I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about peace and what the elements of it are. I know, I know, there is a reason that in Phillipians it says that peace from the LORD “surpasses understanding” (my version says, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus”). But there is a huge urge within me to really know some of the contributing elements of peace.
So the elements of our lives contain many small portions of our perception of “life”.. for example.. to name just a few…
- Relationships.. (friendships.. spousal/intimate… acquaintances)
- Material… (our homes, belongings etc…) (these things are temporary)
- Surroundings.. (jobs, living situations, circumstances etc…)
- Passions… (hobbies, interests… the things we LOVE)
Anyway, maybe there are more, but those just came as I was brainstorming.
So all of these things make our world view, and our own personal outlook on life. It shows us what is important to us whether that’s work/making money, relationships in our lives, or our passions. All of these areas are present in our lives, and they make our realities. Sometimes, some areas take precedent over other areas. Maybe we are in a job we don’t enjoy, but we do enjoy the friendships we’ve formed, and on the material side we are able to afford a nice home, and more expensive things.
Most all decisions we make in life are because of one or more of these categories. For example, the only thing motivating Hindus to make their yearly journey/ once in a life journey to the Ganges is for religious purposes. The same with Muslims who participate in jihad. Their only motive is for religious purposes.. a “struggle or striving for god”.
This makes me think that one of the biggest struggles of humanity is for each individual to feel peace within themselves. This is especially true of Americans, since our society is the most individualistic of any. In some other cultures you also find this individuality, especially rising up in this upcoming generation. We strive for peace, fulfillment and a reason to live.
As Christians, we want to “feel” we are in the will of God. Though many times we know that our lives are dominated by being in “the valley” and searching for God. In “mystery revelation” theology, we also discover that often times God hides himself from us, and we have to search for him. We also have a reason to live as Christians, our purpose is stated clearly in Matthew 28. We are to spread the gospel’s light wherever we go. BUT, it’s also important to take our passions and loves in life into account. If I am passionate about surfing and really get along well with surfers, especially on a more spiritual and intimate way, then I clearly would not feel any sense of peace if I was living in Alaska.
Inner satisfaction, confirmation from the LORD, and knowing we are being used in our fullest capacity with all the gifts we have been given from the LORD are some ways that we feel peace here on earth. But then to look at another angle, we may go through years of our lives not feeling that inner peace that passes understanding, but knowing that we are making a difference and filling in the gaps of OTHERS needs.
In conclusion, I wanted to speak about how peace and truth coincide with on another. Sometimes, God grants us a season of peace in ONE AREA of our lives. For me personally, I feel so at peace with being exactly where I should be as far as my job and my passions go. I’ve also made some wonderful friends here that will be “life friends”. I’m experiencing so much, and I’m even discovering new passions and new desires in my heart that I truly never knew were there.
I’ve been disappointed in myself because I’ve felt peace in these areas, but then immediately jumped into other areas of my life that are not as “peaceful” or I have doubts about. Many of you who I am close with can probably guess what that area is, which I won’t go into at this time, but it was interesting to see myself become discontent in another area. Perhaps it’s human nature to compartmentalize and want to see every single facet of our lives at peace. It’s against our human nature to not have things all figured out. Maybe that’s why Paul talks about peace right after instructing us not to worry about the things we can’t control or don’t understand. What should we do? Pray. Then what? Many would ask… Pray. “Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done…. THEN YOU WILL EXPERIENCE GOD’S PEACE….”
So what does truth have to do with peace? Everything. We must cling to the truth we know about GOD, OURSELVES, and what’s been promised to us even when we don’t feel that peace. Even when we don’t feel GOD. Even when… We should pray. Thank him. Take the peace that he gives without questioning other areas. TRUST THE TRUTH OF GOD’S CHARACTER.
He is unchanging.
He is peace and truth in our lives.
We will never fully feel at peace on earth, and that’s also another truth we must cling to. Complete peace will only be experienced once we are face down, before his throne. And that I believe my friends, is truth.