By. Josh Williams
Reading: John 16:33
According to the dictionary in the back of my New Living Translation Bible, peace is defined as, “a state of tranquility or quiet; a pact or agreement between those who have been at war or a state of enmity; harmony in personal relations, especially with God; a state of security or order within a community; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.”
My thought life is not always what it should be, and as a human, that’s to be expected. Something that I realized recently in a worship time one Wednesday is that I have a hard time really finding true peace as a result of this. As a Christian, and with peace being the 3rd fruit of the Spirit, peace should be somewhat easy to come by. But, for some reason…it’s really not.
Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts and emotions can be so hard to come by. It starts with being able to forgive yourself for what you do and think that’s wrong. I have a really hard time forgiving myself for how I think (obviously if it contradicts the Word of God), and how I act on those thoughts. It has gotten so bad before that I have broken down crying because I am so distraught over how wrongly and lightly I have treated the wonderful brain that God has given me.
I can’t express how important it is for you to be able to forgive yourself. That can be one of the hardest things to do. A couple years ago, I committed a sin, which in my eyes, was so bad that I still have not completely forgiven myself for it. Satan is using my regret to keep me from being at peace with my Lord and Savior. It hurts me that he constantly reminds me of what I did.
Not having this peace of mind and freedom of heart has hurt my relationship with God. It’s not enough that the person I hurt has forgiven me. Almost always, I feel separate from God. I hate myself. Sometimes, I turn to my sin, and I get hurt even more. I just feel that this monster has preyed on my life and preyed on my thoughts.
During Christmas break, my Sunday school teacher was going through John, and he just happened to go over John 16:33 when I was there. This verse tells us that although we are going to have trials and sufferings here on earth, that we should find peace in Jesus because he has overcome the world. I find myself meditating on this verse more and more lately. I still have problems forgiving myself for the major things, but it is getting easier now. No matter what you are going through, Jesus has given you a helper (the Holy Spirit) to guide us through this life and help you to make the right decisions.
Prayer: Pray for you to be able to grow closer to God. Pray for you to have the courage to talk to another Christian about getting spiritual mentoring in this area. Pray that you will be able to see some of the Lord’s work in your life. Pray that he will open someone’s eyes that need to see your example of living like Christ.