“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27
Spiritual and emotional storms in life are inevitable. If you are operating within the fullness of who you were created to be and what you were created to do, you will hit opposition. Jesus clearly told us that we would face trials and tribulations (John 16:33). The key to navigating through those trials—otherwise known as the storms of life—is maintaining peace. Here are five strategies that will enable you to strengthen yourself in the Lord to withstand and overcome a chaotic stormy season.
1. TAKE YOUR THOUGHTS CAPTIVE
All too often, I counsel those who seem to be quite content with their thoughts of doubt, distress, discouragement, and even despair. Those four “D” words spell Destruction with a capital D. Scripture is full of the truth of God that dispels and defeats those lies of the enemy.
For every lie that the enemy brings to your mind, there is truth written in the Bible. Speak the truth of Scripture over your life. When you can’t seem to find that truth, simply speak the name of Jesus. By speaking Jesus’ name out loud, you call on Him as the Lord of Hosts and the Captain of the angel armies, and they move on your behalf.
2. GUARD YOUR TONGUE
What are you speaking over your life? James 3:10 says that both blessing and cursing come from the same mouth.Speak blessing. Choose to speak life. Speak abundance and prosperity of mind, body, and spirit.
3. CHANGE YOUR “WHY’S” TO “WHATS”
You won’t necessarily understand God’s plan or purpose when circumstances play out in your life differently than you had hoped or expected. God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8–9). You may not understand, but you can count on His love and His faithfulness. You can bank on His promise that He will work all things together for your good when you love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)
Change your “Why?” Question to “What can I learn?”, “What do you want me to do?”, or “How can I help someone else?” Asking “Why” puts the focus on you and your life. “What” and “how” questions remove the poor-pitiful-me attitude and rids you of the evil spirit poised to take you down the slippery slope of despair into the pit of self-pity.
4. GIVE THANKS IN EVERYTHING
I want to point out a difference in language that may seem small at first glance, but in fact, it is significant: the difference between advice that says give thanks FOR everything and one that says give thanks IN everything. IN implies that wherever you are, whatever you are facing, there is space to thank the Lord.
Not only does thanksgiving usher in miraculous peace, it also serves as a sentinel posted around your heart and mind to keep you in the place of peace (Philippians 4:6–7)
A posture of worship acknowledges God for who He is. When you worship and honor Him, you take your hands off the issues of life and give Him control. Whatever your form of worship, profess who God is. Atmospheres change when you worship and acknowledge God Your Maker, Redeemer, and Comforter.
Isaiah 42:10–12 paints a beautiful picture of worship.
“Sing to the Lord a new song,
Sing His Praise from the end of the earth!
You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it.
You islands and those who dwell on them.
Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices,
The settlements where Kedar inhabits.
Let the inhabitants of Sela sing aloud,
Let them shout for joy from the tops of the mountains.
Let them give glory to the Lord
And declare His praise in the coastlands.“
The next verse is revelatory. It shows that God responds to worship that acknowledges Him and gives honor to what He has done. The act of worship moves God to action on your behalf! Hallelujah!
“The Lord will go forth like a warrior,
He will arouse His zeal like a man of war.
He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry.
He will prevail against His enemies.“
Your enemies are God’s enemies and He will not be defeated. By praising and worshipping the Lord, you grant Him access, permission, and space to move and work on your behalf. That My Friend, is good news!
Do you find yourself in a stormy season? Ask Holy Spirit to show you which one(s) of these strategies He is highlighting to bring peace to you today and all your tomorrows. He loves you. He is faithful to you and to all that He has called you to do in the season in which you find yourself.
God’s promise to you, Dear One, is that He will give you peace—not as the world gives—when you rely on Him. How awesome is that? Use these strategies to stay connected and dependent upon God—even when storm clouds are brewing or it is thundering all around you. You will find yourself dancing in the midst of the storm as you experience so much more of God’s peace.
©2020 Deborah L Gall
***These five strategies are taken from a list of eleven that I share in my book, Created For So Much More. For the complete chapter and list, see chapter 9 Created For So Much More PEACE: Navigating Through Storms. Buy your copy here.
***Artwork: “Peace Like a River” ©2019 Deborah Gall In the Buzzetti Collection