Peace in the Haze
Updated: Aug 8
Have you noticed there’s a lot of weird and negative stuff happening around the world in the last few years? Are you struggling, like me, to process it all without getting stressed, sad, or angry? It’s tough. But God knows that life lurches from one hard time to the next. He’s given us tools to keep our grip strong on peace and joy. We don’t have to live with a simmering pot of negative emotions in our soul. A pot that boils over and burns everyone around it when the fires of life heat up.
My purpose for this blog and website is to encourage you and share scripture, truth, and tips that others poured into me, about living a beautiful life amid chaos. God designed us to bless not to burn. Let’s go back to that boiling pot just for a minute, though. What does it look like when ugly stuff overcomes your peace and joy?
My boil overs go two ways. Both burn others.
I snark about things small and large at family, friends, slow drivers and telemarketers
I become quiet, excessively polite and when I say, “Bless your heart,” I’m really saying, “You are jumping on My. Last. Nerve.
I was a reactive, negative worrier until God did deep work in me. Sometimes, my family still calls me Eeyore (the gloomy donkey from Winnie the Pooh). The thing is, even though the crazy dial is the highest now I’ve ever seen, I feel more peaceful than I can ever remember. Why? Because I’ve allowed God to work on my insides.
From foolish fretting to calm confidence in God.
From reactive to responsive.
From frequently gloomy Eeyore to sometimes bouncy Tigger and even optimistic Pooh.
When you are going through long, hard stuff, negative emotions surface. That’s okay. It’s what we do with them that matters. First tip for this post, stay off social media if you’re boiling over. Just sayin…….
It’s healthy to recognize what drags us down, holds us back and steals our joy and peace. Then, we can use all the resources God gives to reposition ourselves into an inner fortress of peace, joy and wisdom. That is beautiful living.
God never authors ugly stuff in us or around us. That’s Satan’s resume, top designer of ugly. God’s plan for us is beautiful lives, filled with wisdom, peace, joy and all the good stuff that came to us through salvation in Jesus Christ.
In this life we experience many troubles that generate negative feelings. How we handle hard times is what separates beautiful souls from everyone else. By sharing biblical truth, wisdom from others, and stories of my own journey in this blog, I hope you can get a fresh viewpoint and enjoy more peace of mind and more joy in your heart.
Let’s start with one of the big teachings on peace, from Jesus himself.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world,” John 16:33 NLT.
What’s the “all this” Jesus is talking about before verse 33? In short, Jesus warns them of his death and their scattering afterwards while promising the coming of his replacement, the Holy Spirit.
Do yourself a solid and read John 16 in a couple translations. (My favorites are NLT and ESV ) What Jesus said to the disciples is true for us, so take it and make it part of your peace fortress. Here’s my takeaways.
· Plan on trouble coming.
· Some of it will be painful, you will be tempted to chuck your faith.
· Holy Spirit was sent especially for us.
· Holy Spirit guides us to ALL truth. He will separate fact from fiction for us and help us make sense of people and the world.
· For the believer, joy follows sadness because Jesus has overcome all the troubles of this world.
Two action steps for today:
1. Prepare daily for the bad that’s coming by asking Holy Spirit to get you ready. Ask him to keep you from reacting negatively and instead to produce more of whatever fruit of the Spirit you need in each moment to respond like Jesus.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control, Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT).
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth about troubling situations. He will do it whether it’s directly, through scripture, a teaching or whatever. That’s his job.
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