Four steps to experiencing more peace in your life
Step one: Stop trying to control the world around you.
I couldn't find it.
Peace that I was making the right decisions. Peace that I was actually following God's will for my life. Peace that I wasn't wasting my existence on this planet. Peace that means I rest each night because I've done my best with my day.
Peace can leave, and you can get so used to this new peace-less way of life that you don’t even realise it’s gone. But it can come back. I’ve found peace again, and you can too.
How can you rediscover peace in your life?
1. Stop trying to control the world around you
If you’ve lost your peace, you’ve probably gained a stronger grip on something else: on yourself. You want something for your life. Maybe it’s getting into that academic program or that friend group or receiving that job promotion. Whatever it is, you want it badly, and you want to control all the pieces of your life to make it happen.
This steals your peace. When you are trying to control all the pieces of your life (instead of letting God control them), you'll never feel like you're doing it well enough. Peace is zapped.
2. Recognise that your desires are not a good source of peace
What do you delight in? What desires are you pursing?
This matters because often, to whatever degree your desires are fulfilled, so will peace fill your life. You will experience peace in proportion to how well you control your life to fulfil your desires.
But as you can imagine, this is a pretty fickle source of peace. What happens when your desires aren’t realised? What happens when you lose control?
3. Release your plan
We can live a different way, though! As contradictory as it sounds, we often experience the most peace when we have the least control.
When we try to gain peace by achieving our desires, peace can be so difficult to actually have. What we actually need to do is release.
Release control of our lives.
Release control of our unhealthy or out of proportion desires.
Release control of our plan.
When we release, we are surrendering. We are surrendering to the fact that we are weak, flawed human beings who are bad at making life what we want it to be (or what we think that it should be).
When we release, we are breaking. We are breaking away from our selfish, prideful belief that we can do it all, be it all, achieve it all. We can break into the one source where we (actually) find all the strength we need for our weakness – God.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. —2 Corinthians 12:10
4. Rejoice in freedom
Released, we now have room for peace and room for a final step that can ensure peace actually stays: rejoicing
No longer controlling, but humbly living in a state of surrender, we can be happy. We are happy not necessarily because all the pieces of our life are “falling” into place just how we’d like them to fall (because they may not be).
We can rejoice because the pressure on ourselves is gone.
We no longer have to be constantly uneasy because we just need to figure it out faster and just “get it right” this time. We are living recognising that God is in control of our lives, and He is good at what He does.
He’ll take care of us (Philippians 4:19). He provides for us (Luke 12:31). He knows us. He sees our needs and desires (Psalm 37:4; Matthew 6:8; Romans 8:27).
We can rejoice because He’s got this; He’s got us.
What greater peace can we have?