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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Salter Goodwin

The Missing Peace

Peace in a Pandemic: Part 2

When peace is missing in our life, struggle and stress preoccupy.

Have you noticed that? It is easy to think that what took away our peace is what we need to fix. Usually, it goes deeper than that.

However, peace starts with a focus, not a formula.

Let’s pick up our discussion where we left off last week. If we can identify where we have held false ideas about peace, we’ll be closer to a journey to find the real peace that Jesus wants to give.

3. Peace is something I make happen.

Now there’s a struggle for the ages. Sometimes we can’t even bring peace to members of our own family. Or whatever we do to make peace keeps us so tied up in knots that it bears no resemblance to the way Jesus describes His peace.

When Jesus called us to become peacemakers, it was about bringing the peace of God, not just about making people get along better. Settling relationship issues are a byproduct of the peace Jesus brings, not its first focus. Anytime we try to make peace address our discomfort instead of promoting Jesus’ will, it is a dangerous peace. It is dangerous because it doesn’t identify where we have gone rogue with control or inaction.

Jesus’ peace must come to our heart before it can help anyone else. Philippians 4:7 reminds us that true peace guards our heart. The peace of Jesus keeps us focused on what He wants us to understand about our motives or someone else’s needs. Jesus’ peace makes us open to forgiveness, patience, self-control, compassion or any other Spirit-gift before we try to make something happen according to our perspective. Remember, Jesus didn’t call us to make our peace; He called us to share His peace.

Always listen to where Jesus wants to bring His peace before trying to make peace with anyone else or any situation. You might be surprised where He starts!

4. Having a peaceful nature is a personality trait.

While it is true that what steals our peace might not unsettle another, it doesn’t make peace a personality issue. We don’t try to experience peace like someone else because Jesus promised peace to any individual who accepts His gift. Impulsive Peter found a peace that stilled his push to make grandiose claims he couldn’t back up. Doubting Thomas found peace that settled something so deep in his heart that he could make Jesus the complete answer to his doubts. Since our Creator formed us before our cells came together, He knows exactly what peace we need.

Passing peace off as a personality issue is a way to excuse attitudes or actions that don’t resemble the strong, active, fearless, settling peace Jesus would give, no matter our personality.

Always expect Jesus to give His peace in the unique way that calms that inside voice that takes it away.

As I reminded you in the beginning, peace starts with a focus, not a formula. If our focus is on fixing what we think will bring us peace, we lose our focus on Jesus. Instead, we focus to the true Peace Maker so that He can bring His peace. It is the peace of Christ, a deep peace that refuses to fix surface issues just to give a peaceful moment. It is peace in the control center of our heart where we can know that Jesus stills the storm there. Then, it becomes a peace that influences attitudes and actions.

Don’t look for peace; look for Jesus and you’ll find all the peace you need.

So . . .

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