Personal peace requires personal faith

Monday Musings for September 30, 2019

“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” Marcus Aurelius

Good morning, Musers,

I have some bad news that’s not really news: we do not live in a peaceful world. However, we can be peaceful people — and we do this by an exercise of faith. But this is beyond the exercise of faith that brought us to salvation. This is an exercise of faith in our ongoing lives.

I get it that we all experience trials. That’s part of our gig. And I also get it that most of us know that God has made provision for us. But knowing something about acquiring peace and doing something about it are two different things. Faith is acting on knowledge; it is not knowledge itself.

That being said, exercising faith is not stepping out into an abyss (… although it might involve stepping out onto a stormy sea). It is stepping forward with confidence that God will indeed direct our steps (Proverbs 16:9).

One of humankind’s big problems is that we have too many options: we can choose where to look with our eyes, and we can choose where to focus our minds. And although this means that we can never be prisoners unless we choose to be, this means that we are responsible for our own spiritual and emotional wellbeing. We can steer our lives to glory or into a bridge abutment.

Now, I’m an American… and I have advantages over many of the world’s people. I have access to clean water and food. I can move about freely and safely. I can be proactive with my medical care — and personal parasites are not even on my radar!

But millions of the world’s people live lives of fear and despair… many fearing for their physical lives! But also, many spend much of their day trying to find safe water, and they have no expectation of finding enough food to satisfy them and their families. I live like a king by comparison!

But the spiritual and emotional capacities that we share are great levelers… because America is proof that prosperity may bring a certain level of national comfort and peace… but it doesn’t bring personal peace. Personal faith is what brings personal peace.

So, there it is. True peace is found in God… although it still takes some effort on our part. We need to direct our thoughts to truth, nobility, rightness, purity — all the good things in the world — and then we will find God’s peace… and there’s no reason that we can’t.

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