My inner peace is often threatened. About the time I think I have a handle on one situation in my life, another pops up to challenge my peace and joy. I often feel like I’m playing whack-a-mole with all those anxious thoughts.
As I was scrolling through Facebook the other evening, I came across this Scripture verse that a friend posted as the area she lives in faces a possible hurricane:
He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!Isaiah 26:3 (TLB)
I fell asleep that night thinking about that verse and how when I keep my mind filled with thoughts of God and His character, there’s no room for negative thoughts.
When I woke up the next morning and the familiar “stinking thinking” started to creep in again, I heard God whisper to me, “Look here, Fern.” I could almost feel His hand tipping my chin up to look directly into His face.
Immediately, peace came. It’s astounding to me how quickly that happens when I fix my eyes (and therefore my thoughts) on Jesus.
And that’s what I want to do continually. When I’m tempted to focus on challenging circumstances or what others are saying or doing, the answer is to look directly into Jesus’ face and center my thoughts on Him.
When I do that, He is free to guide not only my thoughts but my actions, too. He either shows me how to handle those challenging situations or relationships, or how to move forward in spite of them.
Unfortunately, there’s no automatic setting for our thoughts other than training our mind through repeated choices to replace negative thoughts with those that come from focusing on Jesus.
It’s not the absence of challenging situations or relationships that brings peace. It’s the looking to Jesus in the middle of them and focusing our thoughts on Him that brings that sweet inner peace that transcends human understanding.