There’s only one way to experience an abiding peace that transcends circumstances—by faith. Faith is the foundation for living in God’s peace—an active, confident trust in His presence and power to sustain and comfort you, no matter the circumstance you face. There are, however, certain issues that can undermine our faith and rob us of our peace. Let’s consider a few of them:
1. Sudden Fear—Some people are so accustomed to responding to every little dip and rise of life with fear and small doses of panic that they can’t even imagine there’s another way to respond. They’re so upset by change of all types that it never dawns on them they can live with greater emotional stability.
2. The Enemy—We can be attacked by our enemy, the devil, who may use various means to cause us to doubt and lose faith in our God. But we must stand up to him. Scripture urges us to resist the devil, and when we do, he will flee from us (James 4:7).
3. Sin—Peace and rebellion cannot co-exist. The only recourse is to confess sin to God, surrender to Him, and ask for His help in turning from and resisting all temptation. Then, God’s peace can flow once again.
4. Giving Up Peace—In times of crisis, we sometimes lay down our peace willingly. We give it up. Concede it. Abandon it. Always remember that no one can take our peace from us; we have to surrender it. And as such, we’re the only ones who can take it back.
5. Losing Focus—We can allow the myriad of bad-news scenarios we hear and read about every day to cause us to lose our correct focus. Instead of having our minds set on God and trusting Him for His peace and presence, we allow our thoughts to get sidetracked and galvanized by the negative news and circumstances we see and hear.
Because God is with us, we don’t have to give in to, sink beneath, or become defeated by our troubles. We can face, confront, challenge, deal, and in the end overcome them in the power of the cross. Jesus taught His followers that all troubles are passing in nature for a season … and a reason. So “let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:27). Hold on to the peace that God gives, confident that He’s watching, directing, and caring for those who trust and believe in Him.