Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Need for Peace



What do we mean by peace?  We could be talking about world peace?  Peace and quiet?  A Peaceful spirit?  A calming environment?  Well, we’re not exploring world peace. I’ll leave that for Miss America, but all of the others could have a place in our discussion.

Why is having an inner peace important?  Sometimes I find it useful to think about the alternative.  What would it look like if we “don’t” have inner peace?  That is maybe something we can relate to all too well.

I tend to equate a lack of peace with stress and chaos: An out of control feeling.  What do you equate with a lack of peace?  It often happens to me when I’m in a hurry, over scheduled and don’t have, or haven’t put in the necessary prep time.  It’s easy to tell from my reactions that I’m not at peace.  I can be short with people, hurriedly running around, sometimes blaming others, frustrated and just not really enjoying life.  Can you relate?



But how do we get this peace?

Philippians 4:7 tells us “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  So, the peace we need comes from God.  We can’t understand it.  But the real key is verse 6.

If we back up to verse 6 it reads, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”ESV

What is a lack of peace?  Stress, frustration, and over commitment.  At the heart of it, could it be we are anxious, we are worried, we are stressing over “how” will I get it done, “where” is the thing I need to find, “why” is everything not going the way I need it to.  We are anxious.  

And the answer-give your requests to God.

Most of us already know stress can cause us many problems, including some serious health problems.  It’s not good for us!  According to Mayo Clinic, “Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.’ Common effects of stress on your body are , headache, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, change in sex drive , stomach upset , sleep problems .  Common effects on our mood can include anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation or focus, feeling overwhelmed, irritability or anger, sadness and depression. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987)

Besides all the health issues, we are more productive when we are not stressed.  My kids and I studied this principle with some of our debate cases.  In history when a society flourishes it was called a golden age.  When did these societies flourish? When there was plenty of resources, money, safety and stability.  They were not at war, struggling just to eat or wrapped up in political turmoil.  It was during these times the members of the societies were able to be creative, productive and produce.
It's the same with us on a personal level.  When we worried about how, where, why, and when we will do things we are not as effective.  We don’t think as clearly, make more mistakes and just don’t function as well.

We know we need to turn it all over to God.  You knew this, and yet you hold on.  What is it that you need to release to God today?

Casting all your anxiety on him, because HE cares or you!”  1 Peter 3:7

Easier said than don’t, right?!?!  

Stay tuned for my top 10 ways to keep casting those cares on HIM….

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