Most of my life I have believed that peace was something that happened based on circumstances. I thought that while I could try to create peace by eliminating unnecessary stress, noise, or chaos, more often than not, peace was something that was the result of (or not the result of) things outside of my control.
But after studying Galatians 5 earlier this year, I started to discover a different view of peace. Galatians 5:16-25 tells us peace is a fruit of the Spirit. It explains that if we have chosen to be followers of Jesus then we should leave behind the worldly things that tempt us and distract us and live by the Spirit. Which means that these fruits are not just nice-to-have personality traits or warm, fuzzy feelings. It means we are called to live out each day practicing these fruits, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
When we consider peace in that context, then we must now recognize that peace is not just a result of our circumstances —it is a calling, a choice, and a requirement for living a life guided by the Holy Spirit.
To have real Godly peace in our life we must seek after it , not just wait for our circumstances to deliver it. In fact, Psalm 34:14 says, “Seek peace and work to maintain it.”
But how do we do that? How do we work to maintain peace in our lives? I believe that it all comes back to God’s word. His word lights our way (Psalm 119:105), and provides nourishment for our soul, the way food nourishes our bodies (Matthew 4:4, Psalm 1:2-3). If we are seeking after peace and not relying on God’s word to guide us, it is like we’re stumbling around in the dark, depleted and hungry.
I don’t know where each of you are in your walk with God. I don’t know if His word is the first thing you read each morning, or just something that you go to on occasion. I can tell you that I go through periods in my life where I am in the Word every day and others when I am not. And during those periods when I am not in God’s word every day? I do not have peace. In fact, usually I am struggling to feel joy and even to love those around me (both also fruits of the Spirit, by the way).
So I created this calendar of 31 different verses related to peace as a way to help keep me focused on seeking and maintaining peace in my life. And now, I’d like to share it with you.
This calendar is a tool to help you start on your journey to peace by relying on God’s word. Each day includes one-to-three verses to read on a specific element of peace. You can start small and just read the verses on the calendar, or you can expand your reading to include the full chapter. How long you spend reading is up to you, but try not to skip a day.
After reading and meditating on the daily scripture, spend a few minutes in prayer. Invite God into your life — messes and all — and ask Him to give you peace, instead of relying on your circumstances.
It is my fervent hope that this calendar is just the beginning. A place for you to start, giving you the basic tools you need to actively seek peace and maintain it. At the end of the thirty-one days be sure to drop me a note and let me know how God has spoken to you through His word, and where you are on your journey to peace.