Peace Begins With You: Make the Faith-Peace Connection

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. ~ C. S. Lewis

Peace in your life starts with you. No matter what other people are doing, saying or thinking about you, you are the one who decides how you will feel, think and act. You are the umpire of your own soul, and the prophet of your own life.

God gave you power in the beginning. He told you to be fruitful, to multiply (and that doesn’t mean just kids!), to have dominion. You are supposed to rule your own life. Following Jesus’ resurrection, He reaffirmed God’s plan. He told His disciples (and that includes us as His body), All power is given unto me … go ye therefore (Matt. 28:18-19). He authorized us – you and me – to use His power and authority, to have dominion, to speak His Words.

A Parable of Peace

Some time ago, one of my clients shared a story with me. She was at the bank. The tellers were discussing happiness. One said, “I’ll be glad when today is over.” Another said, “Well, I’ll be happy when I go on vacation next month.” A third piped up, “I’ll be happy when my kids go back to school!” They were waiting for some event before they could ‘be happy’.

My client told them, “You don’t need all those things. You can decide to be happy. You can put a smile on your face and tell yourself, ‘I’m going to be happy today and I’m not going to let anyone steal my joy and peace.’ That’s what I do.”

I was proud of her because there was a time when she would not have been able to say that. She unconsciously let other people’s actions steal the joy and peace from her life. (Why me? It’s not fair! They make me so mad!).

Don’t be Tempted

The devil wants to steal your peace, kill The Word in your heart and destroy your life (John 10:10). He’s your adversary. The Bible says he pretends to be a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). He can’t get you, though, unless you let him. Be vigilant. Be steadfast in faith (v 9). Don’t give in to the devil’s temptations. Don’t let doubt, fear, anger or unforgiveness trick you into Satan’s trap.

Instead, get back on your faith. Trust things to work out, even when you can’t see how. Affirm your faith in God, and don’t allow life’s pressures to overwhelm you. ‘Referee’ your emotions and hold on to your peace. Don’t let anyone steal your joy.

Seek Peace and Pursue It

A life of peace should be your normal state. If you are doing the best you know how, relax. Trust that God knows, understands, and has answers for your situations. He has plans for you, and if you’ll trust Him, He will bring those plans to fruition. (Didn’t He say ‘be fruitful’? If He spoke it, and He did, it’s yours!)  You can be fruitful – full of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy peace, self-control and all the rest. But it is your choice.

Here’s the key. You can’t worry and trust at the same time. Just like air and water, they cannot occupy the same space. Worry casts out peace and happiness. Faith and joy block fear, worry and stress.

Now, I’m not saying you will always feel giggly-happy. Life, after all, is not always thrilling. Some days, you might not really like the people you need to deal with. That includes your spouse and children. Sometimes, you might even feel tempted to run away from home! Don’t allow your feelings to govern your life.

The Bible says to ‘seek peace and pursue it.’ It requires effort to seek and pursue. The fruit of the spirit come from the inside out, not from the outside in. Use self-control to keep your emotions in check. Tap into your inner supply of love and joy. Choose a positive attitude in the midst of stressful situations. Say to yourself, “I am going to be happy today. I am rooted and grounded in love. I will not allow anyone to steal my peace or joy.”

Talk to Yourself

The Bible says Jesus ‘answered’ the fig tree. Did that tree speak? Apparently so. When He was tempted in the desert, he ‘answered’ Satan’s challenges by quoting the Word of God. Jesus always answered the tests and trials of His life with His Father’s Word.

Often, He answered before the question was even spoken. Since He is our example, we should do the same. Talk to yourself ahead of time! Speak peace and joy and blessing over your life and family before you start your day. Then use ‘instant replay’ to keep those promises active in your mind all day long.

Your attitude is directly affected by the words you think and speak. Faith talks. So does fear. You are the prophet of your life. What you say is what you get. Your words are the seeds of your harvest in life. What are you planting?

Every time you face a temptation to grumble or complain, talk to yourself. Stay on God’s side. He’s got victory, blessing and abundance ready for you. But you have to be on His team to win. Here’s the game plan: there’s God’s team and Satan’s team. You’re the umpire. You can let peace win, or you can let anger, disappointment and envy defeat you. You can call yourself ‘safe’ in God’s promises or ‘out’ of control.

Your mind is always chattering at you. Pay attention to those internal conversations. They are the source of either peace or turmoil. Don’t allow your mind-chatter to overwhelm your emotions. Talk to yourself. Remind yourself of your blessings. Be grateful for all that you have. Put a smile on your face and decide to be happy. Peace starts with you. Choose peace.

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