As he sat there watching the embers, he knew that he had never been meant for the crowd, for work in an office, for gambling in business deals with men. Peace hovered somewhere near him.”
–Zane Grey (Wyoming)
“Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.”
–Psalm 34:14 (NLT)
Peace, ah, sweet wonder. Peace is something that many seek, and never really find. Oh, there may be peace in their community, but not in their minds or soul. Peace comes from the calm assurance that Jesus is Lord and has everything under control. He brings peace in the midst of the storm. When calamity comes, whether in the physical or spiritual, He will give peace.
“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.'”
–Isaiah 44:6 (NASB)
Atheists and agnostics used to really annoy me, and at times I shake my head at their arrogance and stupidity, but I feel more pity for them than anything. They seem to be in more turmoil than most folks. The reason is simple: they don’t believe in God. Psychologists may have their formula for peace in the soul, but really it doesn’t go very far. Recite a mantra, do yoga, get a fish tank, think “cool” thoughts and on I could go.
If a person really wants to have calmness in their soul they need to start with the realization that there is a God and that He is in control of the universe. They may go to books, even the Bible, but remember, the Holy Writ is not concerned primarily to give us a quiet heart. That is one of the reasons even Christians run elsewhere. People want immediate consulation and comfort. God does not see that as primary.
It is not enough to simply get rid of remorse or the agony of the mind. He is suffering and wants his soul calmed. It may actually be God allowing the agony so that the individual will seek Him. Instead of removing the agony, the person should be interested in health–total health in every realm–spiritual, mental, emotional, physical.
We are caught in a world that says, “seek happiness.” I’ve heard people say, “All I want is for so and so to be happy.” Wrong! They should want them to come to a full knowledge of the Lord. “People come to God to have some temporary relief of pain, something that makes them happy.” (Lloyd-Jones). Listen, happiness, joy, peace, the absence of pain and trouble, are always by-products. The real aim is to hunger and thirst after righteousness.
“Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.”
–Matthew 5:6 (AMP)
Look at the last phrase, “completely satisfied.” Nothing necessarily about happiness, but there is satisfaction in seeking after the Lord and letting Him satisfy and calm the soul.