“If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else”- Marvin Gaye
It’s hard to find peace today. Watch any news program and you’ll be reminded of the wars and violence that are so prevalent around the world, in each of our countries, our cities, and even in some of our own neighborhoods. Greed, hatred, selfishness, and a love of power has seeped in and stolen others’ innocence, faith in humanity, and an outward peace that we wish was reigning in humanity today. We’ve learned that we can’t find peace in the world and that has left some of us feeling despondent.
It’s difficult to find peace in our daily lives as well. Money troubles, school or job stress, our personal hang-ups or struggles, family or relationship problems, and even social media drama. The list seems endless as we deal with the messy details in our lives. These dilemmas can leave us full of anxiety, worry, and fear. Sometimes we can turn to friends and family, but they will eventually fail us at some point, because they are only human also.
If we can’t find true peace in the world or in other people, where can we find it? We have to look inside ourselves. But can we create peace on our own? No, we have to look to God.
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:5-7
This verse always challenges me. As a person who gets social anxiety in a crowded room or when I’m meeting new people, it’s hard to overcome my feelings and be at peace. I also worry about the distant future and even what might happen to me in a coming week. I forget that God is in control of everything and that He has already taken care of my future. I focus on my circumstances instead of talking to Him about them.
If we would learn to let go and change our mindset about our lives, we might just find the serenity we desire. Instead of opening our souls to dread and worry, we should greet each day with eager optimism and unbridled hope. We can’t depend on the world or other people to create a peaceful atmosphere around us, but we can learn to find inner peace through prayer and surrender. We have to give up trying to orchestrate our lives and remember that He is in control already.