Have you ever heard a song, and in that moment, it was exactly what you needed to hear? What about a church message? That’s where I am with this series, Finding Peace.
As a teacher starting a hybrid school year, my work circumstances are anything but peaceful. I cannot put into words my conflicting emotions between how amazing it is to be back with students, and at the same time, how insanely difficult this format of teaching is. There is considerably more lesson prep, difficulties with managing students that are absent because of illness and/or quarantine, and constant uncertainty looming over each week. This timely message has been a reminder of the anchor of PEACE we have in Jesus. Last week, we saw how our reactivity is an indicator of anxiety in our lives. This week, we see how Jesus invites us to TURN DOWN the NOISE to increase HIS PEACE.
Our theme verse for this series comes from Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (emphasis added). Lead Pastor Ben Snyder described this type of peace as an internal peace that is holistic and provisional—not conditional or dependent upon circumstances. He further described peace as a non-anxious presence—being fully aware of God, self, and others.
This gift of peace is readily available to each one of us as we trust in Jesus (see John 14:27). As followers of Christ, we can do things our own way or we can do things his way. The following two verses urge us to give up our way and follow his:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.”
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
If we want to follow Jesus, we need to give up our own way and turn down the noise in our lives. For me, instead of turning to social media, complaining, or self-medicating with a milkshake when frustrations or anxieties arise at work, I can turn to Jesus, spend time in his Word and prayer, praise him through some worship music, or give space for the Holy Spirit to bring the gift of peace into my life.
Join us this week as we look at what hijacks the peace in our lives and how we can die to self—giving space to accept the gift of peace that Jesus has for each one of us.
Have you been trying to handle your lack of peace all on your own? Is it working? What are some habits you can turn from so that you can turn to Jesus in the midst of your anxiety?
Have an honest conversation with yourself about what may hijack the peace in your life. Seeing it on paper by journaling may be helpful as well. Take a step toward Jesus this week by replacing one action you would normally do in an anxious moment. Stop and pray, listen to a worship song, or open your Bible and let God speak to you.
God, we thank you for the gift of peace that you offer us in this chaotic world. Help us to turn from our normal way of dealing with things that rob us of peace and turn to you, allowing you to work in our lives. Open our hearts and minds to receiving your peace that is not dependent on our circumstances. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
This post was written by Kendra Grubinski. Kendra is passionate about her relationship with Jesus and loves studying and sharing God’s Word. During the week, she is a Spanish Teacher at Findlay High School. She also enjoys spending time with her family and pups, reading, traveling, drinking good coffee and being active outdoors.
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