We are all striving toward the “successful” life, though our definitions of success may often differ. Many of us place our effort in obtaining more and better things, reaching a higher status, or building greater security. Others involve themselves in more “spiritual” endeavors with ministry activities and service projects. But the root motivation for all our effort is the same – we all are seeking a life full of peace.
Unfortunately, the world trains us to simply set and then exceed our goals without ever taking the time to examine what our heart really longs for – we long for peace! I’m certainly not opposed to goals; but we must understand that meeting every single goal, by itself, will NEVER result in peace.
The lack of peace is, first and foremost, the result of our sinful condition. When man first chose to place his desire ahead of God’s perfect plan, sin entered the world and true peace became illusive; “when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:17). We will never obtain true peace through different governments, nor can we purchase or create peace by changing our surroundings. Peace begins with the forgiveness of sin through faith in Jesus and grows as we live in submission to the Holy Spirit; “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he said those who have placed their faith in Jesus now have a basic formula for a life of peace.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Our formula for peace is: (1) Rejoice, (2) Rejoice some more, (3) Be gentle, (4) Know God is near, (5) Remove all anxiety, and (6) Pray about everything with a thankful heart. Jesus promised that those who trust in Him will receive a peace beyond anything this world can understand: “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).
If our lives are lacking peace, the ONLY solution is to draw nearer to God, trust Him more, and rejoice (and rejoice and rejoice) as we are guided by His Spirit. Only then will we find the “success” we have been striving for – only then will we obtain what our heart longs for…the true peace of God!
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries