Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace! Proverbs 12:20 (NLT)
Anyone can wish for more peace in their lives, but peace requires more than just a desire. To taste the delightful sweetness of peace in your day will require some intentionality on your part. Many are the obstacles and challenges awaiting you, and the evil one plans diligently to bring you down. Your destruction is his desire, and you will have to devise a strategy to obtain and maintain your peace.
It is a great relief to know that God has a plan for us. He is not leaving it all to randomness:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
Jesus said that He came to bring us abundant life. That was Jesus’ plan for us, but He introduced His plan with a warning: Our enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy (see John 10:10). Wow! A good plan and an evil enemy? What are we to do then?
I’d say that we need to stay close to the Lord throughout the day! We need to listen to the Holy Spirit as He directs us in different situations. We need to avoid events that may stir up clouds of fear, doubt, and unbelief in our hearts. We may have to side-step people that threaten the peace of the Lord in our moments. Some of them are unavoidable, but we can choose our responses to such people. We may need to turn off those talk radio shows, newscasts, or podcasts that stir negative emotions in us. We cannot leave this to chance; we must have a plan!
A goal without a plan is just a wish. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
We must plan to avoid social media channels and television shows that depress rather than uplift us. I believe each of us can discern such people, places, and events that have left us without peace in the past. I also think that with careful planning and strategic navigation throughout the day, we can seek out people and places that feed our faith.
There is a joy that comes from planning for the peace you desire in your life. Today, make up your mind that nobody is going to offend you into a state of anger and unforgiveness. Plan your day so you can live in peace. Yes, there will be opposition, but you can plan to succeed in your mission. Remember, our scripture today tells us that joy fills hearts that are planning peace!
What is your plan for joy and peace today? I believe that the Lord will bless you with wisdom and peace from above:
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17–18 (NLT)
- What is your peace plan for today? Don’t have one? Grab a pen and paper. Start writing down a few things you can do to have a more peaceful day.
- What steals your peace? Who pickpockets your peace? Which shows and social media channels take your peace? How can you avoid or minimize such negative influences and the anxiety they bring into your life?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern how you can strategically avoid things that steal your peace. Ask Him how to go about cultivating peace and joy in your life.
Excerpted from The Art of Peace: 21 Days To A More Peaceful You by Iann Schonken: