Most people would probably admit they'd like a little more peace in their lives. The question is, What will you do for it? Are you willing to change? Because that's what it may take to have a truly peaceful life.
We must pursue peace if we really want it. The Bible instructs us to seek the kingdom of God…because God is the source of true peace. Romans 14:17 (AMP) says "…the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
I think the perception of peace is what distracts most people from really having it. It seems like a lot of people seek their peace in things. And most of us are not even satisfied with the things we have…we always want more. Some seek peace in certain relationships. But other people don't always act the way we like…and interaction is not always peaceful. Some even seek peace in their religion…only to feel guilty and condemned when they don't do everything right.
So even though God's Word tells us to pursue peace, it's important for us to gain a good understanding of what it means to do this. Of course, we may have to change some things – beginning with what we think about peace – because peace is not based on our stuff or our circumstances. If we continue to think that some thing or person or action will give us peace, we will never have it. Those are all outward conditions…when we need to be looking inward.
Consider a tree for a moment. As beautiful as trees are to look at, we don't see what goes on underground – as they grow roots. Trees must develop deep roots in order to grow strong and produce their beauty. But we don't see the roots. We just see and enjoy the beauty. In much the same way, what goes on inside of us is like the roots of a tree. Others may not see what's going on inside, but they surely will be able to see the results, or fruit.
So, a good question for each of us to ask ourselves is, What's going on in me? Because it is the inner life that determines the outer life…just as strong, healthy roots of a tree determine its outer health and beauty.
If your inner life is not producing what you would like on the outside, don't be discouraged…just be willing to change.
We are instructed in the Word to follow…pursue…seek peace. First Peter 3:11 tells us to "search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]" (AMP)
In other words, you must seek to be peaceful on purpose…because you cannot bring peace to a situation if there is no peace within…just as a tree cannot produce beautiful, healthy leaves if its roots are unhealthy.
As I said earlier, I believe it is the perception of peace that needs to change in most cases. Those who have inner peace cannot be controlled by unwanted circumstances, difficult people and such. That is mainly because they know who they are in Christ. They are confident that no matter what is going on around them, they will get through it because Jesus promised, "In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you] John 16:33 (AMP).
Do you want true inner peace – peace that keeps you stable in every situation? Then pursue it. Romans 5:1 says, "Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…."
That kind of peace is found only in a relationship with God. It must be sought after…chased…followed. True peace is not based on stuff, other people, or circumstances…but on our focus in the midst of these situations that are all a part of daily life. There will always be things that can upset us unless we change our focus – and keep it on Jesus – as we pursue a relationship of peace with Him!
Those "things" may stay the same but you will make it through them. As you continue to follow peace…on purpose, you will grow stronger and gain experience in your faith. And ultimately you will possess a peace that can even calm and encourage others in their stressful times.