“Love, joy, and peace would be ours if only we could get off this island.” These were the words of a couple who found themselves in a frustrating situation.
You might identify with this couple’s statement because you’re feeling, “If I could only get out of the situation I’m in, that would do it for me. I could be happy. I could do the Lord’s work. I could love other people.”
But the truth of the matter is: God is with us in every situation, and He is with us right where we are! What we need to discover is how to respond appropriately to our current circumstances. You can either have a wonderful time underneath your skin, or a miserable time underneath your skin, and it’s all up to you. The question is: Do you want to experience true peace, or are you more content with being angry, with bearing a grudge, with complaining, with being cranky? The answer to that question requires some personal reflection!
Jesus has offered us a solution to responding to our difficult situations! In Matthew 11:28, He calls us to “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me. I am gentle and humble in My heart, and you will find rest for your soul.”
“Come unto Me . . .” Not come with me to the golf course or the gym. Not come and engage with me in a class or some form of recreation. Not “just get busy” with me as we take on planning a party, or a trip or a church event. “Come unto Me!” True contentment and peace is found in HIM!
John 14:27 tells us, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives.” “Not as the world gives” is an important point. There are two kinds of peace: the world’s kind and the Lord’s kind. And it’s important to know the difference between the two. The world’s kind of peace offers exercise and all kinds of facilities where you can work off your tensions and find relaxation. To get your mind off yourself there are books, radio, TV, and hobbies. And there are fun things to occupy your time, as well as all kinds of relaxation courses and exercises. All these “outlets” can keep you occupied for years, but they ultimately only offer the world’s peace.
The Lord’s kind of peace is a peace that gets into your soul. In John 16:33, Jesus says “These things have I spoken unto you that IN ME you should have peace. In the world you’ll have trouble, but I have overcome the world.” Jesus is talking about an untroubled heart in a troubled world. Isn’t that what you’re looking for?
God is just waiting to give you that peace. He’s waiting for you to ask Him to give you that peace. To open up your life to Him. To allow Him to change you, and challenge you, and transform your inner reactions to life’s situations.
Read Matthew 11:28; John 14:27; John 16:33
Take a step . . .
Find a little time to evaluate your reactions to your current situations.
What is keeping you from experiencing God’s love, joy, and peace?
Are you willing to yield yourself to the Lord?
Are you willing to release the emotions to Him that are affecting your life in a negative way?
Do you truly desire His peace?
Ask God to fill you with His peace and to show you how you can change.
[This is a summary of Dr. Brandt’s transcript Natural Inner Reactions. Click here to listen to the audio or read the transcript.]