My wish for you this season is that God’s Peace be real to you. But if the peace you’ve possessed has fallen to pieces in 2020, I’ve got three tips for regaining your peace of mind. Perhaps you have not had peace in so long, you can’t even remember what it is like. According to Strong’s Concordance, peace is a combination of feeling safe, well and happy—oh what a wonderful feeling! And hard to find in 2020.
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Peace can dissolve among two things: Circumstances or Someone Else. When our circumstances shift toward a worrisome or devastating end, or someone else interjects conflict and concern, our inner peace dissipates. Losing our peace can be one of the worst feelings in the world, don’t you agree?
There is something you should know about peace. Once I explain it, you will realize how true this is – there is a push/pull tension that progresses us toward regaining our peace. Are you familiar with the first part of James 4:8?
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Did you know that when trouble comes, God longs for us to come to Him as if we were baby chicks and He was our mother hen (Matthew 23:37)? He wants to gather us under the warmth and comfort of his protective wings. The more we press into God (push), the more He will begin to draw us (pull) under the safety and shelter of His wings. And then we feel His sanctuary presence!
Allow me to further explain the progression of the push/pull tension to peace.
First Progression – Our Human Nature responds – Whether due to circumstances or someone else, our initial response may be anything from worrying ourselves sick to wallering in a puddle of tears. There is nothing wrong with having a good cry. My tendency is to just “take to the bed” when overwhelmed with worry, but I just can’t stay there…
Second Progression – the Push – we begin to remind ourselves that there is a God in Heaven Who loves and cares for us, and look to Him for help. We press into Him with everything we have, seeking solace.
Third Progression – the Pull – after a while of pressing in for God’s comfort, we gain some insight and hope for the future. Perhaps you can recall when God has given you one of the following:
- A Specific Word – While reading the Word of God, He illuminates a specific scripture to claim, just like He did for me here. In my book, Organizing Your Prayer Closet (Abingdon Press) I state that if we are consistently in God’s Word, His specific word for you will find you. Truth!
- Spiritual Insight – God shows us that He is at work on our behalf, like I shared in this story about my daughter here.
- Supernatural Solace – His Peace that passes all understanding settles on you like a warm blanket, and you cannot explain why or how; you only know deep down in your soul that God is control and everything is going to be okay. More on that feeling here.
A perfect illustration of Peace’s Push/Pull Progression is written in Chapter 4 of the book of Esther of which I recommend that you read the first three prior chapters of for the whole story. But here is the gist: The Jews were in danger of being annihilated. All were in despair over the news, a very natural response. Mordecai progresses toward peace by remembering that his cousin is the Queen and believing that even if she is not successful in rescuing the Jews, God will send help through another means. This is his “push”, the drawing near to God. Reluctant Esther progresses from an “it’s impossible” mindset to one committed to seeking the Lord for her next steps in trying to rescue her nation, even if it means her own death. This is her “push.” Within three days of fasting, Esther has no fear because she has felt God’s “pull” and she confidently and successfully executes the plan He has given her in the following chapters.
If you are having trouble with the push or feeling the pull of the Lord in your peace-less situation, then I recommend you take a spiritual health day. I vividly recall a time that I had gotten myself into a tizzy; something was off and I could not find any peace. I was feeling so out of sorts that I could not even wait until the weekend to have some serious alone time with God. Some folks are accustomed to calling in sick or taking a “mental health day’, but I needed a “spiritual health day”, and took one I did! I cleared my schedule and spent my day off from work doing the following activities:
*Spending the day completely alone and unavailable to interruptions
*Scripture reading of topics that pertained to my situation
*Prayer journaling my thoughts, concerns, hopes and cries
*Praying God’s Word over me and my mess
*Fasting from food, social media and TV
*Playing worship music all day long and singing along
*Worshipping God with praise and thanksgiving
*Focusing on peace and clarity.
Eventually, I found a scripture that really spoke to me. It became clear in my spirit that I had made a mistake months earlier and God was drawing my attention to it, and the deeper issues that were created by it. I repented immediately once I realized the error of my ways. The scripture that spoke to me had two “to-do’s” and one “don’t do”. I committed to that scripture that day and for two months straight, I abided by it. And finally, there was a shift in my circumstances, and I knew that had I not taken the time to get serious about the push / pull tension of peace that one day and followed the leading of God’s Spirit through that Bible verse, I would not have been able to be in position to feel God’s pull. Ultimately, I found peace again in my life.
Dear one, my hope for you this Christmas is that you will feel the complete peace of Christ. He loves you so. His desire is for you to have peace in Him.
As such, I’ve created a couple of timely resources for you.
2020 has been somewhat of a crappie year for most people in one way or the other, hasn’t it? If this speaks to you, then I want to share with you two resources I’ve prepared for you. One is an eBook workbook about Making Sense of Yourself, Life and God in 2020 so you can redeem 2020. It’s only 8 chapters (40 pages / 2 hours of your very precious time) of some great content and reflection prompts. You will also create your very own plan for forward for moving beyond 2020. Grab your free copy HERE!
My other offering is an invitation to join my Facebook group where I am doing a special teaching each Sunday night at 8 p.m. CST. So far, I’ve spoken on Hope and Peace.
This week’s topic is LOVE: God’s Love Triangle. Click HERE to request to join this fabulous group!
Lastly, as you may be choosing your planner for 2021 to keep up with your tasks and appointments, don’t forget about your prayer life. Now is the time to purchase a new copy of Organizing Your Prayer Closet that includes a 60-week structured prayer journal that will give you clarity for spiritual things, and that is always needed. You can purchase my book or the junk journal versions from my Esty store: ChurchtownMarket
Wishing you a Hope, Peace and Love Christmas 2020!