Philippians 4 has a verse about the peace that passes all understanding. I have read it for years but never really grasped the whole meaning of it. A few months ago I realized I have never known what that is like. As a youth my idea of peace was my self-serving desires to make me happy temporarily.
It sounds cliché’ to say I had a revelation but I really did. Struggling for years with different crisis or molehills that I made into mountains the truth has set in. As I wade through my memory chest I see many events that I handled so wrong. Emotions became my guide instead of seeking God. Now let me determine that I did not have a clue what real peace was nor did I know that is what I needed. As I spoke earlier I had my own definition of peace. In this world today how is it possible to have true peace?
About 5 years ago I decided I couldn’t live with myself the way that I was. That was frightening because that meant other people couldn’t either. The details involving my decision were based upon the fact the way I was living was not working for me anymore. Actually it had never worked, I just didn’t know that. I had been a Christian for many years but wanted more than what I had. Desperation brought me to the point that I knew God had the answers and as my daughter asked me once, “Mom, isn’t there more than this?”
The Holy Spirit had been working on me. I wanted everything that God wanted me to have even if I didn’t know what that was. It was at that time I began a serious walk with the Lord, spending sometimes hours a day alone with him. The more I did this the more I noticed my thinking began to change. My mind had become a filter for everything negative. My guess is that we don’t realize we are negative until we start thinking positive. I read everything I could find on “renewing my mind.” Romans 12:2.
Now I will jump back to the present. Just when I think I have God figured out he shows me I am not even close. I think God gets a big laugh by his surprises that don’t fit into the picture we have drawn. All that does for me is give me more desire to keep trying to figure him out which is his clever way of keeping me interested. LOL. Keeping me interested in him was where I found the answer.
In the past year I have had 2 unexpected deaths in my family and a number of other very difficult issues to deal with. These traumatic events brought me to a screeching halt mentally and emotionally. I suddenly found myself unable to cope with daily life. It was then that God in his great mercy showed me that what I needed was his peace.
God showed me James 3:17. Jesus is peace and it gives a perfect description of Jesus in this verse. The last line of it is, “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” (NIV) Reading this daily I began to see what peace is and that I really have never lived that way. In my heart I knew I had to have it. Also, peace brings the good or righteousness into our lives as a result. It is as if when we walk in peace, God surrounds us with more blessings than we already have.
The revelation during my “alone time” with God was a taste of that peace. God gently showed me that he has been trying to guide me with peace which is one of the major ways he speaks to us. Let me interject that I had been asking God to show me how to follow him better. He brought to my memory times of difficulty and how the still, quiet voice gave me a direction one way or the other. In other words if the road is not peaceful, don’t drive on it. If it is peaceful, put the car in drive and go. “Remain in me and I will remain in you.” John 15:4.(NIV)
John 14:27 says “do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” That is peace. In the midst of the storm Jesus slept. He slept! How could he sleep? He was not troubled by the storm and he was not afraid.
The key is that God is always with us. Soaking ourselves in Jesus and his word is peace. Trusting in God is peace because then we don’t have to try to find it. The tests will come and maybe I haven’t arrived yet but at least I can say I know who is guiding me and that is the direction I am going.
My definition of peace has been transformed. It is in the middle of the chaos, turmoil and heartache that we crawl back to the shelter of the Most High God. If we drift from the shelter, we get unbalanced and peace leaves. Climbing into his lap of love and staying there we will find safety, security and the peace that passes all understanding.