The goal is to confront life’s challenges without losing your peace. If you find yourself in a situation where darts are flying at you from every direction, take time to stop and focus on Jesus. Put your mind on a short leash and guide it back to the place where you felt God’s peace all around you. Then camp out there for a while. If you have lost your peace altogether, ask yourself, When was the last time I felt Him near me? Then go back there. Remember this: You may have lost sight of Him, but the Prince of Peace will never lose sight of you.
We read the stories of Jesus—his joy, his resolute peace through uncertainty, his unanxious presence, his relaxed manner and how in the moment he was—and think, I want that life. We hear his open invite to “life…to the full” and think, Sign me up. We hear about his easy yoke and soul-deep rest and think, Gosh, yes, heck yes. I need that. But then we’re not willing to adopt his lifestyle. But in Jesus’ case it is worth the cost. In fact, you get back far more than you give up. There’s a cross, yes, a death, but it’s followed by an empty tomb, a new portal to life. Because in the way of Jesus, death is always followed by resurrection.
Peace isn’t just an absence of conflict. Peace is your powerful state in Jesus, the reality of his rest, wholeness, perspective, and presence in your life. It’s the ultimate defense against the enemy, because he has no answer for it. He can’t intimidate, manipulate, or corrupt anyone who lives in God’s peace. If you’ve lost your peace, it’s usually because you’ve stopped letting God be your source. Peace that depends on circumstances, or on what others do or don’t do, is going to get broken quickly.
Storms did not bother Christ. In fact, Christ had dominion and authority over the wind and waves. The wind and waves were no competition for Christ. As they vehemently crashed upon the disciples’ boat — Jesus was walking on water. Notice that in the same environment that the disciples were struggling in — Jesus was thriving. Christ wants you to thrive in the midst of the storm. Don’t let the wind and waves of the world serve as distraction.
Impure living, impure thinking, impure relationships, impure affections—upside-down living—creates the perfect environment and breeding ground for demonic activity. It invites him in and then fosters the perfect place for his turmoil and trouble to thrive. Unrighteousness disrupts our peace. It scares away any lasting sense of rest and contentment. It spoils what could otherwise be enjoyable. It complicates experiences that were meant to be nothing but pleasures and blessings. We can’t knowingly create this kind of an environment—the kind that invites the devil to make himself at home—and then blame God for whatever sense of distance we may feel.