The Lord Jesus Christ said: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27. He also said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. When we perceive life with our physical senses, being able to experience inner peace seems impossible. However, the Lord Jesus Christ was in the world among us when He said the words above, and He knew how difficult life with all its tribulations could be. For that reason, He gave us His peace that we might overcome adversity and loneliness. He extended God’s peace to us. Any affliction is bearable when we have His peace. Are you experiencing misfortune in your life? Do you feel lonely? Would you like to enjoy peace? Adversity is something that we will experience in life because some of the lessons we are here to learn are difficult and they come with pain so that we won’t forget them. Nowhere in the Word of God does it say that we will not face adversity. But peace, which is an attribute that God gave us, is the antidote to tribulation.
How can you recognize the peace of God? It is a stillness that springs from your soul, filling your whole being and extending to everyone around you. Everyone close to you also senses your peace. It has nothing to do with past events. It is a present state. What was worrying you, no longer takes precedence; instead a stillness covers your whole being. The sorrow disappears, because you know that God is taking care of what was troubling you. Therefore, let us fix our eyes on God, the Father, to enjoy His peace that comes to us as a quiet acceptance that brings rest to our souls. Having peace is the proof that we are in harmony with God. There will be pain and suffering in our lives because it is part of our experience in the world, but if we have peace, we can face whatever comes our way and accept it with equanimity, knowing that the outcome will always bring us spiritual growth and closeness to God. His love and presence will always accompany us, and His power will work through us.
How can we achieve the peace of God? Peace is already in our hearts waiting for us to remove the obstacles that are preventing it from emerging. God's peace will not emerge if there is anger, because anger in itself is conflict. It is a denial of peace. If instead of getting rid of the anger that someone caused us, we seek for reasons to justify it, or we feed it, peace will not be present, because there cannot be peace and anger at the same time. They are incompatible. Therefore, let’s remove the anger. Being totally honest with yourself, make an analysis of what made you angry. What was that started the conflict? Most of the time our is caused by someone not doing what we expected. We impose certain responsibilities on those with whom we interact - implicitly or explicitly – depending on the relationship with have with them. And when they don’t respond according to our expectations, that infuriates us. But we need to understand that none of our fellowmen is here for any purpose that we could assign to them.
God made us complete beings; therefore, we should feel whole. If we believe that something is missing, we should bring it to God’s attention. He already gave us everything that we could possibly need for our time here. He also gave us love, joy, and peace. These are some of the attributes He gave us when He created us. And for these attributes to be real, they have to come from inside us. No matter how intensely we look for them outside in the world, there is no one that can bring us lasting happiness, or cause us to experience peace, or give us unconditional love. Only God can give us this completion. When we arrive to this conclusion, and we learn to depend on God for all of our needs, we have everything. This is the state of completion with which He created us. What we need is to achieve a total dependency on God. Once we achieve that, we will stop depending on anyone else, and the reason for anger will disappear because now we have everything.
Meanwhile, how do we get rid of all that anger that we have accumulated inside us until now? By forgiving ourselves for searching outside in the world for what God put into our hearts. Now that we know it, it is dawning on our minds, and it is ready to emerge with the help of the Holy Spirit if we ask Him for help. Therefore, forgiveness is the indispensable condition for peace to spring out. Where there is forgiveness, there must be peace. Forgive your brother for not being what you expected him to be, and forgive yourself for your own mistake.
“Here is the role the Holy Spirit gives to you who wait upon the Son of God, and would behold him waken and be glad. He is a part of you and you of him, because he is his Father's Son, and not for any purpose you may see in him. Nothing is asked of you but to accept the changeless and eternal that abide in him, for your Identity is there. The peace in you can but be found in him. And every thought of love you offer him but brings you nearer to your wakening to peace eternal and to endless joy. This sacred Son of God is like yourself; the mirror of his Father's Love for you, the soft reminder of his Father's Love by which he was created and which still abides in him as it abides in you. Be very still and hear God's Voice in him, and let It tell you what his function is. He was created that you might be whole, for only the complete can be a part of God's completion, which created you.” ACIM T-29. V.3-4. We show our love to God, our Father by loving His children who are our brothers. Whatever we do for our brothers, we are doing it for God and in exchange He give us His divine grace.
How do we preserve the peace of God once we have it? If anger comes back in any possible form, our peace will disappear. Let us think for a moment and decide if it is conflict that we want, or do we prefer the peace of God. A peaceful mind is a true gift. It is our decision.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51: 10.