“While the emperor may give peace from war on land and sea, he is unable to give peace from passion, grief, and envy. He cannot give peace of heart for which man yearns more than even for outward peace.” Greek philosopher Epictetus
At the time of Jesus’ birth, the world was experiencing “Pax Romana,” “Roman Peace” since 27 B.C. This peace came by force and the shedding of blood when necessary. Yet this did little to provide humanity with genuine or lasting peace. Mankind is on an endless pursuit for peace.
Peace can’t be secured through politics, philosophy, money or religion.
- Sadly, many have medicated themselves with legal or illegal drugs in order to gain peace.
- How many bottles have been emptied to find peace?
- How many broken relationships will be experienced until we understand these things won’t give us peace?
This is the gift of Christmas. This is why Jesus came to us.
I’ve known some amazing people who have learned how to be at peace even when the circumstances around them are chaotic.
- They work in an environment that is high stress or high pressure, and I’m amazed at how they do it!
- Maybe they are having relationship issues, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at them.
- Maybe they are under financial pressure yet have a peace about them that wouldn’t indicate they were struggling.
In your pursuit of knowing God, there are godly accelerants and repellants, things we do that attract or repel God’s presence and will in life.
Here’s a quick list of “four peace repellents” that must be avoided.
“Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;” Isaiah 48:18
“But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt.” Isaiah 57:20
God’s commandments are not to control you but to shield you from the effects of sin. Don’t allow the temporary pleasures of sin to persuade you from the permanent peace and blessing from God.
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27
Worry is a declaration that I don’t believe God is able to intervene in my situation. Not only is God able, but God is also over-qualified to help you.
If you find yourself in a state of worry begin to quote Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,”
Worry and peace can’t occupy the same space. By choosing one, you reject the other.
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Proverbs 12:25
Anxiety is a declaration that I don’t believe God will be on time.
Anxious thoughts are incapacitating. They stop living right in its tracks. Do not feel ashamed if you’ve been prescribed medication to help with anxiety. It’s a biological matter not simply an emotional one.
But if you have not been diagnosed like that, I have a prescription for you.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Don’t carry the emotional weight of your concerns when God has volunteered to carry it for you!
Pastor Rick Warren has described fear this way, “False Evidence Appearing Real.” I have wasted moments and opportunities in life because of fear. If not properly restrained, fear will immobilize you.
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7
God will never leave you nor forsake you. When you can’t see him it’s because He has your back. Every time you move, He moves with you to guard you from behind.
Peace is God’s gift to you and you can claim that gift by inviting Him into your life. You maintain peace by living by faith. The choice is yours!