By Angela Howard
Embracing a Life of Hope, Wholeness and Harmony
Have you ever felt like peace was just an elusive idea meant for inspirational quotes or holiday sentiments? What would it be like to experience Peace for a Lifetime —real peace in our relationship with God, with our emotions, and with our relationships? This might seem like a far off dream, but it is possible!
After receiving Christ as our Savior we experience God’s grace working in and through our lives in an instant, but our sanctification happens overtime. Oswald Chamber defines sanctification as being “intensely focused on God’s point of view… to secure and to keep all the strength of our body, soul, and spirit for God’s purpose alone.” I don’t know about you, but I often feel impatient with the process. In the past I’ve been sucked into the fruitless efforts of trying harder to be sweeter, more patient, and less selfish. If you are anything like me than you know this never works for more than a few days…ok a few hours!
1 Thessalonians 5:23 encourages us saying: May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
It is God who changes us, and for that I’m grateful. As God does the heavy lifting we have the opportunity to submit to His grace as we find healing and transformation by the Holy Spirit’s power. A big part of that is slowing down long enough to discern the areas in our lives that need His healing touch. Sometimes it’s our relationship with Jesus, our relationship with others, or even our relationship with ourselves.
You might be surprised to learn that many of the changes we desire in our relationships begin by understanding our emotions. We needed to develop what author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Lisa Murray calls, Emotional Abundance, the ability to “…[F]eel our emotions, to reason through our emotions, to understand our emotions, and to effectively manage our emotions so we can appropriately respond to the people and circumstances around us.”
As we release our way for God’s way we will see big transformations. We can be confident that God will do what He promised.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV)
So as we jump in 2017 let’s redefine what it means to be successful. In the world, success looks a lot like working hard to achieve more for our own glory. In the kingdom of God, success is all about the incredible transformation of our hearts to love the way Jesus loves, to share His message of hope and peace—all to the glory of God.
Peace is not a vague or ambiguous ideal. It’s not based on our circumstances, and it doesn’t need to be temporary. Our peace with God is the foundation of all other areas of our lives. Through that incredible foundation we can start addressing peace in our emotions, our bodies, and our relationships with others.
Don’t believe the lie that this year will be full of the same worry and fear that has robbed you of the peace you are longing for. God is offering you healing, abundant life, and lasting peace!
By Angela Howard
Peace for Lifetime—Embracing a Life of Hope, Wholeness & Harmony Through Emotional Abundance by Lisa Murray