Monday, July 23, 2012

Pursuing Peace!
For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 1 Thess 5:3 

Peace, just the sound of the word invokes a sigh of relief and visions of the wind rustling through a flower-laden prairie or gentle waves lapping on a white shore.  Peace in the world, peace in your home, your relationships, and more importantly, in your heart is something everyone strives for, whether they believe in God or not.

Yet how can anyone have peace without living the life their Creator created them to live? If I fashioned a clay pot into a vase but the vase ran away from my home and tried to be a spoon somewhere, would the vase be happy? Wouldn't it instead be frustrated? disillusioned? Wouldn't it begin to wonder why life was so hard and what the purpose of it all was?  (I know it's a silly illustration but it's so true!) 

I was struck by the extended Greek definition of peace I found in my Amplified Bible here in 1 Peter 3:11

Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) 

Just think about that for a minute. Complete Harmony. No fears, No agitating thoughts, desires, or feelings, and no moral conflicts!  Now, that's peace!!

I don't know about you, but my life cannot be described like that. I'm closer than I was 10 years ago, but I long for this kind of peace.  So, where can we find peace?  True peace can only be found in God. It is the fruit of our relationship with Him. It comes from our day by day walk with Him, talking with Him, laying our cares at His feet, learning to trust Him. 

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7  NKJ

But did you know that we should Pursue Peace?  The definition of pursue is  to follow in order to overtake, capture; to strive to gain; seek to attain or accomplish; to chase! 

Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]
1 Peter 3:11 Amplified 

In other words, don't just wish for peace or long for it. Go out and get it!!  Sail after it! Chase peace down until it is yours. How do you do this?

  • You do the things that attract the object of your desire (Peace loves joy, righteousness, kindness, goodness, self control, gentleness.. )
  • In every confrontation, you look for the peaceful solution, even if it means you don't win. 
  • You apologize first
  • You approach everyone with an attitude of humility
  • You are quick to listen and slow to talk
  • You put others ahead of yourself
  • You spend time with God every day (pray without ceasing!  and listen for His voice!)  
  • You guard your tongue for it can set forests aflame! 

Can you think of other things you can do to pursue peace??


  1. Monday, July 23rd,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Ahhh ... "pursuing peace" ... excellent message and post ! No, my life does not display the kind of peace the Bible talks about, either. Phil 4: 6-7 (that you shared) says it best. And still, my favourite verse comes to mind: "Be STILL (stop striving), and KNOW that I AM GOD" ... Psalm 46:10. Just being conscious about bringing "everything" to the Lord in prayer ... "everything" ... instead of "nursing/rehearsing/cursing" it ... inside the head ! Love the list you gave for 'sailing after peace' ... it's a daily-deal, for sure !
    Thanks again MaryLu ... for 'another timely Word in due season'.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. This is good. I love Romans 8, and I would add to your list that changing our thoughts - our mindsets - is a huge thing in regards to peace. Rom. 8:5 says "Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit." and onto vs. 6 (as you mentioned) "But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is LIFE AND PEACE." (NLT)
    So many people are struggling with negative thoughts, depression, etc. Imagine if we all let the Holy Spirit control our thoughts all the time. Imagine the peace we'd all have, especially since we all seem to affect each other in some way. But as you said, we must pursue it. It's so easy to let the negative thinking take control, because it's harder to purpose to let the Holy Spirit control. Interesting how that works. But it's so true. Giving God the control brings peace. We just have to let Him have it! :) (I say this from difficult personal experience, and am still learning to pursue!)
    Thanks for the great post again, MaryLu.

    And Brenda - the "Be still and know that I am God." is so great too! God has whispered that verse to me in a tense time, and immediately peace came. God is good.

  3. Asking God to send peace in the time of trouble works. I'm thinking of the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. Would they have had the courage to go peacefully into the fire without the peace of God in their hearts? They had peace that God would deliver them. And I am sure they prayed fervently for the strength and peace of God to keep their hearts.
    Wonderful devotion this morning, MaryLu:)

  4. Hi Brenda.. yes, I love that verse. "Be still and know that I am God." I just picture God saying "Hush now. Stop your fretting. It's all going to be okay. I've got your back."

    Great point, Caroline! Renewing our minds and living in the Spirit. Yes! Talk about total peace. How can we be anything but filled with peace when we have the mind of Christ? As you said easier said then done. But worth the extra effort. :-)

    Absolutely, Tammy! When trouble hits, run to God first! I'm sure Meshak, Shadrack and Obednigo (please don't check my spelling!) were all prayed up before being tossed into the furnace. I love how they answered the King. Something like... "If God wills it, He'll deliver us. If not, we're cool with that too. But we won't bow down to you!" You can't have that kind of courage without deep and intense prayer.

  5. Awesome post, MaryLu! You put together a great list for pursuing peace, so I don't really know how to add to it other than reinforcing what you said about spending time with God. Truly if that is done all the others will come naturally as we'll be operating in His power not our own. Our good intentions can only go so far, it's His Spirit that gives them power to accomplish what they set out to do. Our prayer time and time alone with the Lord in His Word is when and where we get filled with Him, the Prince of Peace. If you're filled with Him you'll be filled with peace and that will spill out onto others, guiding your every action and seasoning your every word. When we pursue Christ we are pursuing Peace.

    Thanks again, MaryLu! Praying you have a peaceful week in Jesus!


  6. I couldn't have said it better, Amanda!