Peace – a state of tranquility or quiet, freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions, harmony in personal relations, used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell.
Peace comes to us in different ways at different times in our lives. Each situation or circumstance is different and the peace that comes with it is equally different. One thing for sure though is peace comes from only one source, true peace comes only from one person, and that’s God. I have found myself throughout my almost 33 years of life in different circumstances and needing peace, and it has amazed me that each time the peace comes in a different way, and never quite feels the same. However, each time it is always the way I need it, when I need it and how I need it. That’s because I have seeked the peace from God and He knows better than I do how I need that peace. 2 Thessalonians 1:2 tells us, Grace and Peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Peace comes from only one source, true peace can only come from God, and the beautiful thing is it doesn’t matter what the situation or circumstance may be. He can give us and will give us, if we ask, the peace that we need and desire. Sometimes we may think and feel that no one can possibly understand what we’re going through because no one has been what we we have been through, and although people around us who love us and care for us try to offer us peace and comfort through their words, we often reject them because we think to ourselves, “They don’t know how I feel, this has never happened to them”. Maybe that’s true, maybe that person has never felt exactly what we’re feeling, maybe they have never been through what we are going through, but if this person has God set as a priority in their life, they are simply offering to you the way to peace through God! Because as a christian we know this, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7. We know that God understands everything that we’re going through and how we’re feeling, God feels what we feel, when we cry and hurt God holds every tear in His hands, and when we’re down and sad, God desires for us to be happy and lifted up, God knows and understands better and more than anyone, and when we realize that and come to Him for peace, He fills us with that peace.
There have been times in my life that while the storms are raging against me and all around me I would pray and ask God to calm the storms. I wanted everything to be calm again and at complete peace. I can recall days of great pain and many tears, and feeling so down, and I would cry out to Jesus and ask for peace in the situation. While there have been times that God did calm those storms around me, there have also been times that the storms surrounding me kept raging. I felt sometimes in those situations like Jesus disciples did inMatthew 8:23-27 when Jesus was on the boat with them and a furious storm come upon them and Jesus was sleeping and they went and woke him up and said, “Lord, Save us! We’re going to drown!”, and just like His disciples then, I also heard “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Wow! Talking about a knock upside the head and heart! It reminds me of one of my favorite songs, Sometimes He calms the Storm, there are times in our lives when God will calm the storm, but at other times in our lives He will use the storm to teach us and make our faith stronger. We may feel like He doesn’t hear our prayers, but He always hears our prayers and He will always do what is best for us! He knows our needs better than we do! In the recent months & years I have had several raging storms come against me, and I am grateful that God took care of me during these storms. Some rated as a “Severe Thunderstorm” others rated as a “Tornado/Hurricane”, and although God waited quite some time during the tornado/hurricane storm, He did come to calm the storm around me. But I believe not one moment before He knew He should. He taught me a lot through that storm, and some of the greatest things have come from that storm in my life. The greatest blessings ever came from that storm and because of that I can sit here and say that I am grateful to God for it! I’m not jumping up and down at the pain that I had to feel, the horrible gut wrenching pain, not happy about everything that took place, but I am SO eternally grateful for where I ended up after the storm cleared! It’s truly amazing and a miracle in what God has done in our lives through that storm! men!Psalm 107:28-30 says, Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper, the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. It goes on to say in Verse 31, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men” This is what God done for us!! This is the reason why that we could shout from the mountain tops about what God had done in our lives! This is what God commanded us to do after He calmed our storm, we gave thanks for His amazing unfailing love in our lives and what He did for us. We couldn’t stop thanking Him, we couldn’t stop sharing it with people that He is so AWESOME in what He did for us! I know that others can’t truly understand unless they’ve been through it, but God performed some major miracles in our lives, He transformed and Conformed!! For this reason, we will always give thanks to God, and we will strive to live each and everyday the way and do what He has commanded us to do and that’s to share it, to go tell it!!
The “Severe Thunderstorms” however, God chose not to calm the storm, but calm me instead. Now because of that, it has been hard for me. But I recognize that this is an area of my personality and character that I have prayed and asked God to help me in and to release me from, therefore I know that is what He’s doing, He’s teaching me to do exactly what I asked him for. God has spoken to me so many times through this thunderstorm and has instructed me on what to do, what to say, when and where to do it and say it. I may have not always thought it was fair what I was being asked to do, and I admit, I threw some temper tantrums and whined about it, but I have done it. He has allowed me to face persecutions, He has allowed people to turn away from me, He has allowed me to face things that are the exact things that I’ve been praying about for help with. I didn’t recognize that at first though, those were in my “tantrums” when I fussed, moaned and groaned. But God spoke to me and said, Do not worry about it, Do not be anxious about it, I know what is best for you, where I want you, what I want for you, and I will place you there, and I will remove what I need to remove, and in the end you will see that trusting me has been worth it! During this time God has constantly put this verse before me and has shown it to me over and over, has had me hear it in so many different ways!
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I even read further and heard God speaking to me, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you and will bring you back from captivity. Jeremiah 29:12-14
These verses God has placed in front of me countless times, even just last night through a friends status message! If we have an open heart ready to receive Him, He will help us, He will lead us, guide us, and show us the way. But we can’t close our heart off from Him, and I have news that if you do, Eventually He will get you!! You will come to a point in your life where you desire him and you’ll stop fighting it, however, this usually happens at a moment in our lives where we hit rock bottom because we did keep fighting him! Rock bottom is not a fun place to be, but it’s a necessary place to be so that we can come back to the one who loves us!
It was through these verses along with other messages that He sent to me through quiet time with him that I realized He wasn’t going to calm the storm around me, He was going to calm me. And He has! I know I still have a lot of work to do in removing these character flaws of mine of caring so much what other people think, of having this obsessive need to have everyone like me, of feeling approval and validation. And he has shown me that I can’t keep people from believing what they want to believe about me or other things, or from talking and saying things that shouldn’t be said. However I have realized that God is my defender, I don’t need to try and defend myself any longer. I don’t need to try and protect my character, God will do that for me in His time. Psalm 91:1-2 says “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!”
Refuge means shelter or protection from danger or distress, a place that provides shelter or protection, something to which one has recourse in difficulty. I am under construction and God is my constructor, He is answering my prayers, and though they may not be in the way that I would like them to be answered, He is answering them. He knows me better than I do, and obviously this is the only way I will learn, is my hands on experience!
I am learning that it doesn’t matter if people doesn’t agree with decisions I make in my life, as long as I know that I am doing what God has told me to do.(Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9)
I am learning that it doesn’t matter if people don’t like me because My God loves me, He created my heart just the way it is and for a purpose and if it’s rejected by others, I am never rejected by God! I do not need the approval of others, only the approval of God! (“Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ! Galatians 1:10)
I am learning that not everyone will accept me for who I am, and that’s okay! I am who God created me to be, I am fearfully and wonderfully created! (For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalms 139:13-14)
So during my thunderstorm, “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among me and said to me, “Peace be with you” (Luke 24:36) (Putting myself into the verse)
What an awesome feeling of Peace that God has given me in so many situation and circumstances in my life. The last two years of my life has countless examples of our storms of life, and the peace that God gives to us during that time. He is AMAZING, LOVING, CARING, AWESOME, and what He is doing in my life is so WONDERFUL! I feel Him in my life and in my heart more than I ever have before, and it’s such a AWESOME feeling! I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, No, not even for all the storms that I have been through, not for all the pain & hurt I have felt, not for any of the persecutions that have come against me, not for the challenges, not for any “friends” that I have lost, not for the all the pruning that He has done in my life! I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING!
When God works in our lives we can’t let it all be for nothing. If I didn’t submit to Him after all of this then everything I have been through would have been for nothing, and I don’t want to waste it! I am on top of the world, floating on cloud 9, standing up on that Mountain of God!! Praise the Lord!! What I feel in my heart is simply amazing and so hard to describe!! I am so alive! I feel it for the first time in a very long time!! God is so amazing and awesome and if we just let him work in our lives the way he wants to and just be the clay in his hands, He makes some beautiful molds out of us! I just want to live for Jesus, I just want His light to shine through me always!! He has been so good to me!!
“He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire! Be still, and know that I am God! Psalms 46:9-10