15 Practical Ways to Help Keep Your Peace

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God’s Word is the ultimate way to keep your peace.  However, many times you can rob yourself of peace, simply because of the faulty choices you make.  Here are fifteen good choices to make to help keep God’s gift of peace!

Spiritual

  1. Spend time with Jesus.

The most important way to keep your peace is to allow the Prince of Peace to influence your life. Though He has given you His nature of peace, consistent communication with Him allows that peace to manifest in your life.  Peace alone is in His presence.

  1. Repent quickly.

The devil will bring condemnation and anxiety to your mind when you have sinned and are unrepentant.  Being quick to repent when you have done wrong will shut down his lies, and allow your conscience to rest because you know you’re forgiven.

Entertainment

  1. Choose encouraging, peaceful music.

Music has a powerful way of influencing your mood, both by the message and the style.  Negative lyrics and aggressive instrumentation can plant seeds of unrest in your mind if you listen to it consistently.  Inspirational, Bible-based lyrics will fill your mind with positive messages that inspire peaceful thoughts.  Soothing, happy tunes create an atmosphere that welcomes and creates peace.

  1. Watch only encouraging, peaceful TV programs and movies.

What goes in your eye gate is just as important as what goes in your ear gate.  When you watch negative programs – especially those with violence or stressful drama between people – it impacts your soul and drains your spirit.  Choosing peaceful things to watch shuts the door on stressful emotions and invites happy, peaceful ones.

Time Spent

  1. Take time to relax.

If your body never rests, neither will your mind.  Taking time to relax the body goes a long way into inviting peace into your daily routine. Getting a good night’s sleep and sitting down for a few minutes helps the body and the mind to unwind.

  1. Take time to have fun.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a true statement!  Constantly feeling the pressure of work but never any pleasure can bring on stress that robs peace.  Stopping to have pleasure once in a while with some of your favorite hobbies or friends can help lift stress and make a way for peace.

  1. Don’t overschedule.

Many times the lack of peace you feel is because of a hectic schedule you were never meant to have.  When you prioritize and only get involved the things you were meant to do – not what others demand you do – you are more able to maintain a peaceful mind and life.

Relationships

  1. Choose peaceful friends.

The people you hang around is a huge factor in whether you experience peace or stress.  People influence us with their behavior and attitudes.  They will eventually rub off on us by either making us like them, or by bogging us down with their own concerns.  Choosing Godly, peaceful friends, on the other hand, will help sustain peace.

  1. Walk in love and forgiveness.

Where there is frustration, anger, or unforgiveness, there will be no peace.  Rather than wallowing in offense, you can nurture your peace by walking in love.  When you are quick to forgive, you are quick to protect and keep your peace.

 Health

   10. Exercise.

Exercise has been medically known to relieve stress.  It also strengthens the body and gives more energy to do what you need to do.  With more strength and health to assist you in your daily routine, it is far easier to keep your peace.

  1. Avoid foods and drugs that affect emotions.

Foods and drinks that contain caffeine, sugar, and alcohol will give you a temporary burst of energy and happiness but will drop you later into lethargy.  The momentary emotional high is not worth the hangover or lack of energy that follows.  By choosing wholesome foods and drinks instead, you assist yourself in living in peace.

 Lifestyle

  1. Avoid spending outside your means.

Much stress in life is caused by money issues.  One common money issue is debt, a bondage that can rob you of your peace. You lose your peace when you are consistently worried about how you’re going to get out of that debt.   Rather than choosing to spend outside your means, you can be a good steward and choose to live responsibly with what you have.

  1. Stay in God’s will for your life.

Peace never follows the choice to do things your way instead of God’s.  God only supplies grace, peace, and favor to His will.  When you step out of that will, those gifts from God disappear.  However, the moment you agree to stay in God’s perfect will, God’s peace is back in place!

  1. Declutter and clean your home.

Living in chaos and dirt never inspires peace!  By surrounding yourself with cleanliness and organization, you can shut out some stress that can appear simply because you’re in an atmosphere of chaos.

  1. Write down things to remember.

Oftentimes you can lose your peace simply because you are trying to remember too much!  By writing things down, you can place the weight of remembering onto a piece of paper rather than your own brain.  You can rest at night knowing the list is there for you to see in the morning! 

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:18

 

When Peace Snoozes, Part 3

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Keep the Peace

Both Jesus and Peter could have lost their peace in the middle of their situations.  Though Jesus was God’s Son, He walked on the earth with a body just like ours.  Peter was completely human with a flesh containing feelings and emotions.  At any time they could have allowed their minds – unguarded by peace – to give in to stress and fear.  They could have let their emotions succumb to what could happen. But they chose not to, resulting in peace that sailed them to victory.

How can we maintain that peace like they did?  God hasn’t left us helpless to figure it out by ourselves.  He’s given us His Word, the book of peace.

Refuse to be anxious.

Be anxious for nothing . . . (Philippians 4:6a)

We can’t just push a button in our minds to turn off anxiety; we have to choose not to let it control our thoughts and our actions.  It’s a simple act of saying, “No, I will not be anxious.  No, I will not fear.” Refusing anxiety is an act of obedience that God rewards!

Pray.

. . . but in everything by prayer and supplication . . . let your requests be made known to God . . . (Philippians 4:6b)

God wants us to bring our concerns to Him.  He knows He’s the only one who can fix them.  When we pray and leave the situation with Him, it proves that our trust is in Him.  Peace then comes as the weight of the responsibility is lifted from our shoulders onto His.

Give thanks.

. . . with thanksgiving . . . (Philippians 4:6a)

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

When we consistently thank God for answering our prayer, it keeps us in an attitude of expectation.  It reminds us of the impending manifestation of His promise to take care of our needs.  A supernatural peace floods the heart of a thankful person!

Think like God thinks.

For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?”  But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

As the God of peace, God’s mind isn’t fearful or anxious.  It contains peace . . . and only peace. He has given us the ability to think peacefully just like Him.  Again, it’s a choice we have to make.  Will we give in to thoughts of fear and anxiety? Or will we allow our thoughts to contain God’s peace?

Keep our minds focused on Jesus.

 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

If we want to be people of peace, our minds can only be focused on one thing – Jesus. That focus is a result of trusting Him.  We by faith choose to never let our eyes stray from Him because He is our Source of peace.  The peace He gives is perfect, as perfect as He is.  As we stay our mind on Him, He will do His part to keep us in that peace.

Think on good things.

 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Our minds can wonder to many subjects, but what God tells us to think on is only good.  Good subjects inspire peaceful thoughts.  Peaceful thoughts result in peaceful emotions.  Peaceful emotions assist in a peaceful life, regardless of the circumstances.  Negative thoughts can’t stay in the same room with peace when we “meditate on these things”!

Let Peace Rule

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1)

Allowing peace to rule our lives is a choice.  No one can do it for us, not even Jesus.  It takes effort in a world filled with chaos, but it is possible . . . because Jesus said it was.

We could easily block peace from ruling our lives by wearing the crown ourselves.  We could seek to meet our own needs, and refuse to do the above points.  Or we can choose to hand the crown over to peace and let it sit on the throne of our lives.  God, after all, is the God of peace, so when we let peace rule, we are letting Him rule.  The alternative is allowing stress and anxiety to have the throne, letting our hearts to be troubled.  The god of both trouble and anxiety is the devil.  As Christians, which is the only acceptable choice?

Letting peace rule is not just about us.  The attitude we project could determine someone else’s peace, especially if they don’t know how to walk in it themselves. We can maintain our peacefulness and allow it to be a testimony of God’s goodness.  Other’s will see it and desire it, just as God’s goodness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Rather than being a stumbling block and stealing what little peace others may have, we can reflect Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith . . . and our peace.

In the story of Jesus and Peter, supernatural peace was present.  But it wasn’t a peace that made sense to the mind or the flesh.  It was a “peace that surpasses all understanding.” God’s peace only makes sense to our spirits when we are trusting in His supernatural abilities.  When we see things from His powerful point of view, anything is possible! (Matthew 19:26)

For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12

 

When Peace Snoozes, Part 2

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Jesus’ Example

Jesus is our perfect example of everything godly, including peace.  We never see in the Bible examples of Him running around in distress.  Why should He be stressed and anxious?  He knew His authority over evil, so He had no reason to fear. He had faith in God’s ability to protect Him, regardless of how strong His opponent seemed.   As a result, He continued doing what He intended to do on the earth. He didn’t let a circumstance detour His life and routine.  He was on the earth on a mission.  A lack of peace – spawned by fear and doubt – couldn’t detour Him.  He didn’t let it.

A great story of this is Jesus’ boat trip with His disciples in Mark 4:35-41:

On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Imagine what Jesus slept through.  The atmosphere would have been dark, wet, and cold as rain poured from raging thunderclouds.  From those thunderclouds came piercing flashes of lightening and roaring thunder.  Agitated by the tumultuous waves, the boat tossed about like a beach ball in the ocean – a perfect invitation for nausea.  All about the ship the disciples shouted at each other in panic as they defended their lives against the storm.  With the ship teetering at different angles, threatening to sink with the water filling it, it was likely slimy fish were pouring in and flopping about in confusion.  It was probably one of the most chaotic scenes the disciples had been in.  And what was Jesus doing amid all the noise?  Sleeping on a pillow.

It’s unlikely most people could be calm through such chaos, yet alone sleep.  But Jesus did, to the point that the disciples had to wake Him up!  When He did wake up, His response was still drastically different than the disciples.  He didn’t give in to panic and fear.  He took control of the situation with fearless strength and commanded the storm to stop with these words: “Peace be still!”  Peace.  Instead of floundering in the middle of the chaos, He passed His inner peace onto the scene.  Functioning in that peace, He was able to use the authority He had been given to bring calm. He knew that without faith, there would be no peace.  And without faith and peace working together, there would be no confidence in His ability to tell the storm what to do!

The disciples could have done the same.  However, their fear hindered them from using their authority – the same authority Jesus gave them to cast out demons.  All they could see was the storm instead of the possibility of God’s power manifesting to aid them.  While they focused on the storm, their minds stayed in anxiety, effecting their actions.  So paralyzed by what they felt and saw, they could only imagine the worst.  Their hearts were too full of fear for their minds to be at rest.  May we learn from their experience and choose to follow Jesus’ perfect example instead!

Peter’s Example

The Apostle Peter’s imprisonment is another example of sleeping in peace. Let’s take a look at Acts 12:1-8:

Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church.  Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.  And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.  And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.

Peter had every reason to fear.  The Romans had just killed another disciple and now they were planning his execution as well.  Typical Roman style, the Romans put him into prison with enough guards to scare off an army.  Historically, these prisons weren’t anything like the clean, well-fed prisons of today. Most cells were dark, especially the inner cells. Unbearable cold, lack of water, cramped quarters, and sickening stench from few toilets made sleeping difficult and waking hours miserable. This was not a moment of relaxation from the real world; it was torture.

But despite the gross stench, foreboding darkness, and impending execution the next morning, Peter managed to fall asleep between two soldiers.  Here, very few of us could relate.  This wasn’t just a bad doctor’s report.  It wasn’t a home foreclosure or relationship gone badly.  This was certain death.

How could Peter relax enough to snooze during the final hours of his life?  How could he nap with cold, metal chains holding him in place between armed guards?  How could he even think of resting when the whole kingdom of Rome and his own countrymen were against him?  He was at peace . . . inspired by faith.

Peter’s peace was founded on three truths.  First of all, Peter did not fear death.  He counted death through martyrdom as an honor (Philippians 1:21).  In light of standing before Almighty God, it meant nothing to him for his life to be threatened by a mortal human being like Herod.  Secondly, he was strong enough to know God would protect him because his life’s mission was not complete.  Thirdly, he knew the church was praying for him.  How could he lose?

Peter had confidence in God’s desire and power to deliver him.  The faith in his heart moved to become peace in his mind, allowing him to slumber, even when Herod sought to do the worst. The decision to walk in peace and not fear triggered God’s ability to move supernaturally.  God saw his faith and commissioned an angel to guide him out of the prison . . . with two oblivious guards sitting beside him.  That’s peace!

You have authority over every storm you can sleep in. – Bill Johnson

To Be Continued…