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Having Peace in the Kingdom

Peace. What a simple word with such complicated undertones. When I think of peace, I’m thinking “peace and quiet;” no noise, no to-do list, no yelling, no fighting, no urgency, and absolutely no chaos whatsoever.

When you think of peace, what comes to mind?

I was listening to a podcast this morning and was reminded of the popular passage in Isaiah 9 concerning the Christmas story: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given” (Is. 9:6). At the end of this prophecy about Jesus’ birth, it says “His government and its peace will never end” (Is. 9:7, NLT). I got to thinking that we talk a whole lot about peace during Christmas, but ironically, it is one of the least truly peaceful times of the year. This year, especially, I have so much on my mind. So, my blog post today is totally going to help me as much as (I hope) it helps you, and here’s my question:

How can we have peace when there is so much chaos?

I think it’s important to remember that at the time Jesus was born, there was no peace. Just read the first few chapters of Matthew and Luke to get a clear picture. Read the rest of the Gospels, and you know that the political unrest of the time left a lot to be desired. Not unlike our time, huh?

When we want to actively pursue peace in our lives, I think there are three things we need to remember:

Stay in the will of God.
We can be at peace when we know that we are walking with the Lord. Paul tells the church to “put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Are you being renewed each day? Do you pursue the will of God?

Stay in the Word
Knowing the will of God involves immersing ourselves in scripture and discovering what He wants from His people. The Word reveals how God interacts with His people, and reading Scripture keeps us grounded in the knowledge of how God acts and the manners in which He does so. I always think about when Jesus was being tempted in the desert – how He knew God’s word so well He was able to combat Satan with it. Imagine being that confident in the Word, and how much less anxiety we’d face if we knew what it said so well!

Stay patient with Him.
Peace doesn’t always come easily. When we are wrestling with God or waiting for Him to answer us, we have to remember to stay patient with Him. He doesn’t work on our time. If He did, he wouldn’t be God; we would be! Paul says again in Romans, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). Wait for God’s timing.

Repeat!
Nothing comes easily without practice. When I was studying my piano degree, my teacher would always tell me that I needed to practice 3x as much as I thought. In other words, when my performance anxiety would overwhelm me, I would have practiced so much that nothing could stand in the way between me and a successful performance. It takes time, patience, and grit. Stay in the will of God, stay in the Word, and stay patient. And don’t forget to breathe.

- Karissa Mead