YOU CAN HAVE TRUE PEACE AND JOY IN YOUR LIFE?

Meeting with a number of clients, I was told two stories that encouraged me to write about Christian’s who lack peace, joy or contentment in their lives. Speaking from experience, I know it is possible to have stressful jobs and yet have complete peace and live a joy-filled life. Maybe the reason is I expect it is because the Bible promises it. For those who have recently started reading these blogs, I have been a high school coach and athletic director; I have been in nine different retail stores and managed multi-million dollar stores. I have had thousands of people under my supervision. There were recessions that required reducing the number of employees and I understand what management has gone through these past few years.

Since 1987, as an investment advisor, I have invested and managed portfolios, with the help of others, for more than 500 clients. I have seen the stock market go down 56% and was responsible for protecting client’s investments. Some would consider these as being stressful occupations. I point this out so you will realize I understand stress. Compared to the stress that the Apostle Paul was under, mine is very minor. Paul is the one who teaches us to live, regardless of the pressure, with peace and joy and expect it.

Scripture is very clear that we can never find true peace, joy and happiness until we learn to become content. To be content and godly, comes from our attitude toward God and living according to His will as I described in my blog: “You can do anything you believe you can do.”

This is what I expect from Scripture: Galatians 5:22–23a – “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (NLT) Colossians 3:1 – 3 – “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”

Story number one: The uncle of a friend is a millionaire many times over. He has accepted Christ as his Savior. But there has been little peace or joy in his life. There is nothing that he could not have or afford. Yet the greatest desire would be to have peace and some joy in his life. It appears he has but a short time to live. Yet, as a Christian he has never had the luxury of receiving what Paul says the Holy Spirit is willing to give him as described in Galatians 5:22 – 23.

Story number two: Business partners that I have worked with for many years, one is a Christian. He is active in a local church. Those who work with him tell me he is untruthful and takes credit for things in which he is not responsible. He gossips, bad mouths others and is suing someone who he feels took advantage of him, which others say is not true. Over the years I have seen a negative, somewhat unhappy person. I would guess he has missed the joy and peace that many Christians have from outward actions. One owner has millions and the Christian owner has little.

It is my personal belief that many Christians never died to this life and want the material things that the world says we must have. They think about the things of this earth and not the things of heaven. They set their sights on worldly things rather than on the realities of heaven where Christ sits at God’s right hand.

We must be appreciative of everything God has allowed us to have rather than focusing on the things we do not have. So many people have the problem of coveting what others have. Do you in your prayers thank God for the talents and the life you do have? Be thankful that you live in America and not in the squalor of some countries. It may not be possible to be at peace, be joyful and content all of the time, but to not be should only be a rarity. People who have won multi-million dollar jackpots, their joy and contentment are there only for a brief period of time.

Once they become broke, and most do, life seems to turn ugly. We must keep in mind that peace, joy and contentment comes from within and not from without. I once read that we were created and put on this earth that we may bring joy to God. Unless that is our goal we may never sense fulfillment or satisfaction. In giving pleasure to God, we fulfill the deepest and most basic needs of our own lives.

How important is everything we have accumulated? As Scripture points out: “For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.” I have read many times those who become wealthy their biggest problem is staying rich. They let the world set their standards rather than living according to God’s will. In fact, many allow riches or striving to become rich destroy their lives. Yet, believers and non-believers many times are willing to trade contentment and salvation for material gain.

One of the devil’s greatest ploy is to deceive us into thinking we can gain joy, peace, happiness and contentment through obtaining wealth or the accumulation of material items. The trap is that we then find that we never have enough and become willing to do things we should not be doing. The Bible then tells us that many, inside the devil’s trap, their love of material things causes them to be controlled by a ruthless, insatiable desire that can never be satisfied.

Striving to live as the world lives has caused many believers to: “wander from the faith and pierce themselves with many griefs.” They allow their worldly desires to replace God in their lives. Instead of finding the things promised in Galatians 5:22 – 23 they end up with a lack of peace, joy, happiness and contentment. For too many believers, each day, life becomes a battle.

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1 Comment

  1. I find giving stuff away can be freeing. There is no worry when you have no possessions.
    Giving is of God.. If you see anyone who has a need, we are called to help them, even if it is just a sandwich.

    Reply

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