How do we find peace?

Today I started thinking about the holidays my late husband and I had spoken about but never taken. The places we still wanted to go and the things we wanted to do. The planning for one day when we retire, and I got so sad. Sad about what might have been, sad about what we could have had, sad about things I had anticipated but which now will not come to fruition. And I think that’s entirely normal. I am not just grieving for my husband, my friend, my lover –  I am grieving for the loss of the future dreams I had. The things I was looking forward to weren’t earth shattering, they were normal things. Small things. But I was looking forward to them. Now I have to change everything I had stored up in my mind as ‘the future’ because it’s not going to happen. Even the things that can potentially still come to fruition will not be the same because I will have to do them alone if I want to do them.

So far everything I said has been about what is in my mind. No money has been lost or spent, my health hasn’t been affected and I haven’t done anything physical. Basically it’s my mind that has caused me all this pain.

Proverbs 23:7 says, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…”.

Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

This selection of verses clearly shows us that our minds are extremely powerful.  We become what we think. Therefore if we constantly think negative thoughts we are going to become negative. If we think sad thoughts we are going to be sad and if we think angry thoughts we are going to be angry.  Can we decide what we think or are we just going to be ruled for the rest of our lives by our thoughts?

Luke 6:45 tells us that we speak out of the abundance of our hearts. How do things get into our hearts? From our minds!

2 Corinthians 10:5, “casting down arguments and every high things that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

Here we are told that we need to take thoughts captive. In other words, we have to filter our thoughts. We have to decide what is good to think about and what is bad to think about. We need to take the bad and negative thoughts and banish them from our minds. Put a ‘No Entry’ sign up that prohibits them from even getting a foot in the door. Our thoughts mainly come from what is going on in our lives. If we are watching violence on TV all day we will start having violent thoughts. If we are on social media a lot and reading all the sad and depressing stories then depression could be stalking us. What you put in is what you get out.

My husband past away less than 4 months ago and I allow myself to grieve, to feel sad and to remember things, but I put a time limit on it. I cannot be living constantly in the past, even if it is my soul mate I am remembering. I am not desecrating his memory by any means if I don’t think about him every waking moment.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.

And then verse 9 says, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Once again this verse makes it clear that we are capable of choosing what we want to think about. We need to look for good things and we also need to practise gratitude. Whether it is expressing gratitude or keeping a gratitude journal does not matter. We just have to do it.

Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”

Yes, when our dreams for the future are hi-jacked, when our bubble is burst, we are going to be sad and it will be really bad for us. But we cannot dwell on it for an extended length of time.

Psalm 30:5 tells us that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. And yes, joy will come in the morning if we allow it to. If we allow God to work in our hearts and if we renew our minds to accept God’s grace every day. Read the Bible daily. The more we read the more we will want to read. God’s Word is the bread of life. Every answer to every situation is in it. We just have to keep believing the promises and applying the principles. If we fill our minds with God’s Work that will be what starts to reside in or minds, that will be what takes up residence in our hearts and that will be what comes out of our mouths. We will experience peace that we are promised and what can be better than that?