True peace really is divine and it is a necessity, especially in a world where there always seem to be chaos and disruption; where no news is good news because almost every news headline causes panic. There always seem to be something to worry about and we long for a state of serenity.
How then do we get to experience true peace in the midst of these chaos? How does it feel like to be truly peaceful? Is it a state of blank-mindedness? Is it the absence of commotion, war or troubles in our world that brings the feeling of peace? How does one truly come to live in divine peace?
According to Webster’s, peace is a “mental or spiritual condition marked by freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.” From my experience, peace is the feel of God’s divine presence in the midst of turbulence and chaos.
The world today is in such disruption that people go to extremities searching for ways to keep their minds free from worrisome and anxious thoughts. Unfortunately, they resort to quick fixes, developing life-threatening habits that gives fleeting peace- the kind of peace that lasts for only a moment and ultimately leads to depression. Many have taken up drinking, smoking, use of illegal drugs, immoral sexual activities, binging on movies or food and all sorts to keep from the real issues and feel temporal calmness.
In the long run, the consequence of these dangerous lifestyles is bad news. The good news however is that there is a better and more rewarding path to take. In Galatians 5:22, we see that divine peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit- the proof that the Holy Spirit of God dwells in us. In lieu of this, one sure way of experiencing true, undeniable, divine peace is when we invite the Prince of Peace into our lives and give Him a dwelling place in our hearts. And when tribulations come to threaten our peace, we can reconnect to our source because the Spirit of peace dwells within us.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”- John 14:27 NLT.
Although studies have shown that some temperaments or personality types are more prone to being worriers than others, women generally tend to be worriers as we have a lot of domestic and non-domestic responsibilities. With our motherly instincts, we tend to always have something engaging our minds compared to our male counterparts. From the welfare of our children, family, spouses and the health of our loved ones to our career or businesses even to weight regulation, our minds are always munching on some thing. Hence, the need to actively step into divine peace to enable us live wholesome lives on earth so we don’t go off worrying about things needlessly and make worrying a norm.
Some of us take life so personally and seriously, we want to carry all our burdens on our shoulder. That is not the kind of life that God intended for us. Sadly, some even secretly pride themselves in having the most challenges- somehow it means they are the ones living the ‘real life’. Why should we do that to ourselves when Jesus has already offered to carry our burdens for us? (Matt 11:28). Why do we leave so little space for God to come and show forth His power in our life circumstances and work through us? God intends for us to live peacefully on earth, both in our hearts and with our neighbours and I want to help you begin to walk in the light of peace by engaging some strategies that are actionable.
1. Prayer!- This is my number one strategy, anytime and every time. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been liberated through prayers. In Phil 4:6-7, we are encouraged to worry about nothing but pray about everything with thanksgiving to experience peace that transcends human understanding. I beseech you to pray the scriptures in faith and believe that your prayers are being answered, because they are. God cares for you (1 Pet 5:7), He has given you the gift of peace and it’s about time you began to live in the reality of it. Don’t be afraid to talk to God. Tell Him you’re afraid and that you need Him to replace your fear with peace. Tell Him to fight for you and sort you out. Tell Him everything! When we trust God to take care of our circumstances, when we have faith in God’s ability to solve our problems, we leave things in the hands of God and we get the feeling of divine peace. God will completely fill you with peace and joy because you trust Him- Rom 15:13. God longs to have a relationship with us. He longs for us to come to Him with our problems, to trust Him for peace and safety. He will always come to our rescue when we come to Him in faith.
2. Meditation and Journaling- This may sound like some modern day voodoo or something but I assure you that if you practise it the right way, it will yield amazing results. When meditating, sit alone in a quiet environment and begin to unravel your thoughts by asking yourself questions- What is causing you to loose your peace? What are the events triggering your anxiety? What can you do about it? Can you ask anyone for assistance? Think deeply and journal your thoughts as you meditate. Write them down as this helps you to declutter your mind and can be helpful when you encounter a similar situation in the future. You can always go back to your old journal entries later on to remind you how you dealt with same issues in the past. It also helps to know that you’ve experienced and conquered something similar.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You , all whose thoughts are fixed on You ! Isaiah 26:3 NLT
3. Affirmations- Post them in your personal space, on your walls, on your roof top, basically anywhere your eyes can see. There should always be a post-it note in your face to remind you that Jesus has left you with perfect peace of mind and heart that the world cannot give (John 14:27), should you ever be in such anxiety that you forget. These affirmations can come from the Bible (Isaiah 26:3, 2 Tim 1:7) or from your favourite books. One affirmation from Buddha says “at the end of the day, I’m at peace cos my intentions are good and my heart is pure”.
4. EFWAG: This is one of Pastor DDK’s famous principles that we should really begin to tap into. The acronym stands for ‘Energy Flows Where Attention Goes’. It is very important for us to begin to focus on positive thoughts and guard our hearts with all diligence. We should focus our attention on things that we want to see blossom, block out the noise and anxious thoughts, feed our hearts and souls with words from the scriptures, spend time with people with positive spirits and not people that always seem to know about all the terrible news. We should pay attention to what we listen to, what we read, where and with whom we spend our time. We need to be vigilant so that the wrong seeds don’t get planted in our hearts and steal our peace. Focus your attention on positive things and you begin to see positivity everywhere you look. Focus your attention on being grateful and there are many more reasons to celebrate.
5. Chill out- Listen to soothing music. You can have a playlist of worship songs and soothing songs that you listen to whenever you need to regain calmness. Take a nap, take a shower, take a break, stroll around in a serene environment. Engage yourself in a hobby like art, dancing, cooking, knitting, swimming or any sporting activity to relax your body. Just take things slow for a little while.
6. Seek professional help- Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a therapist or counsellor. They were born to serve you. You can also talk to someone you love and trust, someone you are comfortable sharing your challenges with.
I sincerely pray that as you make a commitment to live in divine peace and as you begin to practice these principles and pay attention to the state of your mind and heart, May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.
Kindly share in the comment section which of these principles you will start to implement in your life or any extra suggestions on how to step into divine peace. ♥
Written by Akabuogu Chidimma Joy