The idea of having peace can be hard when we feel like we’re amidst so much. In theory, it sounds easy to accept the things we can’t change or to take each day as it comes and try to live without fear and anxiety of whatever the future may hold – but in reality, it’s so easy to feel life’s burdens deep within our core; it’s hard to quiet our soul when we feel like everything inside us is talking to us at once.
The thing is that finding peace doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re completely blissful about your circumstances. To an extent, you can still be bummed about whatever it is you’re going through – peace means that you’re able to find freedom within your situation; that despite the uncertainty you feel, you can also find a particular serenity and hope that things will be okay, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
Because I’ve had my fair share of trying to find some inner peace, I have put together some of my favorite verses that have provided solace for me in times of need.
“PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE YOU. I DO NOT GIVE TO YOU AS THE WORLD GIVES. DO NOT LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED AND DO NOT BE AFRAID.” // JOHN 14:27
How wonderful is it that He gives us His peace so freely – it’s not something we have to earn or strive for. Much like everything else with the Lord, it’s a gift we can choose to receive. And how amazing that His peace isn’t like the comfort we find in this world where everything is temporary – our possessions, even our friendships, can’t always fill the void we feel when life tries to knock us down… often times they are the cause of our stress. The Lord is constant; even when His answers to our prayers is “wait,” we can rest in the fact that He is a safe place and will never cease to be there in times of trouble.
“CAST ALL YOUR ANXIETY ON HIM BECAUSE HE CARES FOR YOU.” // 1 PETER 5:7
He CARES for you. The Oxford Dictionary defines care as “feeling concern or interest; to attach importance to something.” Furthermore, to care for something is to “look after and provide for the needs of.” WOW. It doesn’t say He’s passively sympathetic for you and that He sits idly by as you struggle to fend for yourself. He provides for you. He looks after you. He feels concern and interest and attaches importance to you.
“THE LORD GIVES STRENGTH TO HIS PEOPLE; THE LORD BLESSES HIS PEOPLE WITH PEACE.” // PSALM 29:11
Our God PROVIDES! In the moments when we are weak, He gives us strength. When He sees His sons and daughters in a place of need, He GIVES. He doesn’t make us work for it, He doesn’t make us earn it.
“THOUGH THE MOUNTAINS BE SHAKEN AND THE HILLS BE REMOVED, YET MY UNFAILING LOVE FOR YOU WILL NOT BE SHAKEN NOR MY COVENANT OF PEACE BE REMOVED,” SAYS THE LORD, WHO HAS COMPASSION ON YOU.” // ISAIAH 54:10
This goes back to the amazing fact that the Lord is constant. His love is unfailing and He never goes back on His promises. More than that, He has compassion – He is sympathetic and has a desire to alleviate your distress.
“COME TO ME, ALL WHO ARE WEARY AND BURDENED, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST. TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU AND LEARN FROM ME, FOR I AM GENTLE AND HUMBLE AT HEART, AND YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” // MATTHEW 11:28-29
In my experience with anxiety, I know how exhausting it can be to feel so unsettled. Stress and fear takes so much energy out of you, while simultaneously making you feel too uneasy to rest – what an anomaly. Obviously, you don’t have to have chronic anxiety to know how this feels. It is a relieving feeling to know that when I press into God – when I choose to spend my darkest moments with Him and let His spirit draw near – that there truly is rest.
It’s not a secret to most that life can literally feel like a physical burden. We feel heavy, we feel worn. But something I have always carried with me is that when Christ died on the cross, He didn’t only take our sins – He took our fears, He took our anxiety, He took anything that would weigh us down and attempt to separate us from the love and relationship our souls crave. He died to take our pain – guilt, fear, regret; and while the trials of life are inevitable, God never intended for us to live a burdened life.
“FOR GOD IS NOT A GOD OF DISORDER BUT OF PEACE.” // 1 CORINTHIANS 14:33
Sometimes there is this idea that things happen in our lives because “God is trying to teach us a lesson,” but I personally don’t agree with that. Do I think He uses situations to His advantage and to teach us something through it? Absolutely. But I do not think that God creates turmoil as a way to punish/discipline/teach us. As this verse says, God’s heart is to give us peace, not the other way around. When chaos ensues, He looks to comfort; He looks to strengthen; He looks to open our eyes to see the things He sees in us and about our situation.
“MAY THE GOD OF HOPE FILL YOU ALL WITH JOY AND PEACE AS YOU TRUST IN HIM, SO THAT YOU MAY OVERFLOW WITH HOPE BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.” // ROMANS 15:13
There is SO much I love about this verse. God wants us to overflow with hope as we go through our lives – to believe and know there are better days coming, even if it’s hard to imagine. I think the challenge hidden within this verse, though, is that we need to trust. There is joy, there is peace, there is hope – but it comes with trusting God and trusting the process. We have to trust in what we can’t see and know that God doesn’t give us hope only to rip it away.
“BE JOYFUL IN HOPE, PATIENT IN AFFLICTION, AND FAITHFUL IN PRAYER.” // ROMANS 12:12
Such simple reminders. Peace might not be stated here, but I think that following these bits of advice help me find peace in the long run. Remaining joyful in my circumstances, being patient as I wait for trouble to pass, and habitually turning to prayer has made all the difference when it comes to finding inner serenity.
“I HAVE TOLD YOU THESE THINGS, SO THAT IN ME YOU MAY HAVE PEACE. IN THIS WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE. BUT TAKE HEART! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” // JOHN 16:33
This has been one of my favorite verses for a long time, but I chose to put it last because although this verse isn’t necessarily referring to these verses above specifically, I believe the idea that “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace” rings true even still. God, Jesus, or the prophets they spoke through never say nice things for the sake of saying them. God continually reminds us to find peace in Him because we can and because He wants us to! He doesn’t want us to struggle on our own. If He did, he wouldn’t offer His nearness. This world, this life… it will give us trouble. But who better to have standing by our side through it all than the One who has overcome.
I know that I have more incredible verses buried in my Bible somewhere, but this is just a peek into my favorites. The thing I really do love about reading my Bible is that the same verse could have a completely different impact 6 months from now – there really is always something new to discover in the Word of God.
God’s peace, at least for me, is what gives me the strength and confidence to move forward. It doesn’t make me forget my circumstances or make me 100% okay with them, but it allows me to see the bigger picture and gives me the mentality to start taking steps towards it.
I’m praying for you, my loves! I hope that whatever it is you’re facing, you face it with a fresh boldness every day and seek His peace in even the hardest places.