Dear friend,

It’s been a long time since I wrote. I heard you were facing some challenges so I wanted to write to tell you I am thinking about you and praying for you. I’m so proud of you. The challenges you face each day are so different from mine yet I think there are some things we can learn together. I’d love to share some thoughts I’ve been having about the peace of God recently.

blog-peaceI love that Jesus is called the ‘Prince of Peace’ (Is 9:6). We see it throughout his life. He wasn’t bothered that his parents were nowhere to be seen at age 12 (Luke 2), slept through a storm (Mark 4), calmly reveals the betrayal of a close friend (Matt 26), and knew his assignment even when pressed in on by the crowds that regularly demanded his attention. He remained at peace in situations that would cause so many stress, emotional anxiety, fear, doubt. Now that is peace that surpasses all understand (Phil 4). Following his example, God’s peace is always available in the midst of work demands, emotional family dilemmas, changing standards in society. I am so encouraged that I can be present in a difficult situation, not escaping or running away, and carry that same peace that Jesus carried everywhere he went.

So how did he do it? It has to come back to knowing God, knowing He is completely trustworthy, knowing His character and that He is always there and always good – no matter what.

I have been practicing meditating on Scripture more recently; taking one verse and dwelling on each word – spending 45mins to an hour on one verse once or twice through. A trusted and wise friend recommended this method to me and I have found it an amazing way to bring stillness to my mind, body, soul and spirit. It has taken practice to still my mind; in this busy world of constant demands and distractions. I am finding I can get to that place of peace more quickly – Christ in me and me in Him!

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

Why not take Proverbs 3:5-6. You could spend quite some time dwelling on the first word ‘trust’. The Lord is so trustworthy. Isn’t He amazing?! Every time I do this, I find myself more in love with Jesus, with more peace in my heart and more hope and excitement as I get to know Him better. He knows me and loves me so well. I pray for this experience to be yours as well.

I am also becoming aware of how much receiving God’s peace is also about relinquishing control. He’s got it! I don’t need to worry, in fact, we are told not to worry (Matt 6). I find that a lot of what we worry about is mostly in our inner dialogue anyway – ‘what will that person think?’, ‘will I have enough?’, ‘did I say the right thing?’. Sometimes it’s good to ask these questions, but not worry or dwell on them. To invite God to bring His perspective, His design, His wisdom, shifts my thinking and settles me in peace. He is so much more eager to be our guide, our comfort and our Father than we can possibly imagine.

I’d love to sign out with blessing you. As you read this, receive the blessing in your heart and spirit, perhaps even put your hand over your heart as you read and receive from Holy Spirit.

I bless you, dear friend, to know the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. I bless you, faithful friend, to know that you are loved by Father God so much. I bless you, beloved friend, to be able to trust our sovereign God and His amazing plans to prosper you and give you a hope for the future.

I hope you are encouraged and inspired to pursue God’s peace in greater depth.

Rachael Howson, YWAM Harpenden Staff