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Peace of God
By Valerie Garner

I found some definitions in several dictionaries that are quite interesting on peace: a state of reconciliation after strife, tranquil, completeness, soundness, well being.

If we're honest to ourselves, isn't that what we're all really searching for? Peace. True peace. Think about when we are craving and feeling like we need a vacation, isn't what's underneath, really a longing for peace? I think we've all probably been on vacations where we return even more exhausted and stressed out than when we left. A vacation doesn't mean peace will come.

In those stressful times when we feel like we just need a break, could it be that we are really looking for peace? What about when we awake in the middle of the night and can't sleep, what are our thoughts then? Isn't the cry of our heart really to find peace? When we feel tired, too much to do in too little time; when we can't even find time to think, isn't it really peace we long for?

I don't know what it's like in other parts of the world, but I do know that here in the U.S., we live (generally) a life filled with way too much. We have too many commitments, too much to do, and we live a very un-natural pace. A very unhealthy pace I believe. At times it feels as if we live in slavery to our schedules. It seems as though every minute of our day is dictated to us, with very little choice. I don't believe it's supposed to be this way, and I believe there's a way out. If you can relate to this, maybe I can offer some hope.

In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. In Psalms 29:11, it promises that, "God gives strength, and blesses His people with peace." In Isaiah 26:3 another promise is, "He will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee."

As we focus and think about Jesus Christ, He will put us in peace. Also in Philippians 4:7, "And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

This kind of peace is NOT an emotion or feeling, but a spiritual force that comes only from Jesus (Colossians 1:20 "and having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile ALL things unto himself..."

One moment in particular, I experienced this kind of peace when my husband of 13 years left me basically for another woman. I was left to be a single mom of 2 boys with no job, and no education (I chose to be a stay at home mom). We were poor even with my husband's income, and I had no family to help. I was alone. I didn't know if I could make it. If any of you have experienced this, you will relate to the devastation that comes.

The night he packed his bags to move out, as soon as he shut the door behind him, I felt my very soul begin to shatter. There are simply no words for the devastation I was experiencing. I ran to the phone (before I collapsed), and called my best friend and asked her to come and be with me for a little while. It would take her 20 minutes at least. I sat down and greatly feared this moment that was upon me. To my great surprise, I literally felt the peace of God (and His love) fall upon me, there are no words to describe what this feels like, except it's the most wonderful feeling you will ever experience.

By the time my friend arrived, I was truly at perfect peace. It was so strong, she even felt and sensed it, it was that tangible. We actually (and this is a miracle) had some tea, and had some laughs. I had times that I slipped from His peace, but when I turned again to Him for help, it was there for me. I found for the most part God carried me through that very difficult time, and guided my life's choices by His peace. Ultimately, we did reconcile. This type of peace is not based on circumstances. I had some of the most precious times in my life from this place of peace. I really desire to live my whole life, from this place of His peace.

The old hymn called "It is well with my soul" was written by a man in a ship, crossing the Atlantic and stopping at the exact place where (I believe) 5 of his children had just drowned. He could sing with his whole heart in that moment of devastation "It is well with my soul".

That is the peace of God.

Sometimes God speaks (He created the world into existence by speaking) to calm the storm (Mark 4:39), and sometimes He speaks peace to calm His people. 1 Corinthians 14:33 states, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace..." This kind of peace, drives out confusion.

What's really special is that God WANTS to give this peace to anybody who wants to receive it. It is an open invitation to ALL. It was for this reason that God sent His only son, Jesus Christ to atone for our sins on the cross. This reconciles us to Him, becoming that bridge to God where we can then receive His peace and forgiveness. When I received Jesus and came into this peace for the first time, it felt like "coming home." I also had the feeling like, "This is what I've been looking for my WHOLE life, but could never put my finger on." What an immense burden lifted off to KNOW I finally was at peace with God.

This is a very simple thing to do if you wish to receive His love, peace, life eternal and all that He has. I'm going to tell you how because nobody ever told me and it caused me to search for years to find that part out. It's just offering up a simple prayer from an honest heart (you can pray this alone, and say it in your own words, but here's the gist of it), "Jesus, I want to know you are real, I want to come into peace with you and my Heavenly Father, please forgive all my sins I've ever committed against you, I want to be clean and made whole. I need Your love and peace in my life. I receive what you did for me. Thank you. Amen."

As I close this, I would like to leave you with a few more words of Christ, John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, give I unto you, Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Lastly in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means, The Lord be with you all."

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