Peace Beyond Understanding
(originally published February 10, 2013)
My name is Britt and I'm a worrier. I have been worry free for two days. That's right: two whole days. Now, that might not seem like much of an accomplishment, but then again I'm not very good at not worrying.
If most women were honest, they would admit their struggle with worry. I've had dozens of conversations with women over the years who have confessed their struggle with worry. I believe women are more prone to it as caretakers of the heart, but men struggle as well. It's in our human nature to worry, and it's an unhealthy cycle we must break.
I realized a few months ago that I had a worry problem. And I mean, major problem. To be more specific, I have an issue with catastrophizing in any situation I don't have all the answers (which is most of the time). Do you ever do that? Do you come up with elaborate situations that often end bad because you just expect everything to fall apart? It's almost an attempt to prepare yourself for what you think is inevitable...to be disappointed. I am an expert. But I began to realize that it was hurting so many aspects of my life and decided I wanted God, that I needed God to deliver me from it. It's exhausting to live in such a way and I didn't want to be exhausted from worrying for the rest of my life. As a result, I started researching PEACE.
On my search for peace, I found John 14.27.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."
When God spoke that to me, that's all I wanted. I wanted a peace that came from God; that only He could give. You see, the worlds peace is temporary. I don't believe there's ever been a truce that actually ever lasted. Wars erupt yearly. But God's peace; now that peace doesn't end. Because God IS peace and He is the Giver of peace.
I also found great comfort in Philippians 4.7,
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
A peace that surpasses all understanding and guards your mind and heart. What a beautiful verse. The word "guard" is the same reference to a guard taking stand at the gates. Peace wants to stand at the door of your heart and guard against the worries of this world entering. I want that, don't you?
You see, peace isn't the absence of trouble. In most cultures, peace is the absence of anything bad or negative. But God's peace is peace within the troubling times! God's peace guards us when times are hard and the wind is blowing and the situation seems bleak. However, in order to have that peace, we must have trusting hearts. You see, it is the troubled hearts that are the ones that lack trust in God, and because there is not trust, there is worry. We must have confidence that our God is above and greater than any situation or trouble. When we have confidence in who He is, He blesses us with a peace that surpasses any understanding.
Key to this pursuit of peace is a love for His Word. Psalm 119.165 says,
"Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble."
For those who fill themselves up with God's Word, there is peace. It is necessary for us to have a love and desire for Scripture. When we fill ourselves up with the promises of God, how could we not trust him?! There will be no room for worry if we are full of the Word!
There is so much I could say in here in regards to what I'm learning about peace, but there just isn't enough space or time at this point. However, what is clear for us to take away is that God is peace and it comes from Him. What is required of us is firm faith and solid trust in God. It's a pursuit of peace.
I pray that when you find yourself is difficult and unknown circumstances that you'll fight the inclination to worry and rather pursue peace. I know it's a major lesson God is teaching me at this point in life and I hope to one day say that I was a worrier, but by God's grace I am an overcomer through Jesus Christ and that peace rules in my life! I pray that for you as well.
*Other verses pertaining to peace to pray: Psalm 29.11, 2 Thessalonians 3.16, Romans 14.19, Isaiah 26.3