I marveled that I could travel from peace to distress in a matter of minutes. One moment I felt joyful, expectant, hopeful, even when suddenly, a fearful thought passed through my mind and took my breath away. Did I have reason to fear? I had a cause for concern, maybe. But my potential circumstance was a raindrop, and my wild imagination turned it into a storm. How did that happen?

I retraced my steps. I noticed niggling fears and worries that I’d left unresolved within me. I tucked them away for a more opportune time (no such thing). I went about my days and made a note of the ways God had been faithful to His Word. I felt gratitude and expectant about the promises I was still contending for. 

But I realized that my sense of assurance was entirely circumstantial. I felt joy and peace because life felt less complicated than it’s felt in recent years, which is not a bad thing. But what I didn’t realize is this: the kind of peace God makes available to us isn’t circumstantial at all. It’s His mighty presence. His enough-ness. His strong assurance that He’ll never forsake us and always be with us. His faithful promise is that when it’s all said and done, we’ll be the ones who win in the end.

I decided to lay hold of that kind of peace. The true peace of God. Available to us on the beach, in the storm, and when we feel alone in the battle. The kind of peace that calms our hearts when people misjudge us or wrongly assess our situation. Is this kind of peace genuinely possible for us? Yes, it is.

Recently I spoke with Chip Ingram about his new book, I Choose Peace: How to Quiet Your Heart in an Anxious World. He challenges us to purposefully work our way through the passage from Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

How might it change your day, your perspective, and consequently, your health if you fixed your thoughts on what is right and true and honorable and holy? What if these virtues became the filter through which you viewed life? 
You’d become a source of great wisdom and insight for many. 

Chip writes:  

We are loved unconditionally, live under the umbrella of His favor, and walk out His amazing plan for our lives. We are God’s workmanship, His artistry and poetry, designed for a purpose He specifically ordained for us from before the foundation of the world. That’s a big deal. It’s honorable and noble.

Peace is ours because we are His. But we have a choice in the matter. May we put a higher priority on the peace that comes from God. It’ll change our lives. It’ll change our world.  

 

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