Grove, Oklahoma, US
Via ASSIST News Service

“I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” - John 14:27 (TLB).

In a world filled with strife, how do you find peace? A peace that lasts, not dependent on your circumstances or shattered by the latest news reports.

Do you want that kind of peace? Who doesn’t?  How can you discover the peace that passes understanding?

It requires a change in our habits. How often do we let our minds wander aimlessly? Do we allow our emotions to dominate our thinking in reaction to external events or do we take control of our thought process?

Woman in church

Finding peace. PICTURE: Ben White/Unsplash 

Peace comes from a renewing of the mind
Our circumstances are constantly changing. So is the world. But we can take our thoughts captive. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Do you struggle with your thought life? I do. It’s not easy in today’s world to remain positive. But there is an answer.

If we want ultimate freedom, to escape the negativity around us, we must ask God’s Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts. We have to feed our minds on excellence, God’s Holy Word, not occasionally, but every day. What we watch, read and listen to affects our thought life.

How do we rewire our brain?
Circumstances will change, but God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We need to plug that reality into our brains.

Without God’s Holy Spirit, we can’t rewire our brain. Have you ever tried to quit dwelling on the negative, only to find those undesirable thoughts sneaking back, leaving you downcast?

I’ve been there. I still struggle sometimes, but I find renewal each morning by reading and meditating on Scripture. It’s part of our sin nature to slip back into negativity. It requires us to continually seek peace through our relationship with Christ.

Finding permanent peace through Christ requires focus
Negative thoughts can ruin our day and a pessimistic outlook on life can lead to depression, a host of physical ailments and a shorter life span.

What we dwell on throughout our day dictates our emotional state. However, God has given us the mind of Christ. When we accepted Jesus into our hearts, the renewal process began. But it doesn’t end there. It’s a continual process of spiritual transformation, requiring us to stay focused on Him.

We must “taste and see” that the Lord is good. Instead of dwelling on the ‘what if’s", and the “what might have been’s", we need to focus on a life filled with the goodness of God. When we dwell on the positives in life, we can find peace.

Seeing the positives in life
In the past, before surrendering my life to Jesus, I didn’t always see the positive in a situation or in people. None of us is perfect. By recognising our strengths and weaknesses, we can better understand why our thought process can lead to the negative.

An example is my reaction to those who don’t return their grocery cart to the designated area. I still get annoyed, but I don’t let my negative attitude ruin my day. How did I turn a negative into a positive? I return wayward carts near me to the buggy corral.

Taking action is a good way to overcome a negative. Instead of dwelling on the actions, or lack of action by others, choose to seek the good. When we focus on the good things in life, we can find an everlasting peace, a gift from our Savior and Lord.