Tips on Cultivating a Peaceful Spirit
It Begins with Consistent Focus and Trust
by J.M. Troppello
I have two verses about peace in the Bible that are my favorites and that I have memorized. The first one is Philippians 4:7 which says, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” To understand the full context of this verse and how you receive this peace that passes all understanding, read the full passage:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:4-7, NKJV)
Let’s dissect this passage from Philippians to fully understand how that true peace is possible in your daily life—and how you can cultivate a peaceful spirit each day.
1. Rejoice, Don’t Fake Happiness
There is a huge difference between joy in the Lord and happiness with your life, circumstances, and the people in them. When you are joyful or continually rejoicing in the Lord, you are focusing on Him as your source of grace, peace, and strength each day. Circumstances, people, and things change through the years. Yet, the Lord remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
God is not asking you to fake being happy all the time. He wants you to truly experience all the emotions you have—even the negative ones like grief, sadness, anger, and frustration. However, He doesn’t want you to stay stagnated in those negative emotions. God wants you to give them (and all your concerns) over to Him. That’s how you can rest in Him and receive His joy and peace in your life.
2. Be Gentle to Everyone
Secondly, it’s vital that you do your best to be gentle to everyone. Of course, that is not easy. Believe me, there are people in my life who drive me crazy with their drama and negative attitudes. I do my best not to allow them to negatively affect me. I limit my time with them. However, God wants you to allow Him to move through you in gentleness to all people.
You cannot do this on your own. It’s impossible. Only through God’s strength, can you find the power (through the Holy Spirit) to love others with God’s unconditional love. It’s God’s place to judge the actions of others. Not yours or mine. Yes, again, that is so difficult. Yet, if you want to have genuine peace that passes all understanding, it’s pivotal that you trust God to help you be gentle to all people.
3. Don’t Allow Anxiety to Take Over
I used to be an extreme worrier. I worried so much and failed to pray as much as I should. I guess I didn’t think God could handle my problems. However, as I’ve grown as a Christian, I’ve seen that God has provided and answered prayers over and over and over again in my life.
With God’s help, I’ve learned that I don’t have to live in a constant state of anxiety. That’s not what God wants in your life. Pray, read God’s Word, and praise and worship Him. Those three things are the key steps you need to take to stop anxiety from taking over.
4. Live in an Attitude of Thanksgiving
This passage in Philippians urges you to give everything over to God by prayer and supplication—and do it with an attitude of thanksgiving. That’s why I’m such a promoter of having your own thanksgiving journal. Write down three things you are thankful for each day. Sometimes, it will be difficult to think of those things.
Yet, if you want that true joy, learn to live in an attitude of thanksgiving each day. I’m still a work in progress in this area, but that’s okay. No one is perfect here on earth. Each day is a new day to try again.
You Can Have Perfect Peace Each Day
3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.4 Trust in the Lord forever, For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:3-4, NKJV)
Isaiah 26:3-4 is my second favorite passage of scripture about peace. This passage shares two secrets to being kept in that perfect peace:
Mindset – Perfect peace comes when your mind is constantly focused on God.
Trust – Perfect peace also comes when you completely trust in God.
That sounds so simple, yet it is powerful. Whenever I have focused on my problems and not God—and didn’t trust Him completely—that’s when I failed to receive that genuine, perfect peace. However, when I’ve focused consistently on God and trusted Him, I’ve experienced the peace that passes all understanding.
Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.
About the Author
J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
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