This is a question on the lips of many people around the world. And many people have lost hope of ever enjoying any peace or tranquility in this life. “Not in this life” many would say. Not in a world full of violence, hate and envy. But that is exactly what I am talking about – the here and now – and it is possible.
Psalm 23:5 (NIV) says “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a]I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows”.
That means here and now, in this life. You won’t have any enemies when you are in heaven.
In John 14:27 (NIV), Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. Then in Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) it says “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
Yet, nothing will happen automatically. We have our part to play. We must make a decision. Who will have the final say in your life? Who has final authority? Colossians 3:15 (NIV) says “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” That little word “let”, indicates that we need to make the decision for the peace of Christ to rule in our lives. God is not forcing himself on anyone. You have to make the decision.
By giving the Word of God final authority in your life, also means that you need to trust His Word. If God says that He will protect you (Psalm 91), you should resist the devil, by refusing to fear (John14:27) and refuse being anxious about your future (Philippians 4:6).
There is one more crucial ingredient that you need to experience total freedom and peace in your life, and that is to forgive. Living in un-forgiveness will steal your peace from you and it will even rob you from your health. And through un-forgiveness, you are robbing yourself from getting your prayers answered. Many people love to quote Mark 11:23-24 about having faith and you will have what you say. But it is important to read the rest of that scripture too. Verse 25-26 (KJV) goes on to say “25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses”.
We cannot manipulate God by thinking that we can just “name it and claim it”. God always knows what’s best, and we also have responsibilities that goes beyond ourselves.
You might think it is impossible to forgive that person after what he/she has done to you. What you think and what you feel is not important, and that is actually good news. If you want to forgive based on how you feel, that means you want to do it in your own power and it becomes impossible. But if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13; Colossians 3:17).
A Chip on the Shoulder Weighs a Ton
This brings us to the nugget for this week. In John L. Mason’s Book An Enemy Called Average, nugget #30 says “a chip on the shoulder weighs a ton”.
The weight of un-forgiveness is a terrible weight to carry and will only drag you down. “But no one knows what that person did to me!” yet, as John Mason says in his book; “That may be true, but the question is do you know what un-forgiveness will do to you?”
What really matters is what happens in us not to us – John Mason.
Un-forgiveness leads to great bitterness and that is a deadly misuse of the creative flow from above. Great amounts of mental energy and brain power are used up in pondering over a negative situation and plotting how to “get even”.
“That’s easy to say, but you don’t know my situation”, you might say. Yes, maybe I don’t know your situation, but I do know what it’s like. People who know me personally will know what I am talking about, and I also have to fight the temptation of un-forgiveness. But by the grace of God, I have learned to forgive and I refuse to meditate on what happened. When those thoughts come, I take them captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Peace and Tranquility is Within Your Reach
Yes, we do live in a world full of violence and hate. The question is; how do you perceive all this in your own mind. The good news is that you can learn how to respond to things by taking control of your mind.
In Matthew 24 Jesus gave a description of the end times to His disciples, and he told them not to be troubled as these things must come.
What we are facing today is the results of mankind, but God is not caught by surprise, and He is still in control.
How do you perceive what is happening around you? Are you able to remain positive about your future? Tell me about your expectations in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.
On 12 October 2015 I am launching a new site – yourmindrenewed.com – where I will discuss the impact of your thinking and the effect it has on your life. Join me on this exciting journey and tell me about your experiences and how you deal with your thought life.