For the first few years of my Christian life, I struggled with how to respond to my unsaved relatives. None of them was excited that I had become a Christian. After seeking the Lord, I realized that no matter how they treated me, I could remain at peace with them. I must admit, it took a lot of hard work on my part.
Psalms 34:14 says,
"Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others" (NLT).
Many times, in order to be at peace with others, we must remain unresponsive to their hurtful actions.
Notice Colossians 3:15 again,
"Let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as an umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live]" (AMP).
Notice we choose whether we will let peace rule in our lives. That doesn't mean our peace won't be challenged, but we can make the decision to let peace rule in our lives before we are faced with difficult situations. Then when a situation presents itself, no matter how much our flesh wants to respond, we can yield to peace. Many times we only have a split second to decide, but that is all the time we need to call on the Spirit.
Each day we can practice yielding to peace until it becomes natural. For example, while driving to work when a car pulls out in front of us, we have only a moment to either yield to peace or give the other driver what he deserves! That's why it's wise to make that decision now before we come under attack. Then settle it with finality: "From this day forward, I will yield to peace."
Circumstances aren't always peaceful, but peace can rule in any circumstance.
That's exactly what Jesus did in the middle of a violent storm. While crossing the lake, He was enjoying a peaceful nap when He was awakened by His disciples in complete panic. Because peace was the umpire making the calls in every situation He faced, Jesus was able to speak to the storm and release the peace that ruled from within His heart. He never allowed the storms of life to enter His heart.
Maintaining a peaceful heart is important not only to our well-being, but also to a world in desperate need of peace. We can be the one with the peaceful presence who family and friends call upon during trouble.
The same peace that reigned in Jesus can take us through any situation we face. Jesus never let the kingdom of darkness upset Him. On one occasion the Bible records an angry mob tried to push Him over a cliff. But as they drew close to the edge of the cliff, Jesus turned and walked right through the middle of the angry mob. He remained at peace no matter what happened around Him.
We don't have to panic when the storms of life arise. We can control every situation when we allow peace to reign in our hearts. The question is: will we let peace rule? Or will we push peace aside and take matters into our own hands?
- Excerpt from the
The Power of Peace - Protection and Direction
God's peace, as the Bible describes it, is a life-changing force given two vital assignments related to your heart. It is assigned to guard your heart and to act as umpire — helping you to make the right de... read more