Don’t you just wish you could wave a magic wand and “POOF” everyone around you would be peaceful and be full of joy? It sounds like a miracle cure to a world of chaos, hurting people, angry people, unforgiving people and those who have no clue what true happiness is. I am going to let you in on a secret. Anyone can have peace and joy in any circumstance if they are willing to. That is the key… willing.
Early in my marriage looking over Memaw’s books in her bookshelf, I noticed a book by Corrie Ten Boom. An astounding woman who helped the Jews during the Nazi war and even herself was not only taken prisoner but survived because of her faith. Here are some of her quotes.
Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.
Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to fault-finding. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.Let God’s promises shine on your problems.Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy.The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation. When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
If you have never listened to her story then I suggest you visit her museum online and travel back in time to hear it. It will bring you to tears and you will be thankful. I am sure most of us has never endured what she did and how she held her faith during the time reflecting her past or wondering what her future would be. http://tenboom.org
What are the things that block your peace and joy right now? If you focus too much on the past. If you hit the rewind button to stir up the pain, the injustice, the harm or unforgiveness it only brings strongholds in your life, not joy. The other thing that blocks joy and peace is focusing too much of the future and what it might bring. Worry, fear, anxiety about issues, people, objects and the list goes on. If we are constantly worried about our future, we are unwilling to receive the joy and peace right now that is available.
How do I stop thinking about the past or what lies ahead for my future? How do I stop the torment or the thinking madness? First I must say when you remember an issue in the past, think of what you learned from it and how it helped you grow because you survived it. As a survivor, you don’t let it hold you hostage. You are free from the trap that once entangled you, therefore walk out in freedom and refuse to dwell on the negative even if it means you must forgive. If you refuse to forgive, you refuse joy and peace. If you refuse joy and peace, the person that harmed you is still very much alive and in control of your mind creating more hurt. If you worry about the future too much creates stress. Sometimes it is good to write out your worries or concerns about the future and as you see them on paper realize that there is only a 10% chance that particular thing that controls your thoughts could happen. With that said, you have control over the entire area of your future and know you can survive that too “if” it happens!
Now for the peace and joy part after you renew your mind and get it cleared out. It is called trust, it is called faith. We must train our minds to live in the Kingdom and to act out truth and love in our circumstances. We must find truth and love in the same event that we choose tear or anger or even unforgiveness. We can transform ourselves into living and finding peace and joy in the moment just as Corrie Ten Boom did, and I can surely bet she had it worse than we have ever had it.