How to Hold Onto Your Peace

Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

A story came from WWI about a confrontation between British and German troops on a freezing Christmas Eve in France.  After months of war, amid the bodies of fallen comrades, a single German voice began to sing a Christmas carol. Somewhat in shock, British soldiers followed the caroler’s lead with a song of their own. Back and forth, songs rose above the frozen fields. Finally, in separate tongues but with the universal language of melody, French, British and German voices joined together in “Silent Night”. These sworn enemies then crossed no man’s land to share hugs and Christmas greetings. Both sides agreed to fire no shots on Christmas day.

Who do you need to make peace with?

What mental or emotional battle needs to be put to rest?

How do you hold onto peace in the midst of horrors like the Connecticut school shooting or the pressures of daily life?

Peace is the right and privilege of every Believer, given by God, demonstrated by Christ and strengthened by the Holy Spirit in you. When the angels appeared to the shepherds at Jesus birth, they did not declare wealth, privilege or an end to the world’s troubles. They proclaimed ‘Peace on earth’. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:13-14). Jesus was God’s gift of peace toward all mankind. He is the Prince of Peace.

LaterJesus explained, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). That part – the ‘let not’ – is our responsibility. Great peace is available to us but we have to hang onto it, refusing trouble and fear. We cannot allow ourselves to think like the world.

O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom (Job 13:5). We know when we should just keep our mouths shut! Wisdom is telling us to stay in peace. The challenge is actually doing it, biting back those stinging, sarcastic, hurtful words that create wounded feelings or angry responses.  Job was tired of his friends telling him what they thought and what he did wrong. Why do we insist on having the last word or proclaiming our rights at the expense of peace and harmony? Why does selfishness rule so easily? Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth …  (Judges 18:19).

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (Ex14:14). God said He is the rewarder, the judge and restorer. You don’t need to allow or hang onto hard feelings, anger or jealousy. Hold onto your peace, and let God work in the situation. Remember the verse in Romans that says all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose (v 8:28).  Faith says, “I trust You, LORD, to work this out.” Faith is the victory that overcomes the world and all its challenges (I John 5:4). Faith is the key to peace and every other blessing of God. If you trust Him, you won’t need to fight for yourself.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety (Ps. 4:8). How many nights have we lain awake, stewing about some situation or other that we can’t change anyway? One of the greatest lessons of life is to ‘let go and let God…’ It’s the nighttimes that our worried thoughts run rampant. We feel too tired to fight, so we let them play through our minds like a broken record. Round and round with no change of litany and no end. Instead listen to hymns, soothing music (or a Biblical teaching) to sidetrack your thoughts. Either you’ll fall asleep quickly or you will absorb some positive input to help strengthen your faith. After all, faith comes by hearing … (Rom. 10:17)

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it (Ps. 34:14). How many opportunities do we have every day to make someone feel better? How often do we ‘hold our peace’ when, instead, we should voice that compliment or offer comfort and understanding? How many times are we so wrapped up in our own agendas and issues that we fail to recognize the pain and troubles of other people? Seek peace. Look for ways to be the blessing that someone else needs. Not only can we pursue peace by sharing our love and compassion, we will discover gratitude for our own blessings.

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace (Ps. 29:11). It is important to understand that every negative thought, emotion and action are authored by the ‘prince of this world’, the one to whom Adam gave authority in the Garden of Eden.

Satan is still on the prowl, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8)? The first thing we need to remember at times like these – God is not the author of destruction or confusion. Jesus told us plainly, The thief comes … to steal, and to kill and to destroy: (John 10:10). It is as true today as it was in Jesus’ time. Herod killed every male child under the age of two just to eliminate his supposed successor, the one who was spoken of as ‘the newborn king’.

Remember, however, that God sent Joseph and Mary to Egypt to keep them out of harm’s way. (He financed the trip with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.) In the aftermath of the incident at Sandy Hook, we’ve heard stories of bravery and protection for many of those children and staff.

God is so full of light that no darkness can exist in His presence. When we allow ourselves to dwell on anger, greed, selfishness or other destructive emotions, we have stepped away from God’s strength, presence and protection. We have moved from light to darkness. Regardless of duration, a moment or a decade, those negative emotions and thoughts separate us from God’s peace and love. That price is not worth it.

John 10:10 ends with this statement from Jesus: I am come that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows (AMP).Later in the same book, Jesus confirms Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (AMP).

The key to peace is controlling our own thoughts, words and actions. Peace is, first of all, a choice. Our emotions will eventually support those choices, but we must make the decision first to stay in peace. God has given us the right to choose. If our choices align with His Word, we will experience His peace, love, forgiveness, mercy, favor and blessing in our lives. His peace is always available to us. We, however, have to step up and declare it by faith. In other words, Hold on and don’t let go!

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