July 31, 2012
Several months ago I was working on a project … but the project was stalling because a certain problem kept getting in my way. Although the solution was right in front of my eyes, it was hard to see it because I was holding on so tightly to a couple project components. Once I loosened my grip, that is, my dependency on those elements of the project, the solution became crystal clear. Then a refreshing peace quickly followed and soothed my mind.
God’s peace is all encompassing, given freely to His followers, and has nothing to do with your current circumstances. Even if you lose everything, if you gain His peace, you are rich beyond measure. When we cling to other items, looking for peace in the wrong places … worldly and material items … receiving His precious gift of peace is hard for us to do. This is like wrapping your fingers tightly around a shiny penny that catches your eye because it looks so attractive. You don’t want to give it up, even though God is reaching out and offering you an unlimited supply of gold. The “catch” is, you need both hands to grab the gold, but you refuse to loosen your grip on that shiny penny.
To receive His gifts, you must first open your hands, actually your heart, to Him. As you do, you can release your cares and concerns into His hands for perfect care and keeping. Once you release your grip on transient, material, and worldly fixes, your hands are open to receive and grab onto the peace He has been trying to give you all along. Keep in mind today the Divine nature of this gift. It is not the world’s peace He gives … it is a powerful peace that transcends all human understanding.
You see, you have to grab the right things to find God’s peace. I can tell you that His peace isn’t everywhere. It’s not in a bottle, a drug, pornography, sex or love, work, food, thrills, sports, TV, or even our kids. But these are often the first places we look and we are amazed when they don’t bring the peace that only He can deliver. If you really want peace, you have to look in the right places! After His resurrection, the first words Jesus spoke to his disciples were, “Peace be with you.” He knew they needed His Peace … and he knows that you need His Peace today.
Today, look at an area of your life where you feel unsettled. Ask yourself, “What am I clinging to that prevents me from grabbing the peace God is offering me?” Is it my ego, control, looks, image, money, security, risk-aversion, or kids? We all have areas we exalt more highly than they deserve. Yet not one of them compares to what God offers. Allow your hands to release that thing by applying God’s Word, character, and promises. And then feel Him put His peace right in your hand for you to hold onto. Opening your heart and looking for peace in the right places is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father, I feel that there are so many aspects of my life that are out of my control. I often feel I am a victim of my circumstances. But I know that in reality I am really a victim of my own thinking and decisions. Your gift of all-encompassing peace is exactly what I need. Even though Your peace is a gift, I sometimes feel unable to receive it. Perhaps it’s because I am clinging so tightly to other things … my loved ones, my possessions, my reputation … even my addictions or sources of false relief. I keep looking in the wrong places. I pray to You, my Lord, that You help me treasure and value Your Peace above all else. Help me release my grasp on other things so that I may receive Your gifts. I pray in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27