Be thankful and peaceful
Do you know that gratitude and peace go hand in hand? I discovered this several years ago during a very stressful time in my family’s life. My wife and I had just purchased a beautiful home, but my career had taken a turn in the wrong direction. A consistent salary had been taken away, and I was starting a new counseling center from scratch. I had no guarantees or clients. I had no peace. Just stress, anger, and a ton of pressure to pay the new mortgage and take care of my wife and three kids. The stress seemed to be killing me and robbing my joy. Help, Jesus!
Have you ever lost your peace? Have you ever been swamped by unexpected losses?
As I stood in our dining room, I didn’t know what to do. I bowed my head and cried at the dinner table. The house was empty, and so was my soul. Then I remembered a verse from the Bible: “…the LORD has anointed Me…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61:3, NIV) I immediately started praising God with my voice. I sang and cried for a few moments. I felt a thousand pounds of guilt and pain fall off my shoulders. My circumstances hadn’t changed, but my self-talk and focus had. I was flooded with a sense of peace that did not make sense, but I felt better. I had regained my peace.
Paul the Apostle makes a significant connection between gratitude and the peace of Christ: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15, NIV)
I encourage you to try my peace recipe. Praise God with your voice and watch the peace of Christ flood your soul. It will help you because God loves you, and you are a miracle.