The Secret to Great Peace

Young woman sitting near wheat field, reading.

Great peace have those who love your law,
    and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165

A great inner peace is something that all of us want to experience, yet it seems that few actually enjoy this beautiful reward in their own personal life. Why is it? Why don’t more of God’s people experience this precious tranquility? Could it be that the secret to great peace is actually found in delighting in the Scriptures? The psalmist reminds us that those who love God’s law have great peace.

Maybe you are familiar with people who pour over the pages of scripture and live with a daily inner peace despite the challenges they may face. Perhaps it is because as they reflect on God’s written word, their minds are reminded of His unfailing love. They are reassured of His power and strength to care for their every need as they find their hope in the Bible. Yet someone who doesn’t invest in getting to know the Bible is not able to live by that same sort of reassurance.

Isaiah wrote:

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
(26:3)

As our minds are focused on Him through the reading of His Word, our faith can’t help but grow and flower into a perfect peace. Jesus spoke about peace when He said,” These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Jesus is the fulfillment of the law, so if we look once again at the first phrase of Psalm 119:165 and insert Jesus’ name, we see it with a fresh joy. “Great peace have those who love Jesus.” Let us love the One who came to give us peace with God and peace within our hearts when the storms of life come our way.

Thank you Lord, for giving us a great peace that only you can give. My friend, will you join me in reading His Word each day and delighting in His love and care for you?

For more about reading God’s Word, check out Becoming a Woman of the Word.

Creating Calm

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4 Tips for More Peace and Less Stress

Need a little calm in your life? Between the gazillion emails hanging over your head or the crazy amount of activities in your life or the unexpected daily challenges and distractions, perhaps a little peace sounds like a good thing. Although we may not be able to change our circumstances, we can learn to experience calm despite the chaos. Here are four ways to decrease the tension and increase the peace.

Walk and Talk: A simple walk can do wonders for your perspective. Not only does exercise increase the endorphins (one of the happy hormones in the brain), but you can also benefit from enjoying God’s great creation. Sunshine and nature have a calming effect on our emotions, and help us relax physically. As you walk, talk  (not aloud of course) with the Lord and praise Him for His many attributes.  In the Old Testament we read about Enoch who walked with God.  When we praise the Creator of all things, a deep delight wells up in us and replaces the anxieties, worries or fears that may be rumbling around in our minds. Praising God is an exercise of rejoicing in who He is, and reminding ourselves that our great and loving Heavenly Father is bigger than our cares.

Guard your Mind: Often our thought-life robs us of experiencing peace. Despair, worry, bitterness and anger can plague our minds if we let them. But we don’t have to be a slave to our thoughts. We decide what we will dwell on, and we have the ability to change our focus. The Bible reminds us that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Recognize when you are allowing negative thought patterns to creep in and make a decision that you are not going to continue to replay those tapes.

Fill Up with Truth: If we turn our minds away from hopelessness, then we need to fill our minds with something positive. Paul told the Philippians to think on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely or admirable. Nothing brings more calm and peace to my mind than reading the Bible. Scripture reminds us of a powerful God who loves and cares for us. For me personally, there are certain passages that I have memorized (Psalm 23, 103, 121), and they have become a refreshment to my soul when I review them. Isaiah reminds us, “He will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are stayed on Him.” Open up your Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to nourish your hungry soul. You will be amazed at the peace and strength you find in His living Word.

Surrender: What are you holding onto with clenched fists? Are you willing to pry your hands off of it and surrender your cares, your will or your attitude over to the Lord? You are not surrendering your heart and your cares into oblivion or nothingness, rather you are surrendering your cares to Almighty God whose unfailing love for you can never be quenched. Recently, I ran across an interesting term that seems to illustrate what I’m trying to say. It is an equestrian term – the German word, Losgelassenheit. This term is not easily translated into English, yet it is rich with meaning and motion. “When a horse is losgelassen, he is working but without tension, active without tightness, enthusiastic without evasiveness, he allows his energy to be shaped by his rider without offering resistance. He is lively, yet submissive.” (TrainingTree.net/Losgelassenheit)

Author Martha Beck calls this motion “a joyful and fluid dance” in which the horse is completely relaxed and trusts his rider. The rider (or master),  on the other hand must be experienced, caring and observant. Isn’t this a beautiful picture of our relationship with our Father, who knows us, loves us and cares for us? We can work without tension, as we allow our lives to be shaped and directed by our Father. When we realize that we are not running the show, but that we can trust the one who is, there is a sense of peace and joy that consumes us as we move through the daily chaos. Take a moment right now to surrender your heart, your will and your cares to Him and invite Him to lead you, guide you and comfort you.  Always remember the same Spirit that brought order from chaos in creation, is the Spirit who lives within you.

If you want to get to know your Bible better, read Becoming a Woman of the Word.