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How to find peace – seek first the kingdom of God

Peace can be an alusive thing in our lives.  When I think of peace the first thing that came to my mind was sitting on a tropical beach with the breeze blowing, reading a good book with no cell phone or distractions and no worries.  How about you?  What is your idea of peace?

Peace on beach

I’ve found that the reality of peace and the accompanying traits: contentment, joy, happiness, love, nothing to worry about and no regrets about the past have little to do with where I am or even my circumstances and more to do with how focused I am on my God.  I’ve also observed that in other people.

The American dream implies peace can be found by becoming successful and earning lots of money.  I’ve never earned a million dollars in one year so maybe I’m below the threshold but from what I’ve seen is that while money can make life more pleasant it cannot give you peace.  The children in the Dominican Republic with little in the way of material goods seem to be as much at peace (and happy) as children in my upper middle class neighborhood.

In Matthew 6:25 – 33 Jesus says a lot about peace, worry and joy.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Personally this verse helps me take the focus off me and put it on God and his kingdom.  What we do and strive for should not be about us and what we want to accomplish but our focus should be on God.  If we do that he promises to transform out lives and we’ll find that peace that may seem so elusive.

One way to do this is to dwell on God’s Word.  Matthew 6;25 – 33 is a good one to start with.  Here are a few more that you might want to check out:

  • John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
  • Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Another resource to check out is What does the Bible say about peace?  In order to have peace we need to submit our lives to God and allow him to take over our life and then to fill our thoughts with God’s Word.  If you would like more information about what it means to follow Christ visit peace with God.

 

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