- Get closer to the King of Peace
We call our Lord the King of Peace. His city, Jerusalem, also means City of Peace. To get closer to the King of Peace, we must pray, and go to church, our Lord’s house. Once you get closer to God, peace will enter your heart. Whenever you find yourself hurting, sad, depressed, anxious, or angry, leave what you are doing and immediately pray. Speak to the Lord, say a prayer, read a psalm etc. Also go to church at the next best opportunity you get. The house of the Lord is the house of peace. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Saint Paul says “Pray without ceasing.” This was a difficult era for the Christians at the time as they were being persecuted, but to continuously hold on to their peace through the tribulations, they continuously prayed. When you find yourself going through rough times, do the same, and continuously pray. If you prayed once, continue to pray twice, and thrice etc. In Philippians 4:6-9, Saint Paul says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
- Fill your mind with the Bible
Your Bible is the ultimate medicine. Read your Bible as much as you can and fill your mind with the words of God. Do not waste time on listening to the news, or social media as these tend to do the opposite of give you peace. A beautiful verse in Isaiah 48:18 says “Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” If you read the Lord’s words, and heed His commandments, then you will find calmness like a peaceful river.
- Learn how to let go
Give God your worries and concerns in order to reach peace. Our Lord is Almighty and He loves us dearly. “Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22). If you know how to let go, and how to cast your burden on the Lord, then you will never be moved. In Proverbs 3:5 King Solomon says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding.” The key words are of course “with all your heart.” Whenever a concern or worry creeps into your mind, cast it upon the lord and trust in Him with all your heart.
- Learn how to be thankful
Thank God always. Regardless of your situation or circumstances, always be thankful. The words “Thank you God” will cause you to feel victorious over worry, sadness, and fear. Instead of always asking from God, try and thank God for what you have. When you reflect upon your life and upon your circumstance, you will notice that there will always be so many things to be thankful for. You will also realize that God has given you plentiful in the past and you might not have been thankful enough during the good days. He who is truly thankful, will obtain true peace. Saint Paul says give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph. 5:20). Notice he says “always” and “for all things” and not sometimes or when things are going great. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).
- Hold on to hope
Hope is a beautiful message that good things will happen. Have hope in the Lord always. Hope means something good is about the happen, even if things seem dark at this time. Just like we believe and have hope in the Lord’s second coming, we must always have hope for better days. If you hold on to hope, you will find peace. Hope is connected to waiting on the Lord. When you hope in the Lord, you know something good will come eventually. If you think back to your past, and to previous hard times that you went through, you will realize that the difficult times eventually passed. This should give you hope that even what you are going through now, will eventually pass. Always be “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer (Rom. 12:12).
- Give rest to those around you
Our relationships with others also determine the level of peace we have. Therefore, give rest to those around you. When you help others, you will obtain inner peace. Imitate our Lord Jesus Christ and be gentle towards others for the Lord said “Take My Yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt. 11:29). Be gentle to all others, and you will “find rest for your souls” which of course translates to peace.
- Work hard to conquer sin
There is no peace when there is sin. Any sin will harm the peace in your heart. Fight hard against any type of sin so that you may retain the peace in your heart. You are the one who will gain from a life of holiness.
- Do not think about what bothers you
Thinking about your problems while you are bothered or upset will only make things worse. You have to watch your mind and your thoughts and do not let your mind constantly dwell over your problems. When you are upset, you do not think straight. While you are bothered or upset, think about nice things. Things that give you joy and happiness. Think about God, think about all the good things in life, think about all the people that love you and care about you, think about things that you have successfully achieved etc. It is a shame to dwell on your problems when we have an Almighty God that will take care of everything.
- Avoid petulance
Run away from being bad-tempered, from constant complaining, from anger, from negativity, or from sadness. If you watch yourself closely, you will notice that you most likely constantly complain all day, every day. The weather is too cold, the weather is too hot, it’s raining again, there is nothing in the fridge to eat, etc. Living in constant complaints will rob your from your inner peace. Run away from negativity and sad thoughts. Sometimes we seek sadness by purposefully remembering all the negatives in our lives or by thinking of all the sad and bad things that we have encountered. Run away from anger as it will surely take away your inner peace. All these things destroy your peace and we must learn to avoid them.
- Ask God for peace.
Constantly ask God for peace. Every move you make, ask God for peace first. First thing in the morning, ask God for a peaceful day. As we mentioned above, our Lord is the King of Peace and we must constantly ask for peace from Him. It is fine to be persistent in your request for peace from God. Saint Peter says in 1 Peter 3:11, “Let him seek peace and pursue it.” The Lord loves his children and he wants them to have peace, but we as humans with our own thoughts and imaginations create a disturbance of peace in our hearts. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
– From a Sermon of Father Daoud Lamei