When you hold onto the power of inner peace, you hold the keys to survival. Inner peace fuels inner strength, it will drive you to push beyond yourself, propelling you to fight life’s battles. You become the calm in the middle of the storm. Inner peace will be the force that will keep you anchored and rooted so deep that nothing can tear you down.
“I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquillity will return once more.” Anne Frank
What does peace mean to you? Is it a quiet place where you can hear yourself think, or maybe it is a nap in the middle of the day? Perhaps it is a few stolen moments away from the rest of the noisy world? However, the peace I refer to, today, goes far deeper than that.
So why is it that some people can go through hell and back and they still possess this unexplainable peace? What is it that they have that unlocks this secret to inner peace?
What’s the state of your mind?
Inner peace is a state of mental calm and serenity with no anxiety, even when everything around you is in chaos. You are in a place of calm; you understand that whatever is happening in the world around you does not affect you because you are in acceptance and understanding of what’s happening in your life. It does not mean that you do not get sad and that you don’t feel sorrow, it just means that you don’t waste your time trying to change that which is unchangeable.
Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV) discusses the fruits of the spirit: “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
All of these are tools that we need to work at daily to help us live a balanced and fruitful life.
Are you missing all of the above? Is inner peace lacking in your life? Are you restless? Feeling constantly miserable? No matter where you are or what you do, peace never seems to ‘stick’ to your life. You feel happy, but somewhere within your spirit there is a restlessness and uncertainty. Something is missing. Your spirit is not settled. You feel incomplete. No matter how hard you try to keep it all in perfect balance, there is still a void.
12 Guidelines to finding inner peace
1. Is the God of Peace God dwelling in your heart?
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV): “ Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way…”
In your darkest lost moments, call on the name of Jesus for peace. He is the God of peace that has defeated and crushed the wickedness of this world. Hide under His shadow; let Jesus give you peace today. Invite Him into your heart. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
2. Are you living with unforgiveness?
How do you see yourself? Do you have sins that you have not forgiven yourself of? God has forgiven your sins, he has hurled them in the deepest seas (Micah 7:19).
1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
3. Are you at peace with your parents?
The Bible says that we need to honour our parents. Do you have unresolved family issues that’s robbing you of peace of mind, inner peace and spiritual peace?
Deuteronomy 5:16 Amplified Bible (AMP): “ ‘Honor (respect, obey, care for) your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that your days [on the earth] may be prolonged and so that it may go well with you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”
Hurt from your childhood: do you hold your parents responsible for your childhood traumas?
Whatever your situation is centred on the way you were parented, make peace with it today and honour them, so that you may be well. Whether you were adopted, orphaned, or your parents did unspeakable sins, you need to still love, care and respect them. Let the God of peace heal you today. Let’s forgive.
4. Are you at peace with your neighbour?
Mark 12:30-31 King James Version (KJV): “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
‘Neighbour’ in this context refers to all those who you come into contact with; this could be your colleagues, friends and the neighbour living next to you.
We can’t have inner peace if we bear grudges and have conflict with others. James 5:16 (NIV): “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…”
Hebrews 12: 14: “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” This refers to everyone. No matter how hurt you feel or how traumatic the situation was, let’s forgive. Why? Because that’s how we heal. That’s how we receive forgiveness from God. That’s the secret to peace.
Mark 11:25 (NIV): “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
5. Have your burnt old bridges that lead to bad habits?
Did you let go of past sins? Does the evil desire of sin keep lure you back to the same old sin? Romans 6:12-13 (NIV) says, “12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”
Allow God to guide you and give you strength to overcome these oppressions.
Only through the power of His blood and through prayer and fasting, can you overcome sin. (Revelations 12:11)
6. Is negative thinking keeping you away from peace?
Negative thoughts can hold you back from inner peace. The constant chatter of negativity in our minds keeps us captive. Most of the time, what your chattering mind is telling you is not the reality of what is really happening in the world.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KLV), “3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds); 5 Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”
7. Are you living in the past?
Don’t beat yourself up over past hurts and regrets, pains and disappointments. Whether you were hurt from your own past mistakes or by the mistakes or sins inflicted by others, it’s time to move forward.
Beating yourself up over past hurts will weaken you and it will steal your joy and your peace.
8. Are you stressing about tomorrow?
Are you panicking about the future? Do I have sufficient funds saved up? Am I ever going to find the right person? The future is unknown; no one but God knows the future. The Bible reminds us of this in Matthew 6:34: “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
We all make provision for the future by taking insurance policies, medical aids and retirement annuities, but God doesn’t want us to obsess about it too much. He wants us to rely on Him in faith. Rest in Him and He will give you peace about the future. Be still and know that He is God.
9. Are you surrounded by toxic people?
We know that the influence of others in our life can affect the way we behave and the way we think. Toxic people will drain you emotionally. They take pleasure in stealing your peace.
1 Corinthians 15:33(NIV), “ Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Surround yourself with faith-filled people. People who can pray you into your destiny. People who can speak into your spirit and encourage and build you up in times of need.
10. Are you giving thanks to God in all things?
Philippians 4:4-7 Amplified Bible (AMP): “4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].”
In this scripture, we see that one of the prerequisites for peace is thanksgiving. In Leviticus 7:12, we learn that one of the acts of a peace-offering given to God in the Old Testament was through the act of thanksgiving.
When we give thanks to God we express our gratefulness to Him. Be grateful to Him for all that He has provided. When your heart is grateful, peace sets in. Find time to give thanks to God. Thank Him for all that He has done for you. Count your blessings, let’s, for a change, thank God and not complain to Him about all the lacks we have in our lives.
11. Are you praying?
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When you pray and make petition before God, the God of peace will guard your heart and He will give you peace far beyond our own comprehension. Pray for peace today, for yourself and for all those around you.
12. Are you making peace through the Blood of Jesus?
Colossians 1:20: “And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
We are privileged to have His precious blood for healing and forgiveness. We understand that His blood also protects and covers us continuously. Now we see in Colossians 1:20 that we can make peace through the blood of Jesus. This scripture is so profound. So work through the above points once more, but this time, acknowledge the power of the blood of Jesus, as we forgive ourselves, our parents, our friends and spouses, to release us into the pure inner peace that God wants for us.
I leave you with this scripture.
“ ‘The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace’.” Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)