The priceless gift of peace

By: By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

Do you believe God’s desire for us it to be at peace with Him and those around us? Are you at peace? Being at peace ‘within’ is a priceless gift that ‘keeps on giving’ when we are closely connected to Christ. Peaceful living is possible when we trust God and live by His Son’s example. However, lurking around every bend the enemy plots to steal peace and destroy lives. The devil works through our weaknesses by wielding wicked plans to wreck peaceful living. His ways are lower… reeking restlessness, confusion, strife, hatred, jealousy, evil, and eternity in a place where God is not!

Peaceful living comes when Christ is front and center in our hearts, lives, and the country we call home sweet home. God longs for us to be at peace with Him and those around us. When our hearts desire to live for the Lord and listen to the leading of His Spirit, then there will be peace on earth.

Peaceful living comes to those who live by Jesus’ example with God’s presence through storms and sunshine. When hard times hit, faith lights the peaceful path to happiness with God’s promise to ‘bind our wounds and heal our hearts’ happening in His perfect timing. Where in the world can we find peace among God’s people? Prayer is the pipeline to peaceful living with the Lord and those around us! We must open our eyes to see what is good, honorable, and just for this country and the well – being of all people. We must pray!

Jeremiah 29:11-13 plainly shares what we should do, especially in the month of July when celebrations and church services ring bells of freedom throughout our land. The Lord wants His children to love Him with loyalty and passion. He longs for us to rise up and shine for Him, so that we can rest in His peace.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and Pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Words from George Washington’s prayer journal seem fitting to share ‘for such a time as this’!

“Oh eternal and everlasting God…increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give my repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life bless my family, friends, and kindred.”

Washington’s words, penned more than two centuries ago in his personal prayer journal, seem perfect for every person living in America to pray with a burning desire to live for the Lord. We can seek to honor God, repent of sins, watch over our hearts, live fearfully (fearing God with reverence) and faithfully being in awe of His love and loyalty to us, do our ‘duties’ in love – not loathing, do unto others as we want them to do unto us, bless others, live and love respectfully, be filled with integrity, be like Jesus in ways and words, never succumb to spiritual slumber, and die with God’s favor.

Hopefully this week’s story has caused you to think upon things that are lovely and renew right relationships with the Lord, loved ones, and those we have ought against. God’s Word emphasizes our greatest duty is to love…to love Him with all our hearts, love our neighbor, and those that seem unlovable. Living in America, where God is being removed as the chief cornerstone and prayer is frowned upon in public places, causes concern and thoughts of what in the world will happen if things do not change.

George Washington surely had such thoughts in the 1700’s when our nation faced challenges on every front. Yet, He stood firm in faith and rested in peace on the promises of God. And he prayed!

When we shake our heads in disbelief as newscasts continuously blast bad news from sea to shining sea, we have a choice of how to react to evil that plagues this land we call home sweet home. Turning heads, sitting on the fence of neutrality, and resting in spiritual slumber are sure signs of a people being passive, sleeping Christians flaming the fan of fear.

When we seek Jesus, confess our sins, humble our hearts, bend our knees at altars across America the beautiful and earnestly pray … we will get God’s attention. Then, we can sing with renewed joy words that can be heard around the world, “Let there be peace on earth – the peace that was meant to be…to live each moment and love each moment with peace eternally. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

What words will be read from our prayer journals or remembered from our prayers when we are gone to glory? The prayers we pray and words we record praising God and seeking help on our journey are like the energizer bunny…they keep going and going and going!

God hears our prayers and desires for us to live in peace with Him and those around us. When it seems the whole world is falling apart …we can pray and in His perfect timing have peace in our hearts.

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.