Monday, November 5, 2012

"Pursuing Peace" Week 1: What is Peace?

Today marks the beginning of our series on Pursuing Peace. My aim is to encourage a spirit of peace and harmony in our homes as we begin to enter the stressful and chaotic holiday season that is now upon us.


What is peace?

A worldly definition of peace is "a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict and the freedom from fear of violence."

But the Hebrew word for peace--shalom--has a much more complex meaning. Instead of simply freedom from war or conflict, shalom actually means "being in a state of wholeness or with no deficiency."It refers to making restitution when something a person has is lost or stolen. It is completeness, contentment, and harmony.

We are sinners. Without the blood of Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), we have no hope of peace. But because Jesus bore the punishment we deserved, we are made whole and complete. Thus, we have peace only because Christ took our sins upon Him:
"But He was pierced for our transgressions,  He was crushed for our iniquities;  The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed." 
Isaiah 53:5
True peace is not found in positive thinking or in having good feelings; it isn't something we can achieve through our own efforts.

True peace comes from knowing God is in control no matter what. 

What does this mean for you and me?

Spiritual Application

For non-Christians, the only way to achieve true lasting peace is through Jesus Christ. If we accept Him through faith and obey His Word, then Jesus Himself promised that we will have peace through the Holy Spirit:
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 14:27
For Christians, we must continue walking in faith, letting God's peace guard our hearts against any fears and anxieties that may threaten to overwhelm us. Even though we will face difficult times, we need to remember that Christ has overcome sin and death; He has already won the victory. We can take peace in that!

Take some time this week to examine your spiritual life. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I truly turned my life over to the Lord? 
  • Who is in control of my life: Me or Him?
  • Do I feel God's perfect peace dwelling in me? Or have I allowed worldly fears and doubts to steamroll me?
  • Can I let go and let God?
If you are like me and need to let go of the steering wheel, pray that the Lord will help you submit your will to Him. Ask Him to help you find peace in Him once again.


Practical Application

Brew yourself a cup of tea or coffee and sit quietly with the Lord just for a few minutes each day this week. No TV, music, or kids screaming in the background but total quiet. {If you live in a loud house like mine, wait until nap time or bedtime.} Sit, relax, tune out the cares of your world, and tune in to God. Let Him speak His will to you. Let the Holy Spirit flood you with his peace. 



Praying for you as we pursue peace,


Linked to: The Better Mom, Time-Warp Wife, Raising Homemakers, Raising Arrows, Growing Home, & Women Living Well



4 comments:

  1. Well said! I've really enjoyed reading your blog today, and am your newest follower on GFC. We're neighbors at Time-Warp Wife this week. Blessings, Gin

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    1. Thanks, Gin! I'm glad you stopped by. Blessings to you!

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  2. I'm a controller. I like to be in control. There's only one problem: I'm not God. And I'm not in control.
    When I'm trying to be in control, my hands are clenched tight, and, yeah, no peace.
    Slow down? Solitude? Very important! Thanks.
    The technique I've been using to let go is to make a list of little things God has blessed me with. A gratitude journal. That small thing really helps build trust.

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    1. Paige, I really like the idea of a gratitude journal. What a great way to count your blessings!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
      Keri

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