What would you give to have perfect inner peace for the rest of your life? No worries. No anxiety. No fear or shame. Just peace, satisfaction and contentment. You would probably give almost anything to achieve such peace, but sadly, there is nothing we can do to guarantee perfect peace in this life.
Peace, or the satisfaction of our soul, comes from a close relationship to God, for that is what our souls are made for. Were it not for Jesus, we would be completely alienated from God and completely without peace. But even as redeemed sons and daughters of God, many of us still experience great inner turmoil. When was the last time you went more than week without feeling stressed, afraid, ashamed, worried, etc. Peace is something I have always struggled with. So if you are like me, such negative feelings are familiar enemies of your soul.
I used to think I was a helpless victim to these feelings, but I now believe that was a lie of the enemy. If we believe peace to be unattainable, we will have no reason to fight for it. But peace is within reach. Jesus died to completely heal our relationship with God. We are meant to have peace, so let us consider how to achieve it. The following 3 practices have been extremely helpful for me on my journey, but I encourage you to think of as many ways as possible to fight for peace.
1. Humble yourself under God
Peace is broken by sin. So the first step to repairing peace is repentance. Perhaps your peace has been broken by worry and fear because you are not trusting God. Perhaps your peace has been broken by guilt and shame for a past sin. Perhaps your peace has been broken by putting all your hopes in something less than God, something that can’t satisfy your soul. Whatever it is, admit it to yourself and God and apologize for it. Maybe you don’t even know how you have sinned, but you can feel that something is wrong. Your repentance does not need to be perfect. It makes a world of difference to sincerely express to God in any way possible that you are sorry for any evil that may be in your heart, mind, or actions.
2. Commit yourself to God
Apologizing is great, but it is not enough. You have to show that you are serious. You have to commit to be different, or else what does your apology really mean? Committing yourself to God does not mean that you will be perfect. It means that in the moment of your repentance, you decide that the future is going to be different. You destroy all plans for sin. You take precautions to prevent yourself from sin. Even if you don’t know what your sins are, you commit yourself to not sinning and figuring it out. You begin to cry out to God to cleanse you and keep you from the sins you are so desperately trying to fight. It doesn't make us perfect, but the act of sincere commitment to God brings unexplainable peace and is necessary daily.
3. Tell yourself the truth about God
God is God! He loves you! He forgives you! He has everything under control, so there is no need to worry or be afraid! He gives His children strength to overcome sin when they cry out to him! You probably already knew all this, but how deeply does your heart believe it? What can you do to convince your heart of all these life changing truths about God? Preach them to yourself over and over. There is a cosmic war being waged for your heart, and you will not win that war unless you regularly and passionately convince your heart to its core of God’s care for you, His power over everything, His forgiveness for anything, etc.
It might take time and effort, but peace is within reach! Jesus destroyed every true barrier between you and God with His perfect blood shed on the cross.
For Reflection: Philippians 4:6-9, James 4:8