In this pressure-filled, stressful world we live in, is peace really possible? It seems everyone’s a mix of stressed, anxious, or afraid these days. And it’s exhausting. Is there a way not to feel overwhelmed and tired all the time? Several years ago, I went on a quest to find peace, and discovered that not only was peace possible, perfect peace was available.
I remember it vividly. The day I decided I couldn’t live like this anymore.
Here I was, a fully devoted follower of Christ, responding to life pretty much like everyone else, fully devoted or not. I lived in fear and worry, yet I knew it shouldn’t be that way! Consistently I read in the Word of God to not be afraid and to be anxious for nothing. But that sounded impossible!
God has a lot to say in the Bible about fear and its antidote: peace. In one instance, Jesus and His disciples were on a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee when a furious storm threatened to sink them. They all fought to keep afloat, and what was Jesus doing? He was sound asleep! Right in the middle of the storm.
The disciples asked, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus got up and rebuked the storm, and it went completely calm. Then He asked the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:40 NIV
That pretty much summed up the conversations I was having with God. I could feel Him asking me why I was afraid, and I was answering, Isn’t it obvious? Look at my circumstances! Who wouldn’t or couldn’t be afraid?
In my quest for peace, 3 things became crystal clear.
- My circumstances were determining my level of peace. If life’s circumstances were all good, then I was at peace. If storms were encircling me, I was stressed, anxious, and tired all the time—exhausted from my emotions. I was just like the disciples in the storm. I was fearful of the storm, hurt, and confused because I thought God mustn’t care. But Jesus brought me to my next point.
- Jesus was trying to teach me peace is possible, no matter the storm. Are you relating to this battle? It’s not easy, is it? I was still struggling to understand how Jesus could expect me to experience peace in the storm, wondering if He truly even cared, when I realized my next breakthrough point.
- My storms revealed my level of trust. I obviously hadn’t learned to trust God in the storms to the extent that I could walk in peace despite the storm and not be exhausted from stress and anxiety. Have you hit that wall yet?
It was obvious I had some room to grow. In my soul searching, I asked God to reveal His path for me so I could begin experiencing peace in my life as evidence of my faith and trust. As I opened my Bible, the Holy Spirit directed me to an amazing verse for my quest. It was Isaiah 26:3 NLT (my emphasis added).
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
This Scripture jumped off the page as my answer! Peace was great, but perfect peace? I was all in! And for the next six months, it was the verse I meditated on day and night. I wasn’t just going to think about it, I had to learn to live this!
The path to peace is found by trusting and fixing our thoughts on the One who is never unsettled by storms. The only action God was requiring of me was trust. It opened the door to peace. It didn’t happen overnight, but little by little, more peace and rest rejuvenated my tired, weary soul. As you daily focus on and meditate on the truth and choose to trust Him with whatever you face, you’ll begin walking in more and more peace until the storms don’t cause you anxiety, stress, and fear making you feel tired all the time.
The Word of God is true. Take it in, believe it, speak it, choose it! Perfect peace is possible!