“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
I’ve been a little low on peace just lately. And, I know why. I’ve let the worries of the world stress me out. You know…politics, war, persecution, crime, and the various opinions about why these realities exist and what we should do about them.
Then, there’s my dad’s declining health, my mom’s caregiving challenges, my work-life balance, and, generally, the busyness of life.
All these important, real-life issues are worthy of my attention and concern. Yet, recently, I’ve focused on these issues more than I have rested in the truth that God is in control. The result? A decrease in peace and an increase in stress and sadness.
Fortunately, God is the great peace-giver! So, it’s no surprise that He has been reminding me of some important truths about how to increase peace in my life.
First, I need not exhaust myself trying to understand or change things that are out of my control. My friend Della was God’s messenger of this truth. (Thanks, Della!)
Second, I do not have to hold back my strongly-held convictions. I can express my beliefs in kind and compassionate ways and be heard and encouraged by friends, even when we may not agree 100%. My friend Carla was God’s messenger of this truth. (Thanks, Carla!)
Third, sometimes, I just have to step away from work, turn off the news feeds, play with my family, and have a little talk with Jesus. Many friends have shared this truth in one way or another, but a couple especially come to mind. (Thanks, Sandra and Lanie!)
Interestingly, as God has reminded me of His peace-giving truth, I’ve not only experienced increased peace. I’ve also felt more thankful—thankful for the rest I find in God’s truth and love, and thankful for the stressors that forced me to return my focus to God.
That makes sense. When I draw closer to God, the evidence of His Spirit—the fruit of the Spirit—in my life is clearer. In this case, I have more peace!
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
What are you doing to increase peace and stress less in your life? How is God leading you to focus less on the worries of the world and more on the peace that only He offers?
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Scripture from the New American Standard Bible