Search for Peace
I am grappling with wanting to have peace but keep feeling other things that rob me of peace. This makes me go deeper and try to discern what my real beliefs are about peace and how I can experience it. What I am finding is that one of my gut-level assumptions that is not easily admitted is that I want to know the outcome of a problem or situation before I can rest and enjoy peace about it. But immediately I can see that this is in direct conflict with the things I know about God's offer of peace. That would be logical since Jesus said that His peace is not like the world's peace.
But it is starting to become more clear to me as I think about not only my own feelings but the comments of people around me when they are not at peace, that what we are really desiring is at least some clues as to the outcome of circumstance that are making us afraid. We call this assurance which is closely associated with peace. We want assurance that we will not be hurt, we want assurance that we will not suffer painful financial losses or bodily harm, we want assurance that we will not be publicly humiliated and shamed or attacked. But of course none of this aligns with most of the teachings of Scripture though we can pick and choose some that help us reinforce these desires.
What I am starting to perceive is that I need to unmask the real beliefs of my heart no matter how illogical or wrong they may be. For it is only as I get more honest about the deep motives and assumptions in my gut-level belief system can the lies embedded beneath those assumptions be exposed and replaced with truth from God's Spirit. Until I am willing and conscious of these lies I am not in a position to release them in exchange for life-giving truth.
I have been wrestling against fear for some time now and seem a little baffled at how hard it is to overcome. It is taking a toll on my body as much of the fear resides at the subconscious level. I sometimes have difficulty with appetite because there is this undercurrent of uneasiness and apprehension. It is also affecting my brain a great deal causing me to be unusually forgetful. I often find it frustrating that I cannot remember something long enough to do anything about it a few seconds after I start to do something or look for something. I think that much of this is due to a lack of peace inside which is not a very good witness for the God I claim to serve.
So I am trying to take a hard look at my underlying assumptions about peace and seek to discover where those assumptions may be based on false premises. The most blatant one is that I just want the things that threaten me to go away or be resolved so that I can return to what feels like normal living. But when I really bring this desire to the light it obviously is not supported by anything the Bible talks about for the believer. So why do these beliefs still operate so pervasively within me even though I don't subscribe to them with my mind?
How do I better understand the kind of peace that Jesus promises to give me in every circumstance and situation? And far more importantly how do I experience that deep, abiding kind of peace that cannot be moved or ruffled no matter how bad things are swirling around me externally? I want to know and fully embrace the kind of peace that is not tied to the externals around me. I want peace that cannot be manipulated, threatened or pulled away by those who want to control me with fear.
But because I can clearly see the evidence of fear in my life right now I have to admit that I must not really have very much of the right kind of peace or whatever is needed to enjoy that peace. What I am seeing is heavy fog over my thinking that even interferes with my daily work and interactions with others. It affects my attitude and disposition and my relationships with those around me. My lack of a deep level of peace in the midst of threats and pressures designed to make me afraid are in fact manipulating me and threatening to guide my decisions instead of having the peace of Christ rule in me. It is becoming more obvious that I need a deeper transformation because I am not experiencing the level of peace that should be seen in the life of a genuine child of God.