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22 Days of Peace

22 Days of Peace

Pastor Dan Roth

Day 22 - The Kingdom Peace

for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. - Romans 14:17 NKJV

As believers we live in the Kingdom of God. It is different than the kingdoms of this world and the unseen kingdom of darkness. In fact, the kingdom of darkness controls what is going on in this world. The Bible tells us that the systems of this world are under the sway of the wicked one. That is the reason why you will never find righteousness, peace and joy in the world or it’s systems. They are opposed to God because they are under the sway of the enemy. In contrast we see that whatever we need we can find in the kingdom of God. We need righteousness and it can only be found within the kingdom of God. Righteousness is both the position of being right with God and the practice of doing right God’s way. That means that righteousness is the kingdom place and the kingdom practice. We also need peace. Peace is found in the kingdom of God as well. Jesus overcame the kingdom of darkness with His victory at the cross. His victory means the war is over. That is why we pray the kingdom come on the earth as it is in Heaven. We are bringing the victory of Jesus into our daily life on earth and with that victory the war that is waged against us is a war that is already won. When the kingdom victory is enforced then you experience the peace of the kingdom. The natural result of being in God’s kingdom, doing God’s will and experiencing God’s peace will be joy. Joy is much greater than happiness. Happiness is dependent on circumstances but joy comes no matter what you’re facing. As you go throughout your day don’t forget what kingdom you’re a part of. Live your life in the place and practice of God’s ways. As you do the peace and joy will follow.

Day 21 - The Rule of Peace

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. - Colossians 3:15 NKJV

Can you remember a time that you had a big decision to make and didn’t know what to do? We all have and you might be in that situation right now. The good news is that God gives us help in our decision making. The easiest decisions are the ones we see that are outlined in the Bible. We know things we can confidently say yes and no to based on what we see in the scripture. We also have the ability to hear God’s voice in prayer. His Spirit has been given to us and we can hear the gentle whisper of His leading. But what do we do when we don’t hear the voice of God at all and there is nothing in the Bible that would give us a clear direction? Decisions like what house to buy, what strong Christian to date and marry, and where to work could all fall in to this category. For these things God has given us the powerful help of His peace. Colossians tells us to let the peace of God rule in our hearts. The word rule could also be translated ‘to be an umpire.’ Think of what an umpire does; they decide on if something is allowed or not. In baseball they would say if someone is ‘safe’ or ‘out.’ Let’s apply that thought to our verse. Colossians 3:15 could read as follows; “And let the peace of God be the umpire of your hearts deciding what is safe and what is out.” It makes a lot of sense. When you are thinking about a decision do you have peace or unsettling? If there are two options which one has God’s peace on it and which one doesn’t? I would suggest that if you sense God’s peace on one over another that the umpire of peace is telling you that the one is safe and the other is out. Trust that peace to help guide you in decision making. Once again with the peace comes thanksgiving. You can be thankful that God will guide you in His peace. Some people have turned down lucrative jobs, chosen the fixer upper instead of the turn key home and have trusted the peace of God only to find out God was saving them from disaster later on. Do you have a decision to make? If so look in to God’s word to see what is says regarding the situation. Pray about it and listen for God’s voice. As you think on the decision see if God’s peace is on it or not. Let the peace of God show you what is safe and what is out and act accordingly. Thank God that He knows what is best and that He is guiding you the right way.

Day 20 - The Guard of Peace

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. - Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

Anxiety is at an all time high. Fear is being thrown around on the news and online. People are concerned over their health, their family, their future, the economy, the political scene…and the list goes on. For Christians we never need to fear. God is with us and will carry us through any trial we may encounter. He has also commanded us in His word not to fear. We don’t have permission to be anxious or afraid! With the command also comes the direction God has for our lives. He wants us to bring everything to Him in prayer and supplication. Supplication is simply bringing God your needs and asking Him to provide. We can be free of anxiety when we pray because we know Who we are praying to. God is the One who created the heavens and the earth. He holds all things together by the power of His word. He is able to handle anything we bring to Him! That is why we can be thankful when we pray and ask God for what we need. Even before you ever see an answer to your prayers it is good to say thank you to God because you know that He is working all things together for your good and will take care of your needs. Thanksgiving will break through anxiety and cast out fear. As if that wasn’t enough there is a guard that comes after you pray. The guard is peace. When you pray and give your anxiety and fear to God and ask for His provision and guidance, thanking Him in all things, then peace will come and stop any further fears from coming in. It is a peace that passes all understanding. In your mental calculations things still may not add up or look any different. The situation may not change immediately and the things that used to make you anxious and afraid may still be there but now peace is guarding your heart and mind. To anyone looking in from the outside it may seem unreasonable to be at peace but you know the God you pray to and trust that He has it all under control. Take some time in prayer to list the things that are making you anxious or bringing you fear. Give each one to God and ask Him to take care of the situation or provide for the needs. Thank Him for answering your prayer and that fear is leaving, anxiety is gone and that peace is guarding your heart and mind.

Day 19 - The Fruit of Peace

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, - Galatians 5:22 NKJV

Every tree that produces fruit has several things it needs in order to produce good fruit. Light, water, good soil and the surrounding environment all have a part to play in fruit production. In the same way scripture teaches that our lives are like fruit trees. Jesus used this example when talking about people and here in Galatians we see the same example. We all will produce some sort of fruit. The flesh has a product it gives and if you read the list in the preceding verses it is not good! That is the environment for bad fruit. The good news is that we don’t have to stay in the fleshly environment. We can walk in the Spirit. Any time you see the Bible say to “walk in” it is really saying to “live your life” in this way. We see this when the Bible says to walk in love, walk in faith, walk in wisdom and here, to walk in the Spirit. The Spirit is the environment in which good fruit is produced. It is the natural progression of things that when we walk in the Spirit, or live life in the Spirit, we will produce the fruit of the Spirit. One of the fruit that will be produced is peace. That is good news! We often try to make our own peace. We look for things that will give us peace or avoid things that would take away our peace. Sometimes it is wisdom to do so. But we do not need to strive to make our peace. If we will simply live life in the Spirit then peace will be produced. How different would your life be if you had peace being produced on a continual basis? Trees produce in season but the fruit of the Spirit is always in season. Are you seeing the fruit of peace produced in your life? If not it may be because you are walking in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit means to live in the Spirit. “How?” you might ask. Each day when you wake up until the time that you go to sleep make sure to connect with God in prayer, through His word and in constant awareness that the Spirit of God is in you. Listen for His leading and follow the direction He gives. As you walk in the Spirit you will see the fruit of peace produced in your life.

Day 18 - The God of Peace With Us

Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. - Romans 15:33 NKJV

Our family took a road trip one year up north. We stopped nine hours from home in a beautiful area. There were forests with hiking activities, lakes with fishing and boating activities and things to do and see all around us. We were unfamiliar with the area so we asked a local and at their recommendation tried to find a waterfall hike to swim and see the the beauty. It turned out to be miserable. We never found the hiking trail and ended up not really doing much of anything. On that same trip we headed further north to meet up with family. They wanted to show us the beauty of where they lived so they planned everything for us. We went hiking to several waterfalls, went canoeing on some gorgeous lakes and every day was filled with so much activity we would fall asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow. It made all the difference being with someone who knew what to do and where to go. We didn’t have to research or plan but simply stick with our family. In the same way realize that God is named the God of peace. Throughout the Bible He promises to never leave you nor forsake you. You don’t have to plan every moment or know everything. You simply have to stick close to God and His peace will be with you. Think of it this way; when you gave your heart to the Lord He gave you His Holy Spirit to live within you. Everywhere you go He goes. He is with you because He is within you. That means that His peace is also with you because the God of peace lives in you! Everywhere you go you have peace because the God of peace is within you. Remind yourself throughout the day when stress, worry or fear tries to creep in that you have God living on the inside of you. If you don’t know what to do or are lacking the wisdom you need then talk with God and let Him guide you. As you follow His direction He is with you in the way and His peace will be there too.

Day 17 - The Peace Mindset

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. - Romans 8:6 NKJV

Everything we do starts with a thought. If you remember that there is cake in the refrigerator then it won’t be long before you are walking to the kitchen to get a plate and a fork. If you dwell on how someone mistreated you then you might purpose to give them a peace of your mind the next time you see them. Sometimes the action happens so fast we don’t realize what we had our minds on. That is why God shows us where our mindset will take us. If we have our minds set on carnal, or fleshly, things then it leads to death. If we have our minds set on spiritual things then we will experience life and peace. So many people are seeking life and peace in the wrong places. They seek it in the flesh and ultimately that leads to death. If you seek life and peace in money, fame, relationships, sports, vacations, drugs or anything other than in the Spirit of God then it will lead you to the wrong thing; death. But when you set your mind on the things of the Spirit there will be life, true life, and peace with it. Let’s look at this in a practical sense with our second illustration; you’re dwelling on how someone mistreated you. If you’re carnally minded then you will be preparing harsh words to speak to them or plotting revenge. We know as believers that is not what we should be thinking about. Now, what will happen in the same scenario with the spiritual mind? You will be thinking about forgiving them and praying for them. You may also want to confront in love and try to reconcile if possible. See how different the outcomes are? In one instance you don’t do anything good and in the other you do everything godly. In one instance you are headed in to sin and in the other you are on your way to actions that are pleasing to the Lord. In the Proverbs it says that when our ways are pleasing to the Lord that even our enemies will be at peace with us. What a thought! Today think about what you are thinking about. It sounds silly but it is important to notice where your thoughts are coming from. Are you letting your flesh lead or the Spirit lead. The flesh will lead to death but the Spirit to life and peace. As you recognize the thoughts that are coming from the flesh give them to God in prayer and ask for His help. Let the Spirit give you His thoughts and allow His life and peace to come in.

Day 16 - The Way of Peace

To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” - Luke 1:79 NKJV

Do you remember a time when you were trying to get somewhere in the dark? It may have been walking across your house to get a drink of water or driving somewhere in the middle of the night. Navigating in the dark is difficult and can be frustrating. Especially if you stub your toe or get headed in the wrong direction. A small journey can take much longer than necessary because you cannot see the way you should go. Jesus came as the light of the world to show us the way of peace. With Jesus we see the way we are to live. He has given us the perfect example to follow. He is the word of God that gives light to our path. When you have the word of God it is like having a flashlight in the darkness. You can see all the obstacles and make your way to where you’re going. Without the light there is no peace. We sit still and never progress to where we need to be. With the light we can move forward into the way that God has for us. When you know you’re on the right path it brings peace because you know you are going to get where you need to be. Where is your life headed? That may be a tough question. If your answer is that you don’t know, or that you’re not headed in any direction, or even the wrong direction, then it is time to shine the light on the right path. Jesus is our example. Start living like Him. Then get in to His word and allow Him to speak to you about your direction. When you do you will have light for the path. God won’t lead you astray. He wants you to experience the peace of knowing you’re following His direction. Step out in faith with God; He will give you light and peace for the path He wants you to take.

Day 15 - Peace that Overcomes

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 NKJV

In our day and age you can find advice on everything. People have made shows, written books and blogs on topics that span how to do it yourself to what to expect when you travel the globe. Videos and apps give advice. Rarely will we find advice that warns us of hardship. Most of the time the advice is given on how easy or smooth you can do something or how wonderful a taste or experience can be. Every now and then there are those that share that the experience can be difficult but to stay with it because it is worth it. Jesus gives us the best advice. Period. Here in our scripture for today Jesus is sharing with His disciples what to expect when He goes to the cross and sends His Holy Spirit to them and about how life will be in the future. He tells them that the reason for what He is saying is so that they can have peace. Don’t you love that? Jesus then warns them that in the world there will be trouble. Haven’t we all experienced that? Jesus then tells them to be of good cheer. Wait, Jesus, why would we be happy knowing that trouble is coming our way? The reason is not for the trouble but that Jesus has overcome! If you know that trouble is coming but also that Jesus has overcome then it makes the trouble less troubling. It isn’t so bad. You’re going to make it through! Knowing you’re going to make it brings tremendous peace. Whatever trouble there is out there in the world doesn’t have to trouble you. You can smile and be cheerful because Jesus has already overcome the world. You can have peace through tribulation knowing that Jesus has overcome. Today, don’t look to the news, the advice of the experts, don’t look at the trouble, look to Jesus. Spend time with Him in prayer and declare His victory over the world. Thank God for peace in any trouble you face.

Day 14 - The Prince of Peace

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. - Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV

These verses bring us back to the time of year we celebrate Christmas. They prophecy of the birth of Jesus. We think of Jesus in the terms at the beginning of the verse that say that he is a Child who is born to us. As you read further though the language changes to something that departs from our Christmas tradition and the image of a baby in a manger. That image changes when we see the government is on His shoulder and start to see the names attributed to Him. He is all of those things to us isn’t He? He is wonderful! He has counseled us so many times when we didn’t have the answers. He is mighty and cares for us with the heart of a father. The last name given is one that uniquely speaks to Jesus as the Son; Prince of Peace. He is the one who has purchased our redemption on the cross. In His blood we now have peace with God and in Him find peace with others. Not only that, because Jesus has won the ultimate victory and rules forever we have peace in knowing that everything will turn out right. That is why verse seven says the increase of His government and peace will be unending. Jesus’ reign is perpetual and with His rule comes peace. The battle has been won and now that it is over Jesus rules with peace. We see this rule expand every time someone comes in to the kingdom of God and out of the kingdom of darkness. Now they have peace. We also see this when we enforce the authority of God’s kingdom in prayer and in our declarations and actions. The kingdom influence expands and the peace of God rushes in where there was confusion and chaos. It will continue to grow until the day that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, comes again and wraps up our time on the earth. In the new heaven and earth we will see His rule and peace continue in to eternity. What a thought! If there is a war against you, troubling thoughts, sickness, finances being devoured or any other work of the enemy then take authority and declare the word of God over that situation. Don’t let up in your declaration and prayer until you can see the victory Christ already won manifested in your life.

Day 13 - The Author of Peace

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. - 1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV

There are times that we experience chaos and confusion in life. Many times we find that when we are trying to do something that God would have us to do it gets pretty confusing. Questions like; “Am I hearing from God?” “How are we going to make it?” and “What if I fail?” come to our minds. It is in these times that we must stop and remind ourselves that God is not the one causing the chaos because He is not the author of confusion. He is the Author of Peace! When we pray and invite God in to our situation the confusion seems to lift like a fog that gives way to the mid-day sun. Clarity and peace come in and we are able to accomplish what we were doing for God. Any time you realize that you are in the midst of chaos and confusion remember that God is the Author of peace. That means that He is writing a story that includes your peace. He is not writing in lack, chaos, confusion and disorder. He is making sure that you have nothing missing, nothing broken, an abundant supply and everything you need is available. What a story that will be! When you find yourself in situations that are confusing and chaotic then realize there is another author at work. Sometimes it is the evil forces of the enemy that war against us. Other times it is sinful flesh, whether someone else’s or our own. In those moments take time to pray and invite God in to the situation. He will rewrite the story of what you are experiencing. God has the final say! You have probably identified some areas of your own life that are confusing and chaotic while reading today’s devotional. Take some time to pray over each one and invite God to rewrite the story. As you do, listen for His voice. If you get clarity in an area you may want to write down what you hear God saying to you. Be sure to add any action steps and things you need to do to help the situation.

Day 12 - Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. 7 Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.” 8 For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” 9 Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good. - Psalms 122:6-9 NKJV

God has linked cause and effect in the world we live in. We know from the scriptures and life that what we sow we will reap. Psalm 122 starts with the expression of a heart that loves God’s presence so much that they are glad when someone mentioned going to the house of the Lord. This Psalm was written by King David who was called a man after God’s own heart. It is from that heart for God and His house that comes the command to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Right after the command we read what could be a sample prayer for us to follow, as if God thought we needed a script. I am thankful He did because there are times that I am at a loss for how to pray. The prayer starts with a blessing that those that love Jerusalem would prosper. What you love you will pray for and conversely what you pray for you will end up loving. Maybe that is why Jesus told us to pray for our enemies. With that love and prayer for Jerusalem comes prosperity or a rest and peace. The prayer goes on to pray for peace within the walls and prosperity within the palaces. That means that external and internal forces would be peaceful. The end of the Psalm shows us that there is more than a selfish motivation to praying for Jerusalem. David says he is praying for the sake of his family and friends and for the sake of the house of the Lord. Where God is interested we need to be involved. God loves us and wants us to have peace so He asks us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and in doing so we will experience that rest and peace with others. Not only that, the house of God will experience that rest and peace. The greater focus of God is His plan on the earth and in this day and age His plan is the church. We pray for Jerusalem because we are involved in what God is interested in. Jerusalem is a place God chose for His name where His Son would walk and would die outside the gate. It is a place where the church was birthed and that the gospel would spread from and now that we have received from there we need to love it enough to pray. In doing so we will find rest and peace in our relationships and in the church. Pray now for the peace of Jerusalem. If you want to use the same words from the Psalm or your own words God will hear your prayer and bless your heart to love and to experience the peace and prosperity you are praying for.

Day 11 - Peace With Others

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. - Romans 14:19 NKJV

Like any good parent God wants His children to get along. At times that seems easier said than done. We get into disagreements with each other and find ourselves at odds. Offenses and hurts can come and divide us from people we love. We know that as Christians we should be able to get along but as we encounter problems with people we find that peace is difficult to keep. So what do we do? The Bible tells us to pursue the things that make peace. These things would include loving others despite offenses, forgiving quickly, holding your tongue when you want to lash out and believing the best when you see the worst. Not only that, we are also told to pursue the things that would build others up. When you are a safe place for people and they know that you will build them up rather than break them down then they will be seeking peace with you as well. There will be those who you just can’t come to an agreement with (see Romans 12:18 where it says to live peaceably if it is possible, sometimes it isn’t possible). Aside from those cases we have to work at being at peace with others. This should be a goal that we set for ourselves that when problems and situations come in to divide us from others that we start seeking the things that would make peace. God knows how to heal every wound and bridge every gap. Seek it in His word and in your prayer time. There may be an apology that you need to give, or one that you need to give up on. There may be a heart to heart discussion that needs to happen where you reconcile your differences by the power of Jesus blood. You may already know what you need to do but because you’re carrying a grudge you just can’t bring yourself to do it. Give the grudge to God, forgive from your heart before you ever talk with the other person and then start following after peace in that relationship.

For further study on this topic see 2 Timothy 2:22, Hebrews 12:14 and 1 Peter 3:8-11.

Day 10 - Peace in Righteousness

Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed. - Psalms 85:10 NKJV

I love the poetic language that can be found throughout the Bible. It provokes thought and can actually give images with words. I get the picture of these concepts like mercy, truth, righteousness and peace being people. Notice that mercy and truth have met together. God has a truth that can seem harsh or cold but with the companion of His mercy we can bear the truth and know that the truth will be delivered with His mercy. While that is wonderful and it is so good that mercy and truth met up notice that righteousness and peace took it a step further; they kissed! A kiss expresses love, endearment, and closeness. It is a greeting, a response and a intimate connection. We have already seen what peace is but what is righteousness? Righteousness is a dual function word. It is a position with God and a practice with God. Now that Jesus has gone to the cross for our sin we can be in a right position with God. We used to be wrong, sinful and in the wrong place. Now we are right with Him and stand in the right place as saints. Righteousness doesn’t stop there though, it is also a practice. It is doing the right thing from that place we now have with God. Let’s take it a step further, when we are righteous then we will experience peace. Peace is the byproduct of doing right whereas devastation and destruction are the byproduct of doing wrong. No wonder peace and righteousness come together like a kiss! These two words can be found throughout the Bible together. Isaiah 48:18 says if we listen to God’s commands that we would have peace like a river, and righteousness like waves of the sea. James 3:18 says that the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. The Proverbs tell us that when our ways (righteousness) are pleasing to the Lord that even our enemies will be at peace with us. In multiple places from a negative standpoint it says there is no peace for the wicked (unrighteous). Why not take it a step further today? Thank God in prayer for your position of righteousness and purpose to practice it throughout your day. As you do you will be greeted with God’s response and an intimate connection of peace!

See also Proverbs 16:7, Isaiah 48:18, 48:22 and James 3:18.

Day 9 - Declaring Peace

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. - Mark 4:39 NKJV

What a place and time it would have been to be out on the sea with Jesus and the disciples in the boat. Wouldn’t you love to have been a fly on the wall, or in this case on the stern of the boat? Picture it, Jesus has just finished a long day of teaching. Great crowds came to hear Him speak. The disciples would’ve been helping Jesus with whatever ministry needs He had and would have also attended to the crowd. No doubt they were all tired from a long day’s work. When it was evening Jesus tells His disciples they are getting in the boat and going to the other side of the lake. No small task at any time of day let alone at the end of a long work day. While they are crossing the sea a windstorm comes up and the disciples, some of who were trained fishermen knowing the dangers of a rough sea, become afraid. It is at this moment the disciples who are noticing the boat filling up with water turn to Jesus and notice He is sound asleep. What a picture of peace! No matter how bad it got around Jesus He was able to rest in the storm. We ought to have that same peace within us. That is easier said than done though. We often respond to our circumstances like the disciples did to Jesus. “God, don’t you care that I am drowning?!” Maybe you have prayed a prayer like that or wondered in your heart the same thing. We do from time to time. Jesus responded to their situation by speaking to the waves and wind. Our English translations are very kind in their language when saying what Jesus spoke here. A more direct translation would be that Jesus hushed the wind and waves and shut their mouth. In doing so He gives us the insight we need when we are in the middle of a storm and need peace. Declare it! Speak it out of your mouth. In doing so you will silence the voice of the storm. Notice I didn’t say that He would remove the problem. The disciples still had water in the boat to deal with. But now the voice of the storm was gone. All of this hinges on how Jesus concluded the matter when he asks them why they were afraid and how they had no faith. If you are listening to the storm rather than the word of God you operate in fear. But when you declare God’s word and believe what you are speaking it removes the fear and brings peace. You can sleep in any storm life brings you because Jesus is with you, His word is true. Take some time in your personal study to find scriptures that deal with the storms you’re facing in life. Declare them over your life and thank God in prayer that the storm has lost it’s voice and you now have peace in trusting Him.

Day 8 - Learning Peace

All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children. - Isaiah 54:13 NKJV

Have you ever found yourself at a loss for what to do or were lacking the wisdom you needed? We all have. So many things come at us in so many directions that at times it can be overwhelming. In a typical day we might find ourselves having to face challenges at work, wonder if we’re raising our children right, try to keep a marriage healthy and see what is happening in the world around us and wonder if there is a solution. The good news is that God is your Father and He will teach you concerning the things that life brings you. We can learn how to have peace knowing that even though things may not look good at the moment that God will give instruction and the result will be peace. What would life be like if you were learning from God how to face the challenges at work, with raising your children, in your marriage and in the situations we face in the world around us? I would imagine you’re thinking, “Well, much smoother and more peaceful!” You’re right. Peace is the result of following the Lord’s teaching. And you don’t have to wait to encounter challenges to be taught how to live through them. God will show you from His word and through His Spirit His wisdom for you life so that when challenges come you will be equipped to handle them. When God teaches us how to live and we follow His direction we will experience peace. There is a wonderful promise in the first chapter of the book of James that says that if we lack wisdom that we can ask God and He will give us more than enough. Jesus Himself told us to learn of Him because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. That sounds like peace, doesn’t it? If you’re at a loss for what to do and in need of wisdom ask God for it now. As you think about the situation you’re facing listen for God’s instruction. As you hear from Him let the peace of God settle in your heart that as you do what He has taught you that it will work out for good. Don’t stop with this situation; as you encounter things in the future, make sure to stop and ask God for His wisdom. Let Him teach you again and again so that your peace keeps going.

Day 7 - The Plan of Peace

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

There is a false view of God that makes Him out to be a grumpy old man who is waiting to hit us over the head with a club or zap us with a lightning bolt the moment we mess up. This view supposes that God is planning and prepared to bring calamity on us. You can see this view is expressed whenever there is a natural disaster and they call it an act of God. You can also see it when people say that they are sick or someone has died because God is judging them or punishing them for their sins. The Bible gives us a different view of God than this. The truth is that God is not waiting to punish you. He sent Jesus for that very purpose. He has taken the sin issue along with the punishment for sin out of the way in the cross. With that out of the way God is thinking about ways to bless you. He is madly in love with you and thinks about you all the time! (See Psalm 139:17-18) The thoughts God thinks are not for evil but for good. They are not about your hopeless past mistakes but about your hope filled future. God calls these thoughts “thoughts of peace.” You can see why. If you know that God is not out to get you then you know that you can relax. God is making a plan for your future that will bring you peace! Not only that you can be hopeful and excited for your future because you know that God has something good in store. He has been planning it and is waiting for the right time and way to bring you in to it. What surprises does God have in store for you? Be looking for them throughout the day. How does this understanding of God’s character and His desire for your future good change your perspective? What thoughts about God’s character have hindered having the proper perspective and understanding? If you have had the wrong outlook on God’s thoughts towards you then repent and replace them with the thoughts of peace, good, a future and a hope. Pray and thank God for what He has in store for you in the future.

Day 6 - Peace With God

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ - Romans 5:1 NKJV

God created man to have a relationship with. God wanted to live with and to love mankind. Before sin entered God and man had the relationship of living together with nothing separating them. When man entered in to sin the relationship was broken and a war ensued. Throughout the Bible you will find words for our sin like trespass, rebellion and enmity, which is opposition or being at odds with someone. We divided from the close relationship we had with God and were driven from Him by our sin. Sin separates us from God. The good news is that God didn’t leave us in this position. He came and won the war for us. Thankfully He didn’t end the war by wiping us out or by taking us prisoners. He did it by taking the place of punishment Himself on the cross. Jesus stepped down from His place in the Father’s side and became a man. He took on flesh and blood just like us. He lived the perfect life and never sinned. When He died He took the sin of the world, past, present and future, upon Himself. His innocent life was given for all of us. Now He offers to us terms of peace. The war is over because the punishment for sin was carried out on Jesus. The terms are faith in the sacrifice He gave. We surrender all of our heart and life to Him and in exchange we get all of His heart and life in return. We definitely get the better end of that deal. Think of it; our rags for His riches, our sickness for his health, our imperfection for His perfection, our sin stained broken lives for His perfect, spotless, sinless life. We now have peace with God. That means that the war is over and we can have close relationship once again, just like Adam and Eve did in the garden before the fall of man. Today if you haven’t yet given God all of your heart and life then pray and do just that. Ask God to forgive you of your sin and to give you His life.* If you have already given all of your heart and life then thank God for the peace that you experience with Him through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

*For more information and prayer please visit: https://www.rockchurch.com/know-god

Day 5 - Peace and Rest

“I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” - Psalms 4:8 NKJV

When our children were very young we had several experiences of them having bad dreams that caused them to be afraid of going to bed at night. We always would pray with them before bed but after they would have these troubling dreams we would have to sit with them in their rooms until they fell asleep. As they grew we found Psalm 4:8 and had them memorize it to pray before bed. As they learned what the verse meant through repeating it at night they would let us know they didn’t need us to sit in their rooms any more because God was giving them peace and they felt safe with Him. You can experience that same peace and rest. This rest can only come from the protection of God. When we live our lives in God’s presence then He keeps us safe. It doesn’t matter what is going on around us, God will ensure that we are safe through it all. One of my dear friends who is a missionary once said, “The safest place to be is in the center of the will of God.” It is so true. You could be living in a war zone with bombs going off all around you and if you’re doing what God wants you to do then He will protect you. Can you imagine getting a good night’s sleep in the middle of a war? While it is hard to imagine that is what the scripture is saying. I have heard testimonies from believers who were safe through car accidents and walked away without a scratch from totaled cars, others were saved from going to a place where a tragedy happened, while still others had people plotting to ruin them financially or steal their business and God protected them from harm. Don’t lose a moment of sleep because of worry or fear. Whatever you’re facing know that God has the ability to keep you safe through it all. You can be at peace and rest in Him. Throughout your day when you encounter situations that would bring you harm remember that God makes you live in safety and rest in the peace of that safety. If there are situations that you already know of or even if you are having trouble sleeping at night because of worry or fear then declare today’s scripture over your life and thank God in advance that you are going to be at peace and get a good night’s sleep tonight.

Day 4 - The Peace of God

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. - John 14:27 NKJV

Imagine one of your best friends. Let’s say it was their birthday and you wanted to give them a really great gift. You went and carefully selected something you know they would love. You got it just how they would like it and had it wrapped beautifully. You almost couldn’t wait for their birthday to give it to them but finally the special day comes. You give them the gift and they open it and their eyes light up. They love it! How wonderful. But later you go to their house after some time has passed and you notice the gift sitting on the table. It hasn’t moved or been used since you gave it to them. You would have some feelings about that right? Of course. But your feelings wouldn’t be about you, it would be about them. You selected that gift for them to enjoy. You wanted them to experience it because you love them. In the same way Jesus has given us a tremendous gift. He gives us…are you ready for the surprise?… His peace. Let that sink in for a second. God, in the flesh, Jesus, has given…you…His peace. What a thought. What kind of peace does God have?! It is a perfect peace, a lasting and powerful peace. With that peace we don’t have to worry or be afraid. We have peace in all things because we have the peace of God. Jesus also said that He gives His peace differently than the world gives. In the world it can be given and taken away at a moments notice. God’s peace is given completely. You can have a lasting peace. In the world peace is situational. Peace comes and goes with the circumstances. With God the peace persists no matter what happens or what surrounds it. In your prayer time today thank God that He has given you His peace in Jesus. Give God all your worries, cares and fears and speak His peace over each one. As you go throughout your day when you may feel the cares or the fear come on you remember that you have God’s peace and declare it over your life and your thoughts.

Day 3 - Peace in Believing

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13 NKJV

There are things that we will never experience as long as we look at life with our natural eyes. In fact, looking at life from the natural standpoint will bring a whole lot of discouragement, frustration and fear. Fear is an expectation of something bad happening. It will literally rob you of hope because hope is the confident expectation of God’s goodness. It is the blueprint for your future that your faith goes to work on to bring what you’re hoping for into your natural life. As you are believing God for those things you hope for He fills you with joy and peace (remember that these two things come with righteousness in the kingdom of God). When God fills you he doesn’t leave any room for anything else. He fills you up until you overflow! The original language speaks of an abundance. It is the same word that is used for the twelve leftover baskets of bread when Jesus fed the five thousand people. When you come to God in faith He fills you up with joy and peace and your hope overflows! What are you believing God for? Provision of a job? Salvation for your family and friends? Where do you need joy and peace? In your marriage or with your children? Find a promise from God to stand on and declare it in your prayer time. Don’t let go of the promise. Let hope give you a picture of your future that brings you joy and peace. Remember that we walk by faith and not by sight. You will have peace in believing even when you don’t see results in the natural. The reason is because God is giving you a hope that overflows into each new day until you see the promise of God come to pass.

Day 2 - Double Peace

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” - Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

In a world full of uncertainty it can be easy to lose your peace. All it takes is a casual look at the news or finding higher bills in the mail to be put into a tailspin of anxiety and fear. But what if God didn’t just want to give you peace in these situations but double peace? Wouldn’t you want to have a greater level of peace? According to today’s scripture, you can. The original Hebrew of Isaiah 26:3 states “The mind that is on You is kept in ‘peace-peace’.” Any time you see something repeated in the scripture it means that there is an emphasis on that word. Many times you see this in the Psalms, the Proverbs, and even in the statements of Jesus in John’s gospel. It is almost like a hammer striking a nail twice or two people lifting a heavy object. In our scripture today the double peace comes from two places; our minds being on God and our trust in God. When your mind gets off of God then it will go to anything else that is calling for its attention. It could go to problems, pressures, cares, current events, or even sadness and depression. So in keeping your mind on God you are focusing on the One who is more powerful and able to handle all of the things we encounter in life. Not only that, when you trust God beyond knowing His ability it brings that double peace. It is one thing to have peace in knowing about God’s power but it is a much greater level of peace when we trust that God’s power is available to us! In your prayer time today, focus your mind on God. Think about His power; how He created everything, how there is no power greater than Him, how He has provided for everything we could encounter in this life. Then take those cares that are weighing you down and give them to God in prayer. Tell Him that you trust Him to take care of you in all these situations. Finally, praise God that you not only have peace but double peace!

Day 1 - The Gift of Peace

“The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” - Numbers 6:24 - 26

In the Old Testament, we find that God had a special way that he wanted Aaron, who was the high priest, to bless the children of Israel. It is found in this statement of God’s blessing, keeping, empowering, and watching over the person being blessed. At the end of the blessing, it says in addition to all this that God would give them peace. We often think of peace as the absence of war or adversity. Sometimes we think of peace as serene surroundings or of a place that is beautiful and quiet. While peace includes these things the word from the Hebrew language included so much more. It is the word, Shalom. Shalom is a peace that includes wholeness, health, welfare, prosperity, safety, rest, harmony, and tranquility. When you think of all those things wrapped up in one word it makes sense why God would want the high priest to bless people with this statement “The LORD…give you peace.” This kind of peace could only come from God Himself. God wants us to have this kind of peace that is complete and powerful in our lives. Take a moment and ask God to bless you with His peace. As you do expect to receive God’s wholeness, health, welfare, prosperity, safety, rest, and tranquility. As a physical demonstration of what you are expecting to receive you may want to pray with your hands raised like you are ready to receive a gift. You may also want to breathe in deep after you pray as an expression that God’s peace is rushing in. After you have prayed thank God for His wonderful gift and look for that peace throughout your day.

See also Psalm 29:11 and 2 Thessalonians 3:16.

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