“What Is” Series: Peace

He is our peace

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”–St. Francis de Sales

What is peace? According to Merriam-Webster, peace (n) is:

  • a state of tranquility or quiet freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
  • harmony in personal relations
  • a state or period of mutual concord between governments–a pact or agreement to end hostility
  • used inter jectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting for farewell

Some phrases associated with peace include: hold one’s peace; speak now or forever hold your peace; at peace with; keep the peace; make peace; peace and quiet; peace out; peace of mind; rest in peace; peace offering; peace in the valley; and peace in the midst of the storm.

Of all the topics in my “What Is” series, I can honestly say that “peace” is one that I struggle with the most in my life. Quieting oneself in the midst of chaos/discord is not an easy task. One would have to ask the question, “Am I always in a state of tranquility, quiet or calm during difficult situations that arise in my life?” We probably all agree that life is not always quiet and tranquil, yet the Word of God clearly teaches us to “focus our thoughts on things of God because He is our source of peace.”

Let me share the following scriptures (NIV) as a reference to help us “in the midst of the storm” when we are on balmy waters:

II Corinthians 13:11 (Paul’s words to the Corinthians): “Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfections, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

Luke 8:48: “Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Romans 8:6: “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”

Psalm 4:8: “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Ephesians 2:14: “For he himself is our peace.”

Psalm 29:11: “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”

I Corinthians 14:33: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”

Galatians 5:22: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace.”

Whenever we have doubt, trouble, or chaos in our lives, John 16:33 (NIV) reminds us of Jesus’ words to his disciples: “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus also tells us in Philippians 4:6-7 that “we should 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 Jesus Christ.” (NIV)

We began this series with Truth and ended the series with Peace. In John 14:6 (NIV): Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Finally, Jesus tells us in John 14:27 (NIV): “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.”

When we focus our thoughts on the things of God, he will be our source of “inner peace”.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he make his face to shine upon you and give your peace.

Blessings,

Yvonne

“What Is” Series: Joy

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home…it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.”–Chuck Patahniuk

Merriam-Webster defines joy (n) as:

  • the emotion evoked by the well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: Delight
  • the expression or exhibition of such emotion: Gaiety
  • a state of happiness or felicity (bliss)
  • a source or cause of delight

Joy is not just a smile or a laugh. Joy is a state of mind–state of contentment, confidence, and hope deep within our souls. Joy is the product of fellowship with the Father and Son (I John 1:3-4).

Joy denotes happiness–if you are joyful then you are happy.

Some phrases that describe joy are: afternoon delight, beside myself with joy, bundle of joy, weep for joy, wish someone joy, joyride, leap for joy, a joy to behold, and pride and joy to name a few.

But how does the Word of God describe joy (NIV):

Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

James 1:2-3: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

John 16-24: “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful (joyful) heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

John 16:22: “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

I Peter 1:8: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”

Romans 14:17: “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Psalms 16:11: “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”

John 15:11: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

Proverbs 10:28: “The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.”

Isaiah 55:12: “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

God’s Word is filled with promises that God makes to His people that He will fill them with an “inexpressible and glorious joy”; fill us with “joy in His presence”; “His joy may be in you and your joy may be complete”; and we will “go out in joy and be led forth in peace.” These are wonderful promises to us all that no matter what we are going through–no matter what the circumstances are in our lives–we can be filled with God’s presence and He can fill our hearts with joy as we trust in Him to work everything out for our good.

We serve a mighty God. This should make us all smile and be joyful. Go forth and find joy in the journey God has set before you for “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”

Blessings,

Yvonne