Are You at Peace?

Are You at Peace? “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,                                                 live at peace with everyone.”  Romans 12:18 Are you at peace? What a blessing it is when we are at peace. At peace with ourselves, at peace with our circumstances, at peace knowing we did our best, at peace with others—those we love and those who are difficult to love. When we are at peace, life just seems to run more smoothly. However, sometimes perfectionism, fear, challenges beyond our scope, or difficult people can throw a wrench into our best laid plans, leaving us unsettled, even reeling. It all makes such good sense to strive to be at peace each day. Yet, it is hard as we strive for peace, the operative word here is, ‘strive.’ As the Winds Change Sometimes peace can be elusive. Left to our own devices, being at peace may be dependent on our mood, the challenge at hand, or even the erratic behavior of others. As the winds change, there goes our peace. Yet, most agree peace is worth pursing all the same. Sometimes, we are ill-prepared to embrace peace, and we let another person make it seemingly impossible to attain that goal; so we let them steal our peace and joy. Good Reason to Find Peace There is ample, good reason why peace and joy are two of the first fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. They are two of the nine manifestations of...

Part II: Joy Abounds

‘The joy of the Lord is your strength.’ Nehemiah 8:10 Joy abounds. I recently wrote about joy in a blog called ‘Unshakable Joy.’ However, it is important enough to continue on the topic, hence Part II. ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ For Christians, love and peace and joy are central concepts. God-based joy especially has the ability to help us live hope-filled lives in peace. There is no need for despair and/or hatred when you are confident that God is in control and fighting your battles for you. ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ When you believe God is at the helm and in control, you are more able to hop hurdles and challenges that would bog anyone down in their humanness. In fact, joy is a manifestation of God working in one’s life, and is accompanied by a deep, abiding peace. Happiness vs Joy Joy is one of the first fruits of the Holy Spirit. To experience joy in our lives is a blessed gift from God, an enduring treasure. Happiness is similar to joy. However, it leaves us feeling good for a time, then the feeling soon passes, as life presses on with its ongoing issues, challenges, frustrations, and disappointments. In essence, happiness is often a fleeting feeling, but joy is lasting as it stays with us even and especially as we enter into times of adversity. Happiness is dependent on one’s mood, environment, short comings, successes and accomplishments, where joy is more of an enduring internal state found when one experiences the peace that the Holy Spirit of Jesus brings. Joy...