Peace in a Pill
The other day, I was watching the evening news, and noticed an ambush of pharmaceutical commercials that centered around the desire to feel peace — whether it was to get a good night’s sleep or to stop feeling depressed or anxious. They all touted peace in a pill.
This made me wonder, is peace that elusive? When we look at the world around us, it would seem that way, wouldn’t it? We have herbal supplements, sleeping aids, and meditation – all created to induce relaxation and peace. We buy self-help books, go to counseling sessions, douse ourselves with essential oils, change our diets, listen to New Age music, and quit our jobs to eliminate stress and uncover tranquility. Have you invested in any of these promising products? Did they give you peace?
I can say that I’ve tried to capture peace in a book or through music, and although I may have felt a momentary sensation of pleasure and perhaps relaxation, I rarely felt peace. No matter how many Tylenol PMs I take, or positive books I read, peace isn’t as easy to find as it seems.
Why? Because we’re looking for peace in all the wrong places. Peace is not in a pill or a yoga pose. Peace is only found through God. Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” for a reason. When we worry and fret, we lose sight of Him. When we wring our hands instead of folding them in prayer, we take our troubles AND our opportunities out of His hands.
We need to let God be in control because otherwise, pills, potions, and worldly notions are the only alternative, and they are all poor substitutes indeed.
Paul tells us in the Philippian Letter that “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The peace from God is the only thing that can banish worry and distress, and unlike all those medications, there are no adverse side effects!
Here are the four ways to experience God’s peace:
- Pray: “In everything by prayer and supplication…let your requests be made known to God.” Whether your prayers are great or small, God cares. His grace is big enough for all matters, and his peace will be on you if you ask for it. Or as the writer, Victor Hugo, put it, “Go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
- Give Thanks: Being thankful is one of the best ways to feel at peace.
- Dwell on the Positive: Paul advises: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” Optimism is peace defined.
- Obedience to God’s Word. God does not lead you astray with bad advice or wrong suggestions. Paul says, “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.” He promises peace when we are in accordance with his teachings. When we obey, we avoid pain, guilt, and greed. When we serve others, rather than our own self-interests, we stop focusing on our own problems and begin focusing on others and God.
When you feel like peace is unlikely, I encourage you to do these four things this week and see how it tunes you into God’s purpose and promise of peace for you.
PEACEMAKERS WHO SOW IN PEACE REAP A HARVEST OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.