Do you regularly feel overwhelmed or stressed by all the things?
Good news! God offers us a supernatural peace that we want to help you find.
Life can be hard. Big struggles like financial problems, family illness, or addictions can rattle us. But for many of us, everyday challenges are what’s stealing our peace.
Jesus said we were going to face hard circumstances (John 16:33). He also said he’d give us peace (John 14:27).
How exactly do we find that peace? By letting God renew our thinking.
Peace comes, not by eradicating challenging circumstances, but by changing unproductive responses.
Here are two ways to change your responses, taken from Philippians 4.
1: BANISH UNTRUTHS
When we face a challenging circumstance, we typically follow this pattern (without even noticing it):
We see. We interpret. We feel.
Here are some examples that demonstrate this point:
- The project isn’t done (situation). I can’t rest until it’s finished (interpretation).
- She didn’t return my call (situation). I must have done something wrong (interpretation).
- My co-worker got the promotion, not me (situation). I’m never going to be good enough (interpretation).
- No one else volunteered (situation). I guess that means I have to do it (interpretation).
In each example, an interpretation led to an overwhelming feeling.
And did you catch what these interpretations have in common? They aren’t necessarily true.
Sisters, we can sabotage our own peace by letting half-truths or untruths hijack our responses.
How do we fight this? Paul gives us a strategy in Philippians 4: 8-9.
He says, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have…seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
The next time your circumstances bring on feelings of stress or overwhelm, use this Scripture.
Ask yourself, “Is what I’m thinking true?” Then develop a true interpretation like this:
- The project isn’t done (situation). It’s hard for me to stop, but if I rest I can work on it with a fresh mind tomorrow (truth).
- She didn’t return my call (situation). There are lots of reasons she may not be able to return my call now. I can choose not to jump to conclusions without more information (truth).
- My co-worker got the promotion, not me (situation). I’m disappointed, but can proactively seek advice to position myself better for next time (truth).
- No one else volunteered (situation). I can brainstorm with other people to come up with a solution for this problem. I don’t have to take all the responsibility on by myself (interpretation).
With practice, you can renew your thinking, which will open the way to God’s peace.
2: LET GOD’S POWER GIVE YOU PEACE
Banishing untruths is powerful, but what if you struggle to change your thinking? Or, what if your overwhelm is based on truth?
Then we need a holy intervention.
Peace is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22). And Jesus said, “Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me” (John 15:4).
We need Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to produce peace inside of us. But they need our cooperation.
We must be serious about inviting God into our lives through spiritual habits. These are repeated practices that connect us to God.
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us the spiritual habit of prayer and gratitude are peace giving:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 minds in Jesus Christ.”
But other spiritual habits like silence, fasting, confession, slowing, and self-examination can also connect us to God and bring the fruit of peace.
Spiritual habits are the long-game solution for overcoming thinking or circumstances that rob you of peace.
If you want to go deeper in your spiritual habits, we want to help. You can download a free copy of our Spiritual Habits Starter Guide now.
Scripture tells us we can be transformed when our thinking our renewed (Romans 12:2). Take charge of your thinking and take your thinking to God. He loves you and wants to help you find his peace.