In this crazy, messed-up world, we long for peace, don’t we?
Peace with God. Peace in our marriages. Peace in our homes. Peace in our relationships. Peace in our workplaces.
Perhaps the most coveted type of peace (and just maybe a key to the others?) is peace of mind. God has something to say about this:
“Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
God promises that His own peace will guard our hearts and minds.
What could be better than that?
But too often, God’s people don’t experience God’s peace guarding our hearts and minds at all.
We worry. We doubt. We strategize. We extrapolate. And then we worry some more.
We take matters into our own hands, instead of following God’s simple (not to be confused with easy!) two-step process for peace:
Choose to not be anxious. Yes, I said choose. The phrase “Be anxious for nothing” is an imperative that can be obeyed or disobeyed. Worry is a bad habit for many of us…and as with any bad habit, overcoming it grows progressively easier as we continually make the better choice. So what is the better choice? God is so good to offer us an alternative to worry:
Pray. Approach Him gratefully, with thanksgiving. Thank Him for the privilege of prayer, and for any number of His magnificent attributes! And then boldly cast upon Him your burdens, your questions, your problems, your fears, your dilemmas — He actually invites us to do so!
Prayer alone won’t yield peace apart from belief.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
All things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. Matthew 21:22
Unbelief is the enemy of peace. If I’ve prayed and I’m still not at peace, I need to examine my belief.
So what does believing look like?
Believing means I don’t take back the burden I give to Him.
It means I don’t leave the place of prayer still chewing my lip and racking my brain for answers.
It means I don’t toss and turn in bed at night considering the options and the what-ifs and the worst-case-scenarios.
Instead, I choose to remember that He cares (I Peter 5:7).
I choose to remember that His grace is enough (2 Corinthians 12:9).
I choose to remember that He knows better than me (Isaiah 55:8-9).
I choose to remember that He is working all things together for His glory, and for my good (Romans 8:28).
And in the meantime, I choose to remember that He is with me, He is helping me, He is strengthening me, and He is upholding me (Isaiah 41:10).
Prayer takes our burdens to God. Belief compels us to leave them there.
Written by Jennifer Clarke