This chapter examines peace on three levels – peace with God, peace with others, and peace with yourself. We determined early in our discussion that one must “Believe” in God in order to find peace through God. Believing in God and Jesus, we then go to God in prayer (verbal and non-verbal) in our search for peace. Finding peace is the giving-up of our anxieties and worries to God. This is very difficult for humans to do, and we must constantly remind ourselves that prayer becomes action through “belief”. If we believe, then we will pray with faith in God. And, we must be at peace with God before we can actually achieve any level of peace with ourselves or with others. We agreed that it is possible to give thanks to God in every situation – bad times as well as good times. We also confirmed our on-going belief that to” Believe” is to be an active participant in God’s world and plan. Being “active Christians” can be tiring at times, but it is also exhilarating all of the time.
The Monday afternoon group discussed the role prayer plays in combatting our anxiety (a BIG role!) God listens to our “Help me help me help me” prayers, and always listens. But when we take time in prayer to “count our many blessings and “Name them one by one”, we often experience a deeper measure of peace. Reminding ourselves of God’s blessings gives us comfort as we face contemporary trials.
For most of us, anxiety, resulting from fear is the biggest deterrent to peace in our lives. Fear of the unknown leads to anxiety, which robs us of the peace that Christ wants us to have. Using a “health model” can help to resolve much of our stress and lead to a greater level of internal peace. At the core, or foundation of the model is our spiritual health. This must be in place first in order that we may effectively address the other areas in the model, like physical health, mental health, and relationship health. Lack of internal peace in our lives, usually means that we are struggling with at least one of these areas. We must first look to Jesus for divine help, and then, with the strength of the Holy Spirit firmly embedded, work to resolve other problem areas in the health model.
We can look to others around us who seem to be at peace in the middle of life’s storms. We can use them as role models, advisors and prayer partners as we work to find peace regardless of our current situation.