We desperately long for peace. The businessmen facing the pressures of a merger, a homemaker trying to corral the kids, a student coping with insecurity at school, a single adult desiring of a mate want peace. But most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, have to admit that we experience more stress, frustration, and hostility than peace.
Here are four simple yet profound steps to peace.
- Rejoice no matter what.
Rejoicing is clearly a scriptural command. To ignore it is disobedience. Rejoicing is to the soul what aeration is to a lawn. Aeration pokes holes in the lawn to loosen the soil so it can breathe so the roots of the grass can grow and the lawn can become healthier.
2. Don’t be anxious.
Worry and anxiety are a great source of stress. Worry is assuming responsibility that God never intended for us to have. It’s playing God, trying to control the uncontrollable. Worry is worthless. It cannot change the past or control the future. It only messes you up right now. It is an incredible waste of energy Worry is like weeds in the lawn. Weeds will choke the grass out. Left unattended, a lawn will eventually return to a pasture of weeds. That’s what worry does to our lives. It chokes out our joy, stifles our spirit, harasses us mentally, strings us out emotionally, strangles us spiritually, and diminishes our motivation.
3. Pray about everything.
To root out the weeds of worry in the lawn of your life we need healthy grass. Water is essential to a healthy lawn. Water loosens the soil, nourishes the roots, and provides nitrogen and oxygen to the grass. Because of the abundance of rain in the spring, or a sprinkler system, the grass is healthy and lush. Prayer is like that rain. God showers us with his blessings and raining down his care upon us.
4. Think positive thoughts.
Philippians 4:8 is like a nutrient list on the fertilizer bag, telling us exactly which thoughts to supply in order to grow a peaceful, stress free mind. Thoughts that are: true, consistent with God and his Word; noble, worthy of respect; right, just and holy; pure, morally clean; lovely, pleasing and gracious; admirable, highly regarded; excellent, top quality; praiseworthy, deserving of high recognition. Our thinking may not clear up immediately. Re-growing a lawn takes some time and effort, too. Once it’s done, maintenance is a whole lot easier. When a weed invades a healthy lawn, it’s obvious. But if a weed appears in a larger patch of weeds, it just blends in with all the rest, and we are overwhelmed. In the same way, a thought of worry is more obvious when the mind is filled with peace. As thoughts become more peaceful, worry becomes a trigger that reminds us to analyze our thinking.
When we put these four steps into practice the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. When the stressful events of life come, God will put a garrison, a sentry guard, around our hearts and when worry comes knocking on our doors he will protect us with his peace.
Did you know that if we practiced love our relationships would be stronger, our jobs would be more meaningful, our ailments would be fewer? Earlier this year I wrote an encouraging book on love called Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love. The book gets its title from perhaps the greatest statement ever made on love by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13. It provides a guide to love, if practiced will make us well and whole. Click here to claim your copy.