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The Recipe for Peace

How God can provide calm when busyness and stress threaten to take over
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My husband and I had just returned home from a hectic shopping trip. As Erik pulled into the driveway, switching off the engine, we were suddenly surrounded by the silence of the night. We sat in the darkness, reluctant to give up the first quiet moment we'd experienced that entire day. I sighed, tired from the day's activities and the thoughts of the responsibilities tomorrow already held.

A question formed on my lips, but I hesitated to speak it aloud. It was a question that had been increasingly occupying my mind, but it didn't seem like one a "good" Christian should ask.

"Where's the peace?" I finally whispered. Erik glanced quizzically in my direction. "I mean, is this all there is to the Christian life?" I continued. "Doesn't the Bible promise something about 'peace that transcends all understanding?'" Erik didn't reply.

This question continued to haunt me long after that evening. Worn down by each day's responsibilities and worries, I longed to be enveloped in the "peace of God"—that deep serenity of soul where calm and joy grow. But I had to admit, in the many years I'd been a Christian, I couldn't say that peace had characterized my life. Was this "peace" the Bible spoke of just some cold, distant theological doctrine, or something I could actually experience now?

Several days later, I read Philippians 4:4-7. I was surprised to notice for the first time that this passage that speaks of the "peace of God" also states clearly how to obtain it: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. … Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (italics added).

While I was familiar with these concepts, I had to be honest—I wasn't actually practicing them. Did I really rejoice in the Lord always? Was my life characterized by gentleness? What about being anxious? Wasn't I the one who lay awake at night worrying about how I was going to get everything done the next day? Was it really possible for a person to live as the Scripture described? Since my heart longed for peace, I decided to test this "recipe" to see what would happen.

During the next few weeks, I was amazed at the impact those verses had on my life. As I tried to obey the commands of Philippians 4, I experienced a calm that transformed my perspective and gave me new vitality. To help remember these steps to peace, I created the acronym TLC.

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Anne

November 26, 2010  3:47pm

Excellent reminder to be thankful in all things...which certainly isn't easy but certainly DOES have positive physical and emotional results. God's all-encompassing love for us should not be taken lightly...He sees us w/t our "history" blocking His view...we are totally, forgivingly loved and if we have nothing else to be thankful for than "just" that, we would be peaceful and joy-filled forever...:-)

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Valerie

November 26, 2010  3:13pm

Great article for I find great importance in emphasizing gratitude to God for all He has done and even for having a hand in the trials. No matter what I face I made up my mind to continually and with fervency, actively pursue Him and not allow the cares of this world to choke out my relationship with Him. He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him and the byproduct ends in peace and /or solutions from the Holy Spirit. I know more than ever that until we see the Lord in eternity there will be many dips in life. I too see that each valley opens an opportunity for me to see the Lord show Himself strong in my life. This cycle has better anchored me as a believer for I know He works things out for my good and not always for my comfort. He has great aims and purposes for me and the avenues I must travel on all seem to fit in His Divine purposes for my life. I see myself clearer and do not have to know how or when the Lord will move on my behalf; I just know that He does.

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Mary Aguilar

November 22, 2010  5:51am

Thank you so much for this article, it is a true reminder of how GREAT OUR GOD IS, if we only listen to Him. Not easy as a rebellious child, but He love us so and through our daily challenges it is a reminder of How God is with us every moment of every hour of every day, no matter what!

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