We can all agree that finding peace within yourself can be extremely difficult. Maybe the money is looking a little funny or you’re having a health scare. Maybe you just got bad news in your marriage or your kids just ain’t acting right! Sister girl, we’ve all been there! We’re there right now.
Finding Peace in Yourself
We’re all desperate for peace – spiritual peace, peace of mind and peace within. Because I’ve been there, I know it’s easier said than done to say peace comes from God. If it were so easy and instantaneous, people would practically bottle peace and sell it – and believe me, many have tried.
In my life, it’s not often that I’ve seen peace come about so instantaneously. When I’ve been in the middle of a storm in my life, peace is usually found step-by-step along the way. Peace is usually found along the journey.
Join me in the journey to find peace…
1. Finding peace within yourself by abiding in God
Lately, I’ve been thinking about this word “Abide”. When you grow up in the church, like I did, you hear words over and over and over again to the point that you forget that they’re not common words. If this were the 1800s this word would be popping. Check out my Google search for the use of the word “Abide”. Pretty popular back then, huh?
One clue to this word (and to finding peace within yourself) is found in the book of John chapter 15.
Jesus uses an example of a vine. I immediately thought of a grape vine because he talks about vines and branches and fruit…so naturally, I went to grapes.
In John 15:5, He says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
In John15:7,8, He says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Now, we’re talking finding peace within yourself here.
Jesus is giving us an illustration of what peace looks like, in real time. Not just on the pages of a book and not just in a mystical, meditative way. In this illustration, you can imagine Jesus with dirt underneath His nails. Jesus was a carpenter, who hung out with fishermen (who probably didn’t have access to lots of showers) who was always talking about gardening. Have you noticed that? Even though Jesus was a carpenter – a tradesmen (or a tradie as they say here in Oz) – he could still get down with the farmers. He was always talking farming with them.
His first clue to finding peace within yourself was grape vines. If it’s easier for you, think of an apple tree or a pineapple bush…
If the branch isn’t connected to the vine that’s coming out of the ground, then it’s dead. That’s obvious. If you’re thinking, I need peace of mind! I need peace within. Here is the first clue: Abide. It’s one of those easy but not easy things. Abide.
It sounds easy. It sounds simple. Too simple.
I think of abide as two people walking through life together holding hands. Remaining interlocked and intertwined. Wrapped up and tangled up together. That is the meaning of abide.
Just rest and remain.
The first step to finding peace within yourself is to walk, hand in hand, with Jesus. Day by day. Whatever comes your way. Whatever people say. Whatever mistakes you make. Don’t let go. Just like the vine doesn’t let go of the branch, don’t let go of Jesus.
You may not notice the difference today or tomorrow or the next day, but eventually, you’ll see a difference. You will eventually feel the peace that comes from knowing you’re not alone.
2. Finding peace within yourself by creating a peaceful oasis for yourself
Are you looking to find peace within? Well, first, work on creating peace outside of you. Sometimes the key to finding spiritual peace, emotional peace and financial peace is to first find physical peace.
For me, this means cleaning my house. You can take this literally or metaphorically. In order to find peace of mind, I first need peace in my house.
Recently, I went through an organizing frenzy. We had to buy a new bookshelf and storage items. I sorted through old papers, created systems and installed a huge white board.
Creating physical peace will look different for each one of us.
Some people might find peace in nature. It might be there that their mind can just be still.
In fact isn’t this one of the principles of Christian living? In Psalm 46:10 we’re told to “Be still, and know that I am God.” This is a peace principle. Can you find time in your day to be still?
I’m on a TV show called The Table. One of the topics we discussed recently was talking about how a school in Baltimore has recently implemented a program to promote meditation instead of detention. One of my co-hosts was so adamantly against the idea. She doesn’t like the principle of meditation.
I believe meditative practices for Christians can be not only helpful but essential. Time spent being still and being present with God is a spiritual discipline. One of the times I experienced the least amount of peace, God showed me the beauty and necessity of being still and being present with Him. If I’m honest with myself, even now, the truth is, I really, really struggle with this concept.
I struggle to be still and spend time with God that doesn’t involve me racing from Point A to Point B and talking to God in my mind. When I’m busy running around I can talk to God, but it’s when I go still and listen that God can talk to me.
Creating a peaceful oasis for yourself, whether a literal, physical space or a space within your mind is essential to experiencing peace in your life.
3. Finding peace within yourself by being persistent about creating peace
Ok two things I really want to say with this point
- Some people really like drama. If this is you, I got a special section for you 😜.
- Those of us who DON’T like drama, we need to learn how to be persistent about creating peace.
There are things in life you can control and things you can’t control. When it comes to having peace sometimes you can control whether or not your life can be peaceful and sometimes you can’t.
You need to be persistent about peace. Sometimes, as Christians, we believe everything should happen after one session of five minutes of prayer.
Colossians 4:2-6 – encourages us to be persistent in prayer. We should also be persistent in creating peace. If peace is what we’re all about then we have to create it with persistency.
If there’s someone you don’t like and you always beef with them, you’re probably still gonna beef with them after that 5-minute prayer session.
If you want peace you have to persist. You have to pray about it today and tomorrow and depending on how much you don’t like them, probably the day after that as well.
Sometimes as Christians, we confuse God with a genie, prayer with magic and God’s power and ability as a magic potion that’s at our beck and call. When you’ve decided you want to be a person of peace, remember to persist in prayer and persist in obtaining peace.
4. Finding peace within yourself by being a peace maker
Every few days a new viral video surfaces and captures the attention of the world. The man of the hour is a man from Atlantic city named Ibn Ali Miller. Recently, he saw a couple of young kids on the block in a fist fight, and unlike most of us, he went up to the kids and encouraged them to stop fighting…..and to shake hands.
When I heard about the video, I wasn’t really impressed, but when I watched it, I had so much respect for Ibn Ali and the way he stepped in. You have to respect a guy who goes and reasons with a group of kids fighting while a group of their peers records them. Check it out:
If you’re desperate to find peace within yourself, you gotta create peace for everyone else. You gotta surround yourself with peace by being a peace maker.
Romans 12:18 says, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
During Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount he said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
What would your life look like if you were a peace maker? How would you go about your day differently?
5. Finding peace within yourself by surrounding yourself with peaceful people
Same video above, but different perspective.
All throughout Ibn Ali’s interaction with the young brothers, he keeps pointing them back to the crowd. He keeps asking why the crowd is egging them on. He challenges the young men to think about why the crowd is just watching. He challenges them to think about whether or not these people are true friends.
As you’re pursuing peace, are you surrounded by peaceful people?
Really funny thing is as I was preparing this blog post, I ran across this verse in Proverbs 21:9 that says, “It is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”
I turned to my husband and laughingly quoted the verse to him. He glanced up and said, yeah, I know that one. I smirked and asked, why do you know that one. He said, cuz I read my Bible.
Hopefully, I’m not that contentious woman. Hopefully he doesn’t know that verse because of me 😜.
If you think to yourself, I need peace and you are wondering how do I find peace within myself, one of the best things you can do is to surround yourself with peaceful people.
John 14:27 says, “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.
In the face of everything the world can bring your way, you can find peace within yourself by finding peace in God.
How do you find peace? Let me know!