** Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. ** 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Fragile, vulnerable and so easy to let it slip out of our hands.
We can be at peace, relaxed and content one minute and the next minute we can be afraid, anxious, angry or frustrated.
Maybe that’s why Paul wrote **peace always by all means**…
Because the Lord doesn’t fail on His part, right? Jesus Christ is our peace. He is peace personified. So, if we lose our peace it is not because the Lord is not being who He is or is not doing His job. It has a whole lot to do with us and how we process the surprises in life.
Philippians 4 tells us ** Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving…**…and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding..**
In other words, –don’t worry–pray–pray some more–and be thankful. And we will have peace again–if we truly trust the Lord to walk us through the surprises. This process really only works if we are willing to accept the Lord’s sovereignty in our day-to-day. It is easier to say that we accept the challenging parts of our Christianity in a general sense. Yes, we understand that we will suffer as Christians, but we are not always happy when He brings that suffering to us today.
I am an expert at losing my peace. I am so oversensitive, I let everything and everyone get under my skin. I take my eyes off the Lord and forget to put everything in His Hands and I stop being thankful for the good that is right in front of me.
Again and again, I have let those little trouble bugs eat away at my peace. I’ve let other’s opinions and unkind words break my heart and discourage my spirit. I have let financial or family issues keep me up at night.
I, too often, have turned my back on the Lord’s peace and walked into a place of turbulent confusion and anxiety.
Over time, I have learned to stop myself in my tracks and turn back to the Lord and seek His peace. Some days it is easier to turn back than others. But it always depends on me.
I am the one who needs to stop worrying, fretting, commiserating, and whining. I am the one that needs to remember that the Lord’s peace is already here waiting for me to take hold of it. Because He doesn’t move out of His place or turn off His peace. It is me. It is always me.
I have also had to learn that the only opinion of me that really matters is God’s. And He loves me unconditionally, in spite of my faults. When I remember that, I can calm down and not relive the gossip and betrayals of others.
I’ve learned that the Lord is my provider. If He chooses to have me in a place of need then it is because he wants to teach me something. I try to focus on the lesson and not the need.
The lesson may be that I needed to learn to ask for help. Maybe I needed to be more content with what I already had. Maybe I needed to be a better steward. Maybe I needed to simply get a job to help with the expenses. Maybe I just needed to pray more and then some more and ask the Lord to sell some of the *cattle on a thousand hills* and send some of his profit my way. 🙂
I have also learned to trust the Lord and His Word when it comes to family. I am not in charge of their lives. He is. I need to give Him room to work in them, in His way, in His time. I do what I can. I point them to Him. And then I need to get out of the way. I need to pray more and do less. I need the victory to be His and not mine. I need to trust more in the power of His Word, that it will not return void. It will not fall to the ground. It will accomplish that which it is sent to do. Worry or making demands will not get what I want like faith in Him and in His Word.
** give you peace always by all means**…
If I want to be peaceful always, I need to learn to stop wrenching my life, that I gave Him a long time ago, out of His Hands and trust Him to deal with each of my problems every day through prayer and gratitude.
I wish the same for all of you. Peace. Always. By all means.