Last week I wrote about the amazing peace I felt regarding the outcome of my job application. The peace I felt wasn’t only for the job, it was for my life in general. I had such a calm, solid peace about where my life was heading, even though I had no idea where that was.
I am still at peace with the outcome of the job. Each day something I enjoy doing happens at work, and I also see how the other job would have ended up being just as many hours and probably more stress than my current position. As far as work goes, I am at peace.
Though I am at peace, I have not felt as though I have peace the past few days. Not the kind of supernatural peace I experienced for a couple of days last week anyway. It’s one thing to accept the outcome of a situation, but what I had for a few days was a complete peace about life in general. It was amazing. It was comforting. It was exciting. Now it’s gone…
It says in Psalms 34:14 Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
That verse has been running through my mind the last few days. I have been meditating on the work to maintain it portion. What does it mean to work to maintain it? Do I pray harder? Study more? Get up at 4am to write and workout so I feel better about myself? What kind of work do I have to do to keep my peace? Somebody please tell me!
Today it finally made sense to me. We are not to work as in earn our peace. God freely gives us peace just as He gives us all good things. The work is not in earning. The work comes in not letting anything steal it. The enemy of our faith hates nothing more than a Christian at peace and rest. He will pull out all the stops to rob us of our peace and get us back into worry, anxiety, fear and frustration.
As I look back on the last few days, nothing happened in my life. The circumstances of my life looked exactly the same. Nothing happened to cause me to lose the peace I had. The only changes in my life were the thoughts I had. I realized I had gone from excitement, hopeful, and confident to discouraged, frustrated, and weary. The feelings of doubt and discouragement crept in so sneakily that I didn’t even notice them until I was in full blown depressive and apathetic mode. Once I was there, it’s been hard finding my way back to peace.
I like the Message Translation of Psalm 34:14. It reads Embrace peace—don’t let it get away! I picture myself standing on the street with my purse and suddenly someone tries to grab it from me. I hang on for dear life, clutching it to my chest, not letting it go- and definitely not letting some punk get my goods!
If you find yourself struggling to find peace, I encourage you to take a moment to look at the thoughts you have been having. Has the enemy been filling you with doubt and discouragement? Is your head filled with “what-if” and “worst case” scenarios? Are you burnt out and weary? If so, you need to clutch onto Jesus and tell that punk satan to get his hands off your goods! Kick those negative thoughts to the curb and embrace God’s promises. I am finding my way back to peace. I know you can too!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your fierce and extravagant love. Thank you for the gift of peace. Help me maintain my peace by keeping my eyes on you and your promises instead of entertaining thoughts of fear, and discouragement. Speak to my heart when I say things that contradict the peace you want to give me. Help me to remain strong and hold on to the peace you give. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Love, Grace, and Peace For Us All,