How does someone acquire PEACE?
Does it come from having:
- A certain ethnicity?
- The right job?
- The right spouse?
All of these attempts to find peace come from outside of our control and would be difficult to maintain. Many people work hard to acquire these things, hoping to find peace and contentment. However, money, fame, and power do not guaranteed joy, contentment or peace. Peace can be very elusive if someone is hoping to find it within his or her circumstances.
In Luke 1:78-79 we are told “the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
In order to define peace it is helpful to understand what the lack of peace looks like. When a person’s soul cries out with anger, rage, bitterness, fear, doubt, and worry, peace becomes a rare find within them. The lack of peace materializes itself in many different ways. The lack of peace looks like darkness. The rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death. People, who feel the intensity of anxiety, worry and fear live in the shadow of death.
What does light do to darkness? We often do not think about it but when we go into a dark room, we flip a switch and presto, we can see! You don’t go into a room and turn on a light and say, “hey, where did the darkness go? Hey, darkness, where are you hiding?” Light doesn’t hide the darkness, it doesn’t expose darkness, it completely eradicates it.
Shame keeps people open to the idea that light is just temporary, so they are always waiting for the darkness to reappear. This shame keeps people feeling anxious, fearful, or angry, and with very little hope of ever changing. People often think that any light only hides the darkness, and it’s this very kind of thinking that keeps them in the shadow of death. They survive this life by breathing, but not really living.
I know of a man who just turned 35 and has been living a death sentence for a long time, in the shadow of death. He was told when he was very young that he had high anxiety and severe depression, and has been on medication ever since. His soul died a little when he was a child and yet he has kept on breathing for years, living in the shadow of death and thinking there was little hope of ever experiencing peace.
Light removes darkness, shame, and the lies that keep us living in the shadow of death. And when lies are eradicated, the emotions of anxiety, worry, and fear begin to loosen its grip. Now, they may show up on your front door and knock and want to reenter. But the truth of God, his light, keeps it outside. His truth can keep the door closed forever!
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” -John 8:32.
Here are some common lies with an associated truth:
|I am a failure.||I have failed, but I am not a failure.|
|I am a worthless.||I am worthy.|
|I am unlovable.||I am lovable.|
|I am an angry person.||I feel anger, but I am prompted to correct what is unjust.|
|I am a hurt person.||I feel hurt, but I am being healed.|
|I am an anxious person.||I feel anxiety, but I am brave.|
One set of beliefs will keep a person in shame and darkness, while the other thoughts produce more freedom. Spend this week focused on the thoughts you believe will create more freedom and peace in your life. Peace comes from within you, not outside.