I need to get my fiancée to write a blog. Hers would be a million times better than mine.
I was talking to her last night and she was sharing something she had read in a devotional book of hers. It was revolving around the idea that God is our strength and our peace, based on Psalm 29:11 –
May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!
Pretty simply verse. But it brought to my attention something about my own life and something about this world.
I live in a constant state without peace. A life dealing with depression and anxiety will do that to you. Anyone else like me will echo that sentiment. I also often feel like I have little strength to handle all the things thrown my way.
This world is without peace. How many wars are ongoing right now? Well, according to this Wikipedia list (you can debate the legitimacy, of course), there’s over 50. And we in the United States think we’re pretty strong, but we, like every other country in the world, have many weaknesses and flaws.
The strength and peace Psalm 29:11 refers to, I think, a strength and peace that is not found within ourselves. That’s the key.
We are on a constant search for strength, whether it be physical or mental. I can’t tell you how many CrossFit gyms I’ve seen pop up over the last few years. And people are reading and writing books left and right about working out your mind, being in the right mental state. Both physical and mental strength is good, don’t get me wrong. But if our strength isn’t based in the person and character of God, it will fail us over and over and over again.
We are on a constant search for peace. People meditate, sleep, do crazy things just to find personal peace, a fleeting feeling that always seems to escape us just as we’re about to attain it. The world is searching for peace, but seems to use the least peaceful means to try to achieve it. Both personal and international peace is good, don’t get me wrong. But if our peace isn’t based in the person and character of God, it will fail us over and over and over again.
Yes, true and lasting peace and true and lasting strength are linked because they’re both found in knowing, believing and trusting God. The moment I seek to find those kinds of peace and strength in things outside of God, particularly in myself, is the moment I take a step in the wrong direction.
Now, all this is very abstract. True, but abstract. What does this look like practically?
It starts with a mindset. How do you think about achieving peace in your life? Peace is a state of rest and contentment with the circumstances around you. True peace comes from understanding, I think, God is in control. Isaiah 46:9b-10 says,
for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
Knowing that God is in control of all circumstances, and that He is working all things together for your good if you are His (Romans 8:28), is the key to finding mental and emotional peace in your life. This may not affect circumstantial peace, but it is the beginning to finding peace in your own mind.
What about strength? I think it also starts in understanding God is in control. Knowing that God is in control gives you proper perspective on how to handle situations. It gives you a strength you can’t build in the gym. It handles change with confidence, it approaches difficulties with peace.
One of the most important things to remember here is that we won’t always be truly strong and truly at peace. As weak and anxious human beings, we’ll never get this totally down. Never.
That’s where the peace that we achieve through Christ’s death and resurrection confirms our place as God’s child, our eternity with Him and our salvation from sin.
That, my friends, is true peace. And thankfully, my fiancée has a grasp on that.