Peace and Happiness – How to Have it

peace photoPeace is a state of inner rest, harmony, tranquility and well-being that many promise but few deliver. It is the opposite of agitation, restlessness, torment, irritation, guilt, fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Sometimes it helps in defining something to describe what it isn’t.  So please read that list again. If we are restless, feeling guilty, tormented with fear or anxiety, or irritable, then we don’t have peace of mind. But praise God, He has something better for us!

Sometimes young people don’t value peace – they prefer a constant state of excitement and adrenaline if possible (in part explaining the popularity of video games I would say), but God’s plan for our well-being is that His peace be the ruling factor in our lives. There will be moments of excitement and adrenaline as sudden challenges and opportunities arise – but we are never told to seek excitement. We are told to seek peace and pursue it. Peace is a foundation for true happiness. 

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14) 

This is repeated and expanded upon in the New Testament.

“He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it. (1 Peter 3:10-11)

So right here we are given the recipe for a happy life from no one less than the first leader of the New Testament church! A big part of it is to control our tongues – our words. The tongue has a natural inclination to evil – which is why we must refrain it and retrain it. God is telling us to turn away from everything we know is evil and do good. By sowing to the Spirit, sowing good things, we will reap blessings as we go on – even in this life, but far more in the next.

Peace and Contentment

There are other facets of peace that are important for us to consider. One is contentment. Paul writes:

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:” (Philippians 4:11)

When it comes to the provision of our material needs and the desire for more, which is very common, the Scriptures urge us not to pursue wealth, but rather to pursue peace. This is one of the differences between being earthly-minded and being heavenly-minded. The things of earth will pass away, but blessings like peace have a place in the eternal realm of God’s Kingdom as well as the present.

Now godliness with contentment is great gain.For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be contentBut those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:6-10, NKJV)

This is not a passage advocating poverty, but it IS advocating contentment. I believe part of the meaning of “clothing” is that we have a roof over our heads to keep out the rain, heat, snow and cold. It is interesting what is said in the Old Testament in this regard:

“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” (Isaiah 32:18)

That verse is a great promise. We don’t need the potential anxiety of constantly moving from place to place, or living under the threat of the bank taking away our place of residence. But going back to the previous passage, we should be able to see that the pursuit of wealth is not something encouraged by the Bible. On the contrary, all too often it leads to anguish, to sorrow, to evil and even to damnation. God says in a number of places in the New Testament concerning the things of this world to be content with what we have. Just remember that a lot of what happens online and in the world is about advertising to make you discontented, thinking about what you don’t have or could have. Please remember that. Satan is working through covetousness to destroy peace and make us unfruitful. God on the other hand, wants us to lay up treasure in heaven by giving time and money to things which bring eternal results for God’s Kingdom. The choice of what you pursue is one you will definitely make many times. Fix your mind on things above if you want to please God. Do not listen to false teachers who want you to pursue wealth and so that they may collect commissions from you along the way. Following such teachers will not lead to peace.

Peace in Our Relationships

Peace is also a condition of fellowship, unity, reconciliation and friendship in our relationships. Sadly there are some relationships that cannot be repaired, but there is a wonderful word in the Proverbs.

When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)

So don’t rule out miracles in relationships. God can do anything. But we may need to learn to be more gentle, wise and diplomatic in some cases before this can happen for us. We need to have ways that please the Lord. I am not saying we need to be weak compromisers. But even in our firmness against evil we need to be kind, self-controlled and at peace.

The issue of relationships is a massive one, and the whole Bible is something of a textbook on how to have a good relationship with God and also with other people. Love for God and others is the key, of course. But the word “love” means different things to different people, so we need to let the Bible unpack the meaning of that word for us. We know from 1 Corinthians 13 that love is patient, kind, not irritable, rude or boastful. Many other things are revealed about love there. Love is basically self-giving and helpful to others, and operates with joy and peace. Eventually, love can work miracles in the hearts of others. Faith also works by love (Galatians 5:6), meaning that without love our faith will stop working. All the things that the Holy Spirit wants to do in our life are related and connected around the the themes of faith, love, peace, trust, forgiveness and hope. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is what we should go for – and one of the aspects of that fruit is peace (Galatians 5:22,23).

To pursue peace we need to have the message of the gospel in mind. The gospel tells us that God has paid for our sins already through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ, and that we can receive forgiveness opening the way for a genuine connection with God through the Holy Spirit. Our guilt is taken away when we believe. All we need to do is confess and forsake the evil with God’s help (which He is certainly willing to give!). But a part of God’s will which cannot be ignored is that we must forgive those who have wronged us and hurt us. Without this we cannot receive God’s blessings (see Mark 11:25, 26). Walking in forgiveness is therefore a huge part of what it means to walk in and receive peace. Until and unless we forgive the injustices done against us, we simply cannot have the peace of God.

Learn to Discern What Brings Peace and What Takes it Away

As we go through life and make little decisions, many of them out of force of habit, we should try to sensitize ourselves to whether things things we do are contributing to or taking away from our peace. If we feel restless after taking a certain decision, we would be wise to try to reverse the decision even if it makes us look bad to someone else. We really need to follow after peace and let God’s peace be the umpire in our hearts concerning the decisions we make.

The things that take away peace can be as subtle as overeating. Sometimes our prayer life is negatively affected by our desire to consume more sugar and food than our bodies really need. Check this out – just be aware of what is going on in your body and soul during the day.

Similarly, the choices we make about entertainment, music or the lack of it can affect our level of peace. The words we say to others affect our peace for good or ill. Let us remember that God wants us to “sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). This is one of the ways to be filled with the Holy Spirit and stay that way. Surely Jesus is worthy of our praise, and the Father is worthy of our thanksgiving.

Peace is Preparation for Effective Gospel Ministry

I have written more extensively elsewhere about the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, which is part of our spiritual armour. If we want to serve the Lord effectively, we must pursue personal peace. Only then can we impart that peace to others through Christian ministry.

When we go to unbelievers with the gospel, we need to be ready to impart a spiritual power of peace into their lives if they are open to receive it. Part of this is divine healing. Let’s face it, if a person is tormented because of physical pain, this does not contribute to peace. When we are spiritually ready, we should be able through the power of the Holy Spirit released through words of faith, drive out the evil spirits and other causes of sickness and infirmity. Yes, actually doing this ministry is still too rare – but it has now been shown to be possible to do Luke 10 type ministry by some modern day pioneers in the field of restoring biblical evangelism, and we should learn from such people and follow their example wherever possible.

Jesus said plainly in Mark 16:17,18 (the passage the devil wanted out of your Bible), that believers would drive out demons and heal the sick in the context of preaching the gospel to the world. We need a new generation of disciples of Jesus who will model this and do it, especially in the Western world, so that we can get back on track and in alignment with what Jesus told us to do. No one has ever been able to improve on the methods of Jesus for evangelism.

Peace is Protection for Your Mind

I have also written about how praying about all the things that might potentially worry us is God’s way to attract the peace of God into our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:6,7). This peace then acts as a spiritual shield to guard our hearts and minds from satanic interference. This is something we need to contend for. Ironically, we may have to actually go into spiritual warfare in order to obtain true peace. The Bible teaches us to make every effort to enter the rest (Hebrews 4). So I am not teaching passivity, which is the Eastern way to receive peace – and leads to demon possession and torment in the end.

Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:11).

This is why I consider some of the the teaching which tells us to simply “let go” is not always appropriate. There is a time for this, but we need to determine when the time is to let go and trust, and when the time is right for active warfare, such as praising the Lord, speaking the Word of God when we don’t feel like it, praying in the Spirit aggressively, and so on.

Once you have entered into rest, it should be easier to maintain that position, but it still requires some diligence and vigilance. Satan is always looking for a way to destroy or damage our peace, because he knows that our faith and prayer will not be so effective when any of his seeds are germinating in our minds.

Make Sure You Have Surrendered to Christ

One of the titles of Jesus Christ is “The Prince of Peace”.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

You cannot have enduring peace without the Prince of Peace taking His rightful place in your heart and mind. The Bible also says that “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). If you want the peace and well-being that is so pleasing and satisfying to your soul, give your life fully to the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom God made the entire world (John 1:3). Surely He can be trusted. 

It is this Prince of Peace, Jesus, that came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) by dying in your place to take the entire load of guilt and punishment that falls to you otherwise because of your sin. Call out to Him. Tell Him you will follow Him and surrender to Him. Thank Him for His saving work for you and receive it by receiving Him as Lord and Savior. Just tell him you are doing that. Start to thank Him, praise Him and worship Him. Begin to trust Him, confess your sins to Him, turn from all evil God shows you and fully turn your mind over to Jesus as best you can. It is then that you will receive peace and start on a journey towards the Ultimate Peace of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Don’t miss that for anything!

God bless you. I hope to hear from you especially if you made the decision to trust Jesus. If you are already a believer, I trust that some of the insights on this page will help you in your journey to become more Christlike.


Michael Fackerell

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