Character Trait No. 41
Definition: Yielding self to the Lord for His control, for “He is our peace” (the inner quietness, freedom from disturbance of strife, absence of excitement or confusion)
“”These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
God’s peace is not the same as the world’s “peace.” The world doesn’t give it to us, and the world can’t take it away. It is spiritual. It is real. It isn’t based on anything physical, but comes from the heavenly realm: “Every other good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights ...” (Jms.1:17) God’s peace “surpasses all comprehension”. (Phil.4:7) It is both given by God and taken by men. It is a chosen character trait available in abundance to any Christian anytime, anywhere and in any situation. We are not born with this quality, but born again with it via the gift of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, many Christians lack the development of this wonderful peace through their poor scriptural understanding of it. Here are some key concepts in developing peace in the new creation’s life to the max.
1. First, make peace with God. This, of course, means gaining a clean conscience through immersion into Christ, which is our “appeal to God for a good (clean) conscience. (I Pet.3:21) Guilt is the biggest problem that destroys our peace. Modern man spends millions of dollars seeking medication and psychiatric help. Prescription drugs like Paxil are now widespread, earning billions for their manufacturers. All this to induce a false peace. One remembers Lady Macbeth, the paranoid murderess of McDunn, repeatedly washing her hands of his imagined blood. Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse a person’s conscience when they obey the gospel by being murdered, by faith, with Christ and buried with Him in baptism. All other remedies are useless.
2. Partake of the Lord’s Supper in a proper manner, judging oneself rightly. Man needs love more than anything, especially the love of God. This agape-love is only found in Christ, in the continual recognition of the price paid to purchase us from sin and bring us into His kingdom. In this sin-filled, fallen world, there are so many factors continually working against our proper realization and appreciation of God’s love, that we need a weekly remember of how much God prizes us. Calvary speaks to our need to be loved by our Creator. The Lord’s Supper that we eat clearly and regularly communicates Christ’s concern for our souls, and how much we matter to Him. It is a fellowship time with our heavenly Abba – Daddy.
3. Realize that God has invested so much in His church that it would be impossible for Him to fail in delivering us from all problems and sins that would separate us from His love. Nothing can do that! (Rom.8:37) The church, which is composed of us individually who are saints, is the fulfillment of many prophecies. Actually, we are the reason that God created everything that exists, so that His glory might be revealed in His church. Now is it very likely that God would fail? He can do all things but fail!
4. Keep your life free from secret sins or hidden faults that cause guilt and lack of confidence in your prayer life. Remove all obstacles to clear, open communication with God and your fellow saints. Good communication is the life-blood of any good relationship.
5. Dump all of your burdens on the Lord’s broad, powerful shoulders, because He really cares for you. Then leave them with Him and go on to do what you can do and leave it at that.
Tranquility is changing what you can, accepting what your cannot change, and having the wisdom to discern the difference. Give the big scary stuff to Heavenly Dad. He can handle it.
6. Why worry? Jesus commands to not worry. (Mat.6:25) He said, “Do not be anxious about your life”. What profit will you gain by worrying? None. Only gray hairs, ulcers and separation from God. Worry leads to frustration, which leads to anger, which leads to sin. Avoid worry like the plague. It will shorten your life and dampen your light and influence.
7. Cultivate a trusting attitude towards God by trusting those whom he has placed in authority over you. Know which responsibilities are truly yours, and only concern your self with fulfilling those. Let other people be responsible for their own actions, and trust God that in the end, He knows exactly what He is doing in your life when you see others messing up. God’s providential working takes all factors into careful consideration. Don’t second-guess God or interfere with His plan. If your don’t have authority in a certain area, leave it be and pray with faith for God t take control. God doesn’t want you to carry the whole weight of the world’s problems on your shoulders.
8. Make lists of things to do, then prioritize. Then quickly prosecute the list vigorously. Don’t procrastinate! If something needs done and is causing you unease because you fear the effort and difficulties involved in doing it, pray, plan and proceed as soon and as energetically as possible. This will bring immediate relief to your anxiety. Otherwise you’ll have constant stress of having the project half-finished or not even started. Ask yourself: Must this be done? If so, then when must it be finished? Can I do it? What will it take to do it? Once you’ve satisfactorily answered such questions, then go for it. Handle the hardest jobs in a day or week first, while you have more energy. You’ll also gain more energy by completing them because of the stress relief. Habitual procrastinators never have peace. Why do they procrastinate? Perhaps they’re lazy, rather playing at work than really working. Perhaps they lack confidence in being able to do things successfully. It all boils down to their self-image.
9. Don’t overbook your appointments and over-schedule your activities so much that you have no time for prayer, meditation, Bible study or even play. Everything has a season and a time. Are you running a marathon or a hundred-meter dash? It takes a steady pace to get a most important things done, and if you’re too busy for important and even essential things like prayer, church activities, family matters, etc., then your are simply too busy. Expect to be a very frazzled, harassed and very non-peaceful person.
10. Feed the right fires. Don’t feed the fires of worry by fretting out-loud, and working yourself into a pathetic frenzy. Don’t watch the late news and read the newspapers and expect to be clothed in peace. Avoid negative self-talk. Rather, read again the lesson on character trait no.39, Optimistic. Read the Psalms. Sing spiritual songs. Bless the Lord and count your blessings. Always tell yourself, “Jesus and I can make this”. Speak positive self-talk: “I’m strong!” “I like it this way, ‘cause I like big challenges.” “The bigger they are, the harder they fall!” “My God be able, so I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” And so on.
Be peaceful, saint.