“Peace, through strength.” That is what Ronald Regan is credited with saying, although that phrase and belief predate him. I agree that you will not have peace without strength. Look around you today; people seem overcome with anxiety and frustration, anger and depression and fear. Think also about a common phrase that we hear today: “I just kinda go with the flow.” Going with the flow requires no strength and will not yield peace, for look at the flow and look where it flows.
I cannot tell you the number of times that I have heard someone say, “All I want is a little peace in my life. I just want peace.”
I don’t want to sound cliché here, but truly – anything worth having is worth working for. Experience has taught me that there is a shortcut to peace and it is grabbing hold of supernatural power that is available to all of us. We do not have to read 10 books written by psychologists, psychiatrists and a myriad of spiritual advisors about how to obtain peace in our life. Seeking counsel is wise but we must be discriminate in choosing the source. If a book does not draw you to the God of all peace, then be wary. That book is not for your life. You can do better than that. Peace requires a battle of sorts, a willingness to apply instruction to your life – and faith.
The Bible is not a book you read once. Because the Author is God, the Bible has been designed to never run dry; it is Living Water. In truth, the more it is read, the more it yields. You will never read the end of it. The more you read, the more you want – kind of like sugar, only the Bible is good for you.
Books that are for sale are a testimony of man’s hunger for peace. Book sales total billions of dollars, when the book we need is already in our home in duplicate, in triplicate and more. We buy these books, some of them teaching “Christian yoga for peace of mind. When you consider this – really consider this – it is nothing short of blasphemy and utterly unnecessary when the God of Peace has promised to be our Everything.
There is a battle raging. It is for the souls of men and then, for our peace of mind and confidence in God. Finding peace and keeping it is first a choice and then follow through is necessary, keeping focused on the right source. When I am tempted to try another road…. Well; that is not a temptation anymore. My heart is fixed.
My husband passed from death unto life in June of 2019 and my life is just a little bit lonelier since then, but peace is never far away, nor joy. The holy Scriptures mean more to me than they ever have. By the grace of God, they will mean more to me next year than they mean today. Every day we make choices and decisions, leaving room for life to enter in unexpectedly. And it will.
Several people have remarked to me about how well I am managing with the loss of my husband and I think that is true. About two months after he died, I began making choices about my future. At that time, I was not even doing so intentionally, but was being led by just staying faithful to the Word of God. There are days when a Psalm speaks my sorrow and loss and the next Psalm reminds me of better days ahead. There are many verses in Scripture about peace and God’s favor to our life. I wasn’t searching for them, but I came upon them and they were loud and clear to me. You need these for your life.
My morning “time with God” routine (TWG) Is not terribly structured, but is working well for me. Period. I will share it with you and encourage you to develop a morning routine that works for you. In the past, I have done more structured Bible reading, but there were times I felt that I wanted to read less or more or even that I wanted to reread a couple chapters but then I would get behind if I did that. This is what I am doing now:
- I quickly asked the Lord to keep my attention and to show me especially what I need to see for that day and then I begin.
- I am reading through the Bible while listening to it on audiobook. The audiobook that I use is Max McLean’s. As he reads aloud, I follow on the written page. If something strikes me as particularly important for me that day, I touch the pause button, allowing me to take notes, to underline or even to rewind and reread/listen to a part a 2nd time. An interesting note here: a couple of days ago I completed step one and two, having read two chapters in 2Samuel. The truth is, I was distracted and the next day I read the chapters from the previous day again. It was as if I had not read them the day before. I am – but dust – so I don’t beat myself up when I’m overly distracted, but I reconcile those readings by reading them again later. In a way, it is keeping honest accounts.
- After I read through whatever part of the Bible I am in, I read a Psalm aloud to myself. I read at least one and generally, only one. And I think about it.
- I finish my Bible reading with a chapter of Proverbs. I read that aloud too. This is speaking truth to myself. I need that.
- And then I pray.
My morning reading is always done in my Bible. That is where I write little notes to myself, including the reminders about maintaining peace in my life. At any time, I can leaf through my Bible and be encouraged and refreshed because I have made notes beside important scriptures that strengthen and instruct me.
I have had nights that I felt just out of sorts, troubled and could not sleep. The only cure for that is time with the Lord. Sometimes lying in bed in prayer is enough and sometimes I just have to get up and read my Bible for peace to return I open my Bible and begin glancing through the verses that have strengthened and encouraged me. They speak truth and give me comfort. My reassuring verses bring peace and I can usually go to sleep quickly. Remember: Peace requires strength and you have to develop the discipline to get up and go to your Bible. This becomes automatic, provided you do want peace rather than the pleasure of wallowing in anxiety.
There is much that can be said when our life is in disarray. Today I spoke mainly of generalities, but at the root of whatever is causing turmoil in your life the solution is found very much the same way. Make a choice to spend time with the One that is Peace and He will rub off on you. We do become like the ones we spend time with.
I am going to make March a month for peace and several times a week I am going to share a verse here and tell you why it is a powerful verse for bringing or restoring peace.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10