Whoever listens to Me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster
Proverbs 1:33, ESV
God’s Gift of Peace
God’s gift of peace is free, but sometimes we struggle to feel it. Some days, I wonder about this peace of mine—where did it go? Did it get stuck under my pillow when I made my bed? Maybe I rinsed it down the drain, when I was in the shower? When my husband left for work, did I send my peace away with him?
Peace doesn’t really get “lost” because it’s a gift from God,
but sometimes it feels lost,
and we wonder where it went and when it’s coming back.
Jesus warns that life is full of hardship. In fact, it’s not a matter of if, but when, trouble will come:
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
Today’s Proverb talks about enjoying God’s gift of peace because we listen to Him, because we shama. The Lord gave us the Hebrew word Shama to teach us this deeper meaning: all of our hearing of/listen to God is linked tightly to our obedience.
You might wonder, how can obedience bring us peace? As for me, obedience has always been a struggle, rather than a comfort. If we are under the law of grace, as Paul says in Galatians 3, do we have to obey? Truth is, obedience is not an Old Testament idea because Jesus said that anyone who loves Him will obey Him.
Our obedience is possible only through the help of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-31, NLT).
Is Peace Married to Obedience?
How is peace related to obedience? As we obey the LORD, we acknowledge His right-ness (His righteousness) and our un-righteousness—to acknowledge God’s righteousness with our lives is to walk in His way. In a life of walking with the Lord, there is security and peace from being in His presence.
When we face difficulties we must remember what Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27, NLT). We need to remember that peace is a free gift for those who walk with the Lord.
Peace in the Midst of Chaos?
2011 was a hard year for me. That year, I experienced peace in the midst of extreme difficulties, twice, because I felt the presence of Jesus:
- When my mother was unexpectedly diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer, I was very sad, but strangely at peace. I was not worried about her. I knew that times ahead would be hard, and could end her life, but her tremendous faith meant she was already in the arms of Jesus. What a gift she gave her family – her faith enabled her to dwell secure, at ease, without the dread of disaster, which was a comfort to the rest of us
- Around the same time, my son Josh had a terrible bout with asthma, which triggered GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). These two diseases worked together so that he had to constantly carry a trashcan around the house. Every time he coughed, sneezed, or cleared his throat, he would gag or vomit. This was all day and all night. I slept in his room for 2 months, before we got the right diagnosis and treatment. When I had to go to the store and run errands, he carried an emesis bag. It began to feel like a horrible “new normal”.
In many ways, Josh’s illness was different my Mom’s. And on my end, it had a lot to do with my peace. While I had peace in knowing that Josh was in God’s hands, I still lived in constant dread. While I knew that God was in control, I felt responsible for fixing the problems since the doctors were failing us. It was terrible, but I was never alone. Such a gift! I cannot imagine being able to walk through that time without Him.
Is Worry Wrong?
I still struggle with worry—about relationships, about choices, about my loved ones’ health, and more. Worry really kills my joy; it’s just bad!! And worry runs rampant in the absence of faith. Faith believes and hopes. Worry doubts and fears. Faith knows God is powerful and good. Worry says that God can’t or won’t help.
From childhood, worry has been my constant companion, but now it’s more like that old friend who was a bad influence—someone to be avoided. I know that, when I lack peace and security, I must listen to God, to hear and do His will. A good place to start is here:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Do you struggle with worry? How’s your peace today? I’d be happy to pray for you, if you need it!
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