When was the last time you had peace in your life? Can you remember that feeling you had, that overwhelming sense of serenity? Was it after you struggled in your studies not knowing how you would make it through a course, only to succeed in that class and surpass your own expectations? Maybe it was that time when you didn’t have enough money to make it to the next paycheck and several bills were due. Remember how you felt when you received that money unexpectedly and not only were your bills paid, but you had more than you needed? Or that time (those times) when there was much chaos in your family and you didn’t know how things would turn out; despite your uncertainty, God worked everything out for you all and you were able to breathe again. Did you know that the peace you experience after the storms of life have dissipated or when those incredible feats have been conquered can be experienced all the time? In fact, we are encouraged to maintain this positive outlook and cheerful spirit in the midst of the difficult times; not only when they are behind us. James 1:2-4 states, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)

It’s not difficult to be cool, calm, and collected when things are well; however, the opposite is often true when situations are overwhelming. Though it’s no easy task, the Lord desires that we would have enough faith in Him to guide us through any and everything we could ever encounter, good, bad, or ugly; this trust in God, in turn, would help us to be at peace during every situation that we face. The apostle Paul offers words of advice to help us Christians (those outside of Christ cannot truly experience the peace of God) be more joyful and carefree, all the time. He shares, “Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts, offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” (Phil 4:4-7, CEV)

So goes the saying… no God, no peace; Know God, know peace!

MD 3/6/12