I'm sure I'm not the only person that has asked God, "Please Lord give me some peace on this day." I would expect God to rain down some peace particles from the heavens that would magically put my worries and fears at ease so that I would carry on about my day. But sure enough not even an hour later, I'm wound up again on edge wondering where my peace went.
It wasn't attend I attended a service at my home church, The Life Church, that Pastor John spoke about peace and there was a moment that he said something that really hit me. He said that peace is a choice. If you want to keep peace in your life, then choose to have it.
I had to stop for a moment and let that sink in. Wait...so I must own the fact of whether or not I'm in a state of peace? Can't be. But when you think about it, it's true. We choose to worry. We choose to be afraid of something. We allow ourselves to wallow in these emotions and wait on God to pull us out. But you have to put in an effort to pull yourself up. You want peace? Ask God to help you have a peaceful mindset and then make a decision to be peaceful. Don't allow anything to rob you of your joy. Don't allow anything to make you full of anxiety. Choose to be at a state of peace.
Easier said than done. I know, I know. But it can become easier the more you practice it and the stronger your faith is in God. You see, I trust that God is always in control. I may not understand why everything happens, but I know that God does. I have to rest in my faith to allow God to work things out that I can no longer control. And no I'm not saying that because some preacher said that. I have gone through things in life that has proved that having the faith to trust in God to take care of things that I don't have control over will yield me the peace and energy I need to move on and continue to be productive in life.
Now reread that and noticed that I said with things that I have NO control over. Because for some situations there are many things that I can do to make my situation better. By putting in all the action that I can, I can rest in knowing that I've done what I could, and it's now God's turn to take the baton and make things happen in His right timing. I tell God what I need and I let it go from there. That can help me to hold on to the peace that God can give me to choose to walk in. I must do my part and allow God to do the rest with a peaceful mindset. (John 14:27; Philippians 4:6,7; Isaiah 26:3)
For example, I use to have to pray for peace everyday when I worked at one of my past jobs. I hated this job, and I would wait in my car until the last minute before I had to clock in just so that I wouldn't have to spend not one extra minute in there. I prayed for peace in my job, but I allowed others to rob me of it every day. It wasn't until I chose to be at a stable level of peace and joy that I started having better days at my job. When someone came at me wrong, I chose not to let them get to me. I remembered that this was simply a situation where this person wanted me to be upset and wanted to rile me up. I began to refuse to fall into their trap to give them the satisfaction of being powerful enough to bother me and break my good mood.
It's funny that when I started doing this, I either saw one of two actions:
Remember that some people are just miserable. We all know that misery loves company. When you reject that invitation to be miserable with them, you are keeping the peace the God is giving you. You're keeping the joy that God has placed in your heart. And as you practice that daily, it'll become easier and easier to not let things in life put you in left field so quickly. Then there's also situations and circumstances that may steal your peace and joy. Remember that nothing last forever. This too shall pass. One day you'll look back and no longer feel any emotional turmoil from it and only as a memory of what you came out of.
So choose peace. Ask God to help you have it and keep it. Then make the decision with every hour that goes by that you will continue to be peaceful. Don't allow your emotions overwhelm you to the point that you can't make this decision. You can't control everyone else, but you can control yourself. Exercise that self-control and live a more peaceful life.