Welcome to week five of our Renew Your Mind Challenge! I am so glad you have joined us! In this 13-week challenge, I am sharing with you the single most life-changing truth I have personally discovered.
I will update the links below as I post them.
1. Back to the Beginning
2. Fix Your Mind
3. Accepting His Love
4. Love Into Joy
5. Joy Into PeaceJoy Into Peace
6. Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness
9. Overcome Evil With Good
I used to be depressed, needy, easily offended, anxious, stressed – the list goes on. Now I am happy, fulfilled, and at peace. I discovered the answer at 29 years of age. The secret to happiness lies in your inner response to life: perceptions, intentions, feelings, thought patterns, beliefs. Come along with me and let your faith come alive to you in a new way – a way that will change everything. Each week, we will focus on one small yet powerful action we can take to change our inner life, and renew ourselves into the love of God.
Last week our challenge was to let the love of God in our hearts flow into joy. We chose joyful thoughts for ourselves. We let ourselves be satisfied and fulfilled in the love of God springing forth in our hearts. This week, we are going to focus on the next fruit of the spirit – and that is peace.
Peace flows naturally out of joy. When we are completely content in the love of God, when we are satisfied and joyful in that love, we emerge grounded, centered, confident. The combination of love and joy in our hearts creates a solid foundation which results naturally in peace. Nothing can shake you when you know that you are loved. Nothing can shake you when you are living out of an endless supply of love and when that love is making you joyful. When your inner world is secure, the outer world cannot touch you, as long as you choose to stay in that place of inner security.
I have a saying written down and hung on my wall. It’s one of my life quotes. It says “Fear is conquered when you accept the truth that you are already loved.”
One of my favorite Bible verses says:
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” [I John 4:18 NIV]
Or as the New Living Translation puts it: “If we are afraid… this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
A full experience of his perfect love naturally drives out all of our fears, leaving us at peace. And, as we have seen with everything else, this is a two-way street. God brings his love inside us, out of which his joy and peace flow naturally, but we choose to accept it, to think about it, to become one with it, to live in that place of peace.
Philippians 4:6,7 says:
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” [Emphasis mine]
The connection between the thoughts we choose and the experience of God’s peace is very clearly described here. God brings the peace; we make our hearts a place where peace can thrive by choosing our thoughts. God brings the peace, we choose to receive and live in and out of the peace.
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he!” We keep coming back to this point because it is so important. It is the foundation of everything we are studying here. When you think thoughts of peace, you become peaceful.
The challenge this week is to let our love and joy flow into peace. Don’t forget what we’ve learned so far. Continue to “find yourself” in his love, to be one with his love. Continue to allow that love to make you joyful. In every situation, continue to choose thoughts of love and joy.
The new challenge for this week is to also think thoughts of peace. Let the joy of the perfect love in your heart cast out fears, leaving you with inner peace. When all around you is chaos, when you are overwhelmed, when you are afraid, when the world is falling apart around you, think thoughts of peace. Think “I am at peace.” “The peace of God is filling me.” “The peace of God surrounds my heart and mind.” “I am secure in his love; nothing can shake me.”
Week Five Challenge: Choose to think thoughts of peace, all day, every day, but especially when you are afraid, stressed, or worried.