are a few verses to mediate on.

The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all . . . Acts 10:36 (NASB)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Rom. 5:1 (NASB)

In the book of Ephesians, God calls the gospel, the gospel of peace.

. . . and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE . . . Eph. 6:15 (NASB)

So, we are at peace with God when our sins are forgiven. That is, we are declared to be at peace with God, even though we still sin. That is, we are judicially declared to be at peace with God. God has made a legal decision that declares we are at peace with Him because of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:19). It comes by trusting in Jesus Christ to forgive our sins.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27 (NASB)

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NASB)

Practical Peace

But positional peace does not guarantee that we will have daily peace with God since we still sin. Positional peace means that we arejudicially declared to be at peace but, yet, we still sin. King David is a good example of man who did not have peace with God due to sin. In Psalm 51 David cries to God telling Him that He is miserable and feeling distant from God. King David believed in God and was an Old Testament saint, yet, because of His sin he felt distant from God. As one reads the Psalm, it becomes obvious that he is miserable due to his sin. At the end of Psalm, he finally has peace with God (Ps. 51:10-17). His peace comes after confessing his sin to God (Ps. 51:4-9).

I have found in my own life that when I feel distant from God it is almost always due to sin in my life. David had sinned by committing adultery with Bathsheba. The result was that he felt distant from God. He did not find peace until he confessed his sin. Psalm 51:11 reveals that He understood that the sense of peace comes through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). That is, being filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:17-21).

Look For The Following

If you do not have a sense of peace with God, look for sin in your life. First, look for sexual sins such pornography, premarital sex, adultery, and your thought life. King David committed sexual sin. Second, look for other sins such as conflicts with others. Read the following verses:

Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Cor. 13:11 (NASB)

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. Rom. 12:18–19 (NASB)

Message? Just as God seeks peace with us, we are to seek peace with others. Sometimes that is not possible, however.

Conclusion:

Finally, even though you are a Christian and are positionally at peace with God, are you sill in conflict with God – refusing to submit to Him? Have you submitted your self completely to God in every way? Are you like the prophet Jonah? Jonah was told to go to the people of Nineveh and preach repentance. He disobeyed and ran from God. God chased Jonah down. Are you like Jonah? Running from God? If so, then you are in sin and you will not find peace until you submit.

How to be at peace

Mental strength and inner peace go hand in hand. Mentally strong people are confident that they can handle whatever life throws their way.

That’s not to say they don’t feel pain or that they don’t get sad–they experience their emotions on a deep level. But they don’t waste energy wishing things were different or trying to change other people. They stay focused on managing their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

They also make self-improvement a priority, because they know there’s always room for improvement. And they give up these 10 things that could destroy their inner peace.

1. Engaging with toxic people

The people you surround yourself with affect the way you think, feel, and behave. Engaging with people who lie, gossip, bully, or cheat takes a toll on your well-being.

Mentally strong people don’t waste their energy trying to change toxic people. They establish healthy emotional and physical boundaries.

2. Excessive self-blame

Thinking everything is 100 percent your fault–whether it’s a failed relationship or an accident–will affect the way you see yourself and the world around you. You can’t always prevent bad things from happening.

Mentally strong people take appropriate accountability. They recognize they’re responsible for their choices, but they also acknowledge factors beyond their control–like the state of the economy, the weather, and other people’s choices.

3. Chasing happiness

Thinking you need to be happy all the time will backfire. Momentary pleasure is much different than long-term satisfaction.

Mentally strong people are willing to put in the hard work it takes to gain contentment. They refuse to give in to instant gratification or temporary indulgences. They look for ways to build a brighter future by creating long-term goals.

4. Staying comfortable

It may seem like staying inside your comfort zone is the key to feeling good in life. But avoiding discomfort always backfires in the end.

Mentally strong people face their fears, venture into unknown areas, and test their limits. They know that being uncomfortable is tolerable and allowing themselves to experience discomfort is the key to living a better life.

5. The victim mentality

Thinking the world and the people in it are out to get you will prevent you from being your best. In fact, if you blame all of your problems on external circumstances you’ll never take responsibility for your life.

Mentally strong people acknowledge their choices, even in the face of tragic circumstances. They focus on the things they can control, and they refuse to waste their time hosting pity parties.

6. Trying to impress people

You could waste a lot of your life trying to make people like you. Depending on admiration from others, however, gives others power over you.

Mentally strong people are comfortable in their own skin. They don’t waste their time worrying about whether other people approve of their choices. Instead, they focus on living according to their values.

7. The pursuit of perfection

Striving for excellence is healthy. But insisting on perfection is an uphill battle. You’ll never feel good enough if you set the bar impossibly high.

Mentally strong people accept that they’re going to fail and make mistakes. They are able to acknowledge their flaws and weaknesses.

8. Grudges

You may think holding onto a grudge somehow punishes someone else. But, in reality, clinging to anger and hatred only reduces your life.

Mentally strong people let go of grudges so they can focus their energy on more worthwhile causes. That doesn’t mean they allow themselves to be abused by people, however. It just means they don’t allow pent-up resentment to overtake their lives.

9. The quest for material things

No matter how much money you make, a bigger house, a nicer car, or more expensive clothing won’t give you peace of mind. Expecting material possessions to satisfy your needs will leave you sorely disappointed.

Mentally strong people aren’t necessarily minimalists, however. They can enjoy nice things. But they don’t expect their material possessions to give them joy and contentment.

10. Complete self-reliance

Thinking you can do everything on your own is about acting tough–not being strong. There will be times when asking for help is important.

Mentally strong people aren’t afraid to admit when they need help. Whether they rely on a higher power, ask for professional help, or lean on a friend during a time in need, they gain strength from others. Knowing they don’t have to have all the answers gives them a renewed sense of inner peace.

How to build mental muscle and gain inner peace

Inner peace comes from knowing your beliefs and the willingness to act according to them. It takes mental muscle to do that.

Fortunately, everyone has the ability to practice mental strength exercises every day. The more mental muscle you build, the easier it is to find true contentment in life.

The Bible tells us, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Colossians 3:15). As Christians, we are called to biblical peace. This peace doesn’t focus on the absence of trouble. It is unrelated to our circumstances; it is a goodness of life that is not touched by what happens on the outside. You may be in the midst of great trials and still have biblical peace. But finding daily peace isn’t easy. It is easily stolen. It only takes a simple glance at the world news or a mounting to-do list for uncertainty and restlessness to rise up and overwhelm our hearts with anxiety. Any look at the success and joys of those around you can lure your soul into a never-ending longing for the possessions, personality traits and positions in life that we don’t have. A quick encounter or exchange with a difficult person can quickly take your days of peace. It almost feels like we have to fight for our own peace daily. It is crucial now more than ever that we allow the peace of Christ to rule our hearts.

In the New Testament, peace refers to rest and tranquility. A key focus on peace in the New Testament is the advent of Jesus Christ, as announced by the angels in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth among those with whom he is pleased!” Isaiah had also predicted that Jesus Christ would be the Prince of Peace, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). It is through Christ that we can have peace with God (Romans 5:1) and that peace will keep our hearts and minds secure (Philippians 4:7). Because God commands us to seek peace, we should make every effort to do what leads to peace.

In order to allow the peace of Christ to rule your heart, you must first focus. We live in a world that continually demands for our attention. We struggle to keep our thoughts in order and our task lists and projects completed. There’s no doubt that it’s hard to focus. But focus is crucial when it comes to our relationship with Christ. When we attempt to read Scripture, but lack focus, it’s easy to feel lost reading the Bible. You will wander around Scripture and may feel like you have no clue what you’re doing. You may even come to a point where you feel like you’re wasting your time because you’re not truly connecting with the words you’re reading. When we approach God’s Word, we must learn to focus on what we see and develop a trained eye to know its significance. This will not only help you engage with Scripture better, but also help you to truly know God better and experience Him in deeper ways.

In order to allow the peace of Christ to rule your heart, it’s important to recognize who the true source of peace is. 1 Thessalonians 3:16 says, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way.” God is referred to as “the God of peace” over and over again in Scripture. Fifteen of the biblical epistles (technical terms for letters written to the churches, such as Philippians, Galatians and Ephesians), give a greeting to their beloved church members, which include some version of the phrase “peace from God.” These, alongside verses on peace, make a strong case from the New Testament of where peace originates. Remember, our soul craves peace. Don’t buy into the notion that an afternoon of solitude or a weekend at the beach will give you peace. Peace is not a serene setting or even a peace of mind. Anything or anyone who promises you peace is not being authentic with you. True and lasting soul-level peace is found only in a Person: Jesus Christ, the Source of all peace.

Finally, it’s important to defend your peace every day. The Bible tells us, “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the Devil” (Ephesians 6:11). There are so many lies that we will encounter on a daily basis that will try and steal our peace. Ask the Spirit of God to bring you greater awareness of those lies that are not only infiltrating, but also devastating your life. Declare your need for His strength and power to expel the lies that steal from the peace-filled life you are given through Christ.

Remember, everyday peace is a gift from God and we must learn to defend it relentlessly. When we live on guard instead of on vacation, we are better able to ward off attacks from the Enemy by recognizing his schemes and continual attempts to divert us away from intimacy with Jesus. We are right in the middle of a great battle, with the Devil attacking your thoughts and challenging our emotions. Just as the Enemy did in the very first attack on Adam and Eve, he attempts to create doubt in your heart of who God is. We must be ready to fight off every lie raised against God’s character and His plan. Defend yourself with this verse, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). When you are clothed in Christ, you are stronger than any attack from the Enemy.

Instead of stress and discontentment, allow the peace of Christ to rule your heart. Through the presence of God, the strength of the Spirit and the example of Christ, our every moment can be soaked with the peace that passes all understanding.

Peace is something everyone wants, yet few seem to find. What is peace? It can be defined as “tranquility, harmony, or security.” Depending on the situation, it could mean “prosperity” or “well-being.” Various forms of the word peace are found 429 times in the King James Version of the Bible. There are different types of peace, including false peace, inner peace, peace with God, and peace with man.

In the Old Testament, the primary Hebrew word for “peace” is shalom, and it refers to relationships between people (Genesis 34:21), nations (1 Kings 5:12), and God with men (Psalm 85:8). Peace is a desired status in each of these arenas, and shalom is often tied to a covenant or a promise kept. A familiar friend (literally, “friend of my peace” in Psalm 41:9) is one with whom you would be at ease, a trusted companion. “Peace” was the standard greeting (1 Samuel 25:6), still used in many cultures today.

Peace is directly related to the actions and attitudes of individuals; but it is ultimately a gift from God (Isaiah 45:7; Leviticus 26:6; John 14:27). The presence of peace indicates God’s blessing on man’s obedience (Isaiah 32:17; Malachi 2:5) and faith (Isaiah 26:3). There is no peace for the wicked (Isaiah 48:22).

As valuable as peace is, it is not surprising to find that it is sometimes counterfeited. Empty promises of peace can be used to manipulate others. Deceitful men speak words of peace while secretly planning evil (Obadiah 1:7). The Antichrist will confirm a treaty, producing a temporary peace which he will then abruptly shatter as he reveals his true colors (Daniel 9:27). False teachers proclaim peace when God is actually proclaiming judgment (Ezekiel 13:10-16). In Jeremiah’s day, the religious leaders dealt only with the symptoms of the national problems, without addressing the sinful root of the crisis. These false prophets declared everything was well between God and Israel: “Peace, peace,” they said, when there was no real peace (Jeremiah 6:14).

In the New Testament, the primary Greek word for “peace” is eirene, and it refers to rest and tranquility. A key focus of peace in the New Testament is the advent of Jesus Christ, as announced by the angels in Luke 2:14 (“Peace on earth . . .”). Isaiah had predicted the Messiah would be the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and He is called the Lord of peace in 2 Thessalonians 3:16. It is through Christ’s work of justification that we can have peace with God (Romans 5:1), and that peace will keep our hearts and minds secure (Philippians 4:7).

God commands us to seek peace (Psalm 34:14; Matthew 5:9). We should “make every effort to do what leads to peace” (Romans 14:19). Of course, there will be some people who do not desire peace, but we are still to do our utmost to be at peace with them (Romans 12:18).

Believers have an obligation to “let the peace of God rule” in their hearts (Colossians 3:15). This means we have the choice either to trust God’s promises (letting His peace rule) or to rely on ourselves and reject the peace He offers. Jesus gave His disciples peace based on the truth that He has overcome the world (John 14:27; 16:33). Peace is a fruit of the Spirit, so, if we are allowing the Spirit of God to rule in our lives, we will experience His peace (Galatians 5:22-23). To be spiritually minded brings life and peace, according to Romans 8:6.

The world will continue to have wars and interpersonal conflicts until Jesus comes to establish true, lasting peace (see Isaiah 11:1-10), but God will give His peace to those who trust Him. Jesus took the chastisement of our peace (Isaiah 53:5) and has made it possible for us to have peace with God. Once His peace rules in our hearts, we are able to share that peace with others; we become publishers of peace (Isaiah 52:7) and ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).

How to be at peace

There is a security within our comfort zones that our fleshly hearts fight for, but we often find that life has other plans. Our comfort zones are familiar, known, and they often reside where anxiety is seldom present. When life changes and we are thrown outside these established boundaries, we can still find peace; a peace only to be given by God.

An Oxymoron?

At first consideration, the idea of having peace when thrown in the middle of something new, uncomfortable, or unknown seems like an oxymoron. What we should take into account is that God Himself is with us in any new territory we step foot into. He has proven this time and time again in the Bible, and those promises hold the same truth for us today. Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, meaning that whatever change comes about in our own lives, we can be assured that God is never changing.

Examples of His Faithfulness

The Word of God provides example after example of God’s faithfulness, even in the darkest of places. In the book of Daniel, we are told the story of a righteous man and his devotion to God. The ruler during Daniel’s time issued a decree which forbade prayer and worship to the one true God, but Daniel’s allegiance was to God, not to man. Therefore, he continued to pray three times a day to God. When news of this was discovered, Daniel was punished by being thrown into a den of lions. Clearly, this would be outside of anyone’s comfort zone, yet Daniel knew that whatever was to occur, he would not walk such a journey alone. We are told in 6:22, “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” Daniel was granted divine peace from God, even in the darkest of places. If God can give a mortal man peace even when he is surrounded by ferocious carnivores, consider what He can do in our own situations.

Eyes on Christ

Many times, God Himself will call us to uncharted waters. At first, it can feel daunting, scary, and we may even find ourselves questioning if it really can produce a single drop of goodness, but don’t give up. Recall how Jesus asked Peter to step out of the boat and walk to Him when he was out on the water. Logically, everything in him must have determined that the act of stepping out onto water would not produce a firm footing to stand on, but he kept his eyes on Christ. It was only when he took his eyes off of Jesus and doubted that he sunk down into the water. Yet even in that wavering, Jesus was right there to offer a hand to pull him up. In the same way, Jesus may call us to step out of the boat in our own lives and do something that, to everyone else, and even our own reasoning, seems impossible. When our eyes and hearts and minds are focused on Him, that is where the miracles occur, and that is where we grow in our journey. Believe that if He has called you to it, there is a plan to grow you through it.

Promises to Hold Firm To

In the Gospel of John 14:27, Jesus empathizes with our human condition, but He offers a beacon of hope, saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” The words of Jesus are not by mistake, and they are more intentional than we can even comprehend. It is not just a coaxing offer to quiet us, but a direct assurance He seeks to give us in offering His peace despite our circumstances. 1 Peter 5:7 urges us to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” The act of casting something was one that Peter knew well from his days as a fisherman before stopping everything to follow Christ. When fishermen cast a net, it is not something they just do once before calling it a day. Rather, it is a repetitive action. In the same way, when we cast our anxieties and cares upon Jesus, we can do so again and again. We are not a bother or burden to Him; in fact, He delights in us coming to Him with our true feelings in communication with Him. So, let us be encouraged to cast our anxieties on Him but also invite Him in to grant us the peace we desperately need.

A Prayer for Peace

We thank You for this day. Father, we know that in this lifetime, it is impossible to always remain in our comfortable and safe bubbles. We know that, be it through circumstances of life or a call from You, there will be times in which we are far from those borders of security, yet we also know that even in those times, we can have true peace. This true peace comes from You and You alone. Vulnerably we come before You for this peace today in whatever circumstance we are facing. We cast these cares upon you and truthfully admit that it is frightening. Lord, we know You love us so much and that You will never leave us. Pour over us with Your peace in these moments, and help us to see that we are not alone. Allow us to not only find peace in You but to hear Your voice clearly and soundly today. It is in You that our peace abides.

Peace in chaos is possible when we decide to make God our source of peace. He can grant us peace that goes beyond all understanding (Philippians 4:7), and we can fully trust Him. No matter what you are facing today, remember peace is your portion from God’s abundance for you. Go before Him and ask sincerely for His peace, inviting Him into whatever is before you today.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Bulat Silvia

Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys leading a high school girls’ small group, cooking, and spending time in tree houses. Her latest books, Dear Young Sparrow and Unveiled are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan.

We can have a lot of things in life, but if we don’t have peace, we’re never going to truly enjoy our lives the way God intended.

How to be at peace

(Courtesy of Joyce Meyer Ministries)

First Peter 3:11 (AMP) is one of my favorite scriptures. It says, “Let him search for peace…and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]”

“Pursue” is a strong word. It requires action and doing whatever it takes to maintain peace in our lives. It means not always getting “our way” or having the last word in an argument. It requires us to trust God even more with the people in our lives. But it’s all worth it.

Are you ready to enjoy new levels of peace? If so, here are some ways you can cultivate peace with God, yourself and others…

1. Receive God’s forgiveness. Peace with God is the foundation for peace in every other area of our lives. Jesus is the “Prince of Peace,” (Isaiah 9:6) and it’s only through a relationship with Him that we will ever experience true contentment.

When we sin, the greatest thing we can do is repent, ask God to forgive us, and then make a decision to not live in guilt. Guilt is useless. Constantly feeling guilty actually weakens us and causes us to fall into more sin.

I encourage you to read and meditate on 1 John 1:9 (AMP): “If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just…and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness….”

2. Make a decision to like yourself. This may sound funny to ask, but what kind of relationship do you have with yourself? The truth is you can’t get along with anyone else until you get along with you.

For years, I dealt with self-hatred because of the sexual abuse I endured growing up. Because I didn’t like myself, it was almost impossible for me to enjoy peace with my husband or other people. However, as I spent time in God’s Word and asked Him to change me, I eventually began to see myself the way He sees me; I began to like myself!

I encourage you to find out what God says about you in His Word. Ask Him to help you change your self-image. Because enjoying life and enjoying other people all begins with knowing who God says you are and truly liking yourself.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparing and competing with other people is one of the fastest ways to lose your peace and joy. There is such freedom in learning to be happy with who you are without being jealous of someone else’s skills or achievements.

For example, I have a friend who likes to memorize parts of the Bible. There was a day when I would have been threatened by that, feeling like I should do the same thing. I know a lot of Scripture, and I have even memorized several verses, but memorization has never been my strength…and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I am less spiritual or somehow not as good as my friend. It just means I am being myself!

4. Accept other people just the way they are. I almost wore myself out trying to change people until I realized they’re not all supposed to be like me. We are all born with different God-given personalities and were never meant to be the same.

For example, my husband Dave is easy-going and has the ability to enjoy just about anything he does. I’ll never forget our grocery trips as a young married couple. I had my list and was serious about accomplishing our mission. Dave, on the other hand, was pushing the kids around in the cart, laughing and having a great time. It made me so mad!

Dave has always been a very wise and responsible man, but I wanted him to be “serious” like me. When I finally stopped trying to change him, it brought tremendous peace. Now, I truly enjoy and value Dave’s personality. In fact, over the years the Lord has helped me to enjoy my life and be even more like him!

Sure, we all have areas where we truly need to change, but only God can change us. The best thing we can do for others is to pray for them…and accept them right where they are.

5. Let God have control of your life. Proverbs 16:9 (AMP) says, “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.” I used to have a plan for everything – including my husband, my kids and my ministry – and would sometimes get frustrated if things didn’t go accordingly. In other words, I wanted the Lord to do things my way! However, God is smarter than we are, and He wants us to place our trust in His great plan for our lives.

I often say that trust requires unanswered questions. In the moment, we may not always understand “why,” but like the psalmist David we can say, “My times are in Your hands” (Psalm 31:15). Later on, we’ll look back and discover the Lord had our best in mind all along.

I encourage you to continue trusting God even when things don’t make sense. It’s one sure way to enjoy your life…and experience more peace than ever before.

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