As Christians, we expect Jesus to continue to work for us. As a gracious God, he provides everything we need. He allows us to live, eat, have shelter, and have access to resources. The list goes on and on. Not everyone is blessed to have everything that we have, however, mostly everyone in our Country (for the most part) has a relative amount of safety and resources to live a fruitful life.
However, there is one thing that many of us are missing today. One aspect of our lives that we have not obtained, even throughout the material things, experiences, and resources we seek out. It is PEACE. We long for it so very much, that we are willing to seek it out in many areas. Sometimes it is self-gratification via drugs, sex, or alcohol. Some of us try to fill it with material things, a new car, a new house, a new job, etc. Others try to find it through self help books, counseling, or social media. Yet, almost ALL of us fail. We don't meet our expectations, we don't find our peace, and we don't find our purpose.
I recently set out thinking why this may be. We work hard, pray fervently, and seek helpful resources everywhere we go. We ask God for the peace that only he can provide. Yet, what do we do to change things? Do we change our hearts, our mentality? Do we change our ways, our habits, our activities?
The unfortunate truth is that most of us (Me Included) expect to be able to continue in our ways, that God MUST be able to meet us in any circumstance. And, for the most part, this is true. He can help give us peace in unpredictable times. However, Should he? or should he attempt to correct our paths in our everyday lives?
After much thought and contemplation, I must allow myself to change. This is what the Gospel is all about, being reborn in the way of the Holy Sprit. This means changing our ways, our attitudes, our beliefs, and our actions to align and please God. So what does that look like in this modern hectic world? How can we change our lives to introduce Peace ?
I have 3 suggestions.
Spend more quiet time reading, thinking, and talking to God. This can be reading a book, the Bible, a devotional, or in prayer. Get quiet, so you can HEAR God speak.
Take time to help someone. This can be helping a friend, a co-worker, or a non-profit organization, but we need to start somewhere, and become self-less in the image of our Messiah.
Enjoy your experiences. Instead of picking things apart and remaining negative, create positive emotions and emotions even in stressful situations. Focus on the good, even if there are only a few good things to look forward to. Remember, always see the bigger picture.
As someone who experiences stress many times myself, these are the three principles that I remember to bring myself back into a healthy, happy lifestyle. If we practice these things, we WILL find more peace and freedom in our lives, breaking the chains of modern living and stress.
Writers Note: Being a Christian is HARD, but you don't have to be miserable. We are called to put worry aside, to live without fear, and to look forward to our future on Heaven and Earth. We SHOULD be the happiest people we know. Being happy and at peace are fruits of the spirit, and THROUGH them we get to shine our light and show our God to our world!