When I look back on my life and think about all the things I’ve strived for, I realize that everything I ever sought out was for the accomplishment of a single goal. Peace. I believe that everything we do is done for peace. Our peace of mind. Usually, when we think about peace, we’re thinking about an absence of conflict. What is life without conflict? I’d say life without conflict is a life without change. A life without change is stagnant and not really a life at all. Therefore, without conflict in our lives, we’re not growing, and our lives really are meaningless.

We can strive for peace amongst the best of circumstances. Consider the notion of going on vacation. People go on vacation to get away from things like work and school. However, many people give themselves a more regimented schedule of “things to do” than what they have in the non-vacation part of their lives. When we go on vacation, if we don’t get those things done, we may feel as if we failed, somehow, to get the most out of our vacation.

When we return home from our vacations, there’s this sense of peace we find when we’ve gotten home. While we were on vacation, we might not have felt rested, but afterward, when we are home or on the way home, we feel that sense of peace and rest and attribute it to our well-earned vacation. Is it possible that the sense of peace and rest we feel doesn’t come from what we did on vacation? Could it be more from a sense of going back to our “normal” life, with all of the stress and such that we’re used to, instead of vacation stress?

Let’s say, for a moment, that we could find a lack of conflict and change in our lives to hold onto no matter how busy or stressed we are. When I lived in Santa Barbara, I’d go to the ocean, sit down, and stare off into the horizon. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have someplace to go where we can “get away” from it all. However, there are times when, no matter where we go to try and get away from everything external, we can’t get away from ourselves. Our minds can be our worst enemies.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

This verse from Isaiah reminds us that we can be in peace at all times when we keep our thoughts on Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I find this very hard to do sometimes. There’s so much going on that I find myself overwhelmed by it all. Fortunately, the Apostle Paul gives us some insight into handling these stresses in life.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

This verse doesn’t tell me I will never be anxious. No, it tells me that when I am anxious to pray and be thankful. It tells me to go to God in every situation, even those with no anxiety, and talk to God about it. When I give it all up to God with prayer and in thanksgiving, I will have the peace of God, a peace beyond understanding. This peace will then fortify my heart and my mind against everything wanting to steal it away.

I started thinking about peace today because of this verse I read in Leviticus.

Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.

Leviticus 26:8 (NIV)

Thinking about this verse led me to Psalm 91.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

Psalm 91:7 (NIV)

Neither of these verses seems to point to peace. In fact, one points to being outnumbered by enemies but overcoming them anyway. The other refers to “the pestilence that stalks in the darkness” (Psalm 91:6 NIV). In our lives, we are surrounded by enemies. Our thoughts, fears, doubts, and the unknown are a few that come to mind. These will all destroy our peace if we allow it.

Here’s another verse from one of my favorite psalms.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Psalm 23:5 (NIV)

Just think about what it says here in the first sentence. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” It doesn’t say, “After I’ve found the perfect place to eat, You prepare a table for me.” During the turmoil, there is a peace that allows the writer to sit down and have a meal. This isn’t like the Passover meal taken in preparation to leave. This is a big ten-course meal with everything, and it’s done right there, with enemies all around.

As I’ve said, without conflict. Without change, our lives are stagnant, and they lack growth. When there’s a lack of growth, there’s a lack of maturity. When we consider what it means to be a Christian and our desire to be more like Christ, we must grow. We must mature. We must have conflict, but there is a place we can go to that doesn’t change, where we can find rest and peace. Into the arms of Jesus.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.