Valleys seem to be the place we lose sight of the peace of God.
I can think of so many seasons in my life that the peace of God seemed out of reach. In the valleys, I’ve longed for the peace of God and couldn’t find it as I navigated the darkness.
When I look back on those seasons everything seems clearer in the light. I can identify exactly what was lacking. My choices didn’t lead me toward the peace of God. Instead I felt more stressed and anxious.
I can see in times of trouble my eyes were firmly fixed on me and my experience. My thoughts would look on fear. My heart bred discontent by grumbling at my circumstances. In an effort to end the difficult season and run from the pain I would trust in myself. I would seemingly forget all I knew about God’s love and sovereignty.
Yet, in those valleys I could have chosen to grasp onto the peace of God. God was there with me, offering His peace the whole time.
Can you think of a time you were desperately longing for the peace of God?
Maybe you are in a valley now. The peace of God is for His children. All. The. Time. But the peace of God is even more precious in the valley.
Scripture outlines how to have the peace of God.
When I’m in a valley, my thinking can get foggy, forgetful and lack focus. I find it helpful to have a pointed ‘to-do’ list.
“(6)Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (7)And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (8)Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (9)Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” ~Philippians 4:6-9
5 Formulas for the Peace of God
(Found in Philippians 4:6-9 and Romans 15:13)
Prayer + Gratitude = Peace of God (Philippians 4:6)
Right Thinking = Peace of God (Philippians 4:8)
Apply God’s Word to Your Life = Peace of God (Philippians 4:9)
Trust God = Peace of God (Romans 15:13)
Want the peace of God? Here are 5 things to do!
Verse 6 clearly states to pray in every situation. Whether you find yourself on the hilltop or in a valley-pray!
I sometimes get sticky hands at the foot of the cross. I begin to lay everything down, but then as I am amen-ing, I’m picking it all back up and loading it up.
Picture praying as a divine trade with God. As you cast your anxieties upon Him, He’s handing you peace. Doesn’t this sound like a good trade?
Gratitude is the second actionable step that leads to the peace of God.
Discontent would be the opposite of gratitude. The lack of being grateful leads to demanding more. When I demand anything out of my reach my heart is full of turmoil.
Gratitude in action brings peace in the midst of difficult times. Training our brain to find the good and thank God opens our heart to receive the have less anxiety. (watch a few short, fun videos on gratitude here)
The list of positive thoughts in Philippians 4:8 include:
I have a five fold approach to changing our thoughts to fit the list above (read more about it here and get a free Bible study!)
- Just say no to the negative thoughts. Kick them out of your head before they get settled in.
- Find the good. Train your brain to look for the good in every situation.
- No matter what your experience with someone, assume the best. If you choose not to assume the best be willing to ask the tough questions about your assumptions.
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Enough said!
- Be present. Let your mind settle on now. Focus your thoughts on gratitude and finding the good in this day. Let go of yesterday and stop looking for tomorrow. Be present today.
4.Apply God’s Word
Putting God’s Word into practice leads to the peace of God, according to verse 9 of the passage. One of my favorite verses is a Jesus quote…
“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” ~John 13:17
He lays it all on the table. He explicitly points out knowing isn’t enough. We must put into practice what God outlines as His best for us.
The last part is my favorite. The promise of being blessed. Obedience brings blessing. More than that, obedience is literally living out the life for which you were created to live. That is a fulfilling a life and a fulfilling life has the peace of God.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~Romans 15:13
I have a tendency to lean on my own understanding. I use the knowledge I have and stick to my five senses because that makes logical sense by the world’s standards. The problem with this is, God is bigger than my knowledge and my five senses. He knows everything.
What I see is a very small, narrow view compared to the view God has. When I think about trusting Him in those terms, it makes a lot more sense to trust Him rather than myself…Trust in God leads to peace! I have to keep the right perspective on who He is in relation to who I am. When I am less, He is more. Truthfully, a deep sigh of relief comes from my soul when I get that straightened out. It doesn’t all depend on me! The choice to trust leads to the peace of God. Because He. Is. Faithful.
5 Ways to have the Peace of God Wrap Up
We live in a world where peace is only a dream…just watch the news for a few minutes. As children of God we have access to the peace of God, but we must be purposeful if we are to possess it. His peace is there for the taking, we have to choose to live the life He has carved out for us. There are 5 things we can do to possess the more peace in our lives…
- Be grateful
- Right Thinking
- Trust God
These aren’t always easy to do, but you have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you, empowering you to live God’s best for you. All five of these come straight from the Word of God-Truth!
Are there any other actionable ways to the peace of God you can add to the list? Please add them in the comments!