Contentment + Joy = Peace
You’ve been hungry all day.
So you order your favorite pizza with your favorite toppings.
And the best part? Your pizza was free.
What happens when you eat that first hot slice of cheesy pizza?
Your taste buds salivate, your eyes close in pure bliss, and you make that “mmm” sound, right? You feel that temporary feeling of peace like everything is right in the world.
Isn’t that type of peace what we all want on a day-to-day basis?
Isn’t that why we do some of the things we do? Because it temporarily removes our feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, or sadness? Casual sex, binge eating, binge-watching shows (although some shows really do play with our emotions lol), or booking our next travel plans?
Did you know you can live in a state of peace without seeking temporary relief from those earthly things?
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”-Isaiah 43:2 NIV
When you trust in God and keep your eyes on Him, the rivers won’t sweep you away. The flames won’t dare touch you. The rivers could represent your feelings of sadness and the flames could represent your feelings of anger.
Your emotions won’t consume you unless you allow them to. Will you focus on your emotions that seem like they have a mind of their own or will you focus on God?
“I will be content in whatever situation I am in.”- Phil 4:11 ISV
“I WILL BE” is a declaration to yourself. You have to CHOOSE to be content in your day-to-day events that cause different emotions to arise.
You know…it takes a strong person to accept their emotions without allowing them to take over and ruin their day. Some people can feel sad but still be content/at peace during the day.
Contentment equals acceptance.
Joy equals looking-at-the-positives.
Being content in a situation and choosing to see the positives can lead you to live a peaceful life.
To do that, you must realize the Lord is holding your today, your tomorrow, and your yesterday.
Give the Lord your pain from yesterday.
Give the Lord your worries about tomorrow.
And give the Lord your today and what is to come so that you may enjoy the peace he has freely chosen to give you.
How can you experience these eternal emotions if you’re continuing to hold onto the earthly emotions?
“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”-John 14:27 NLT
That gift the Lord has left us with is the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you. Although it’s there, you must choose to activate it. It’s like having a box of pizza in front of you. The pizza delivery man left you with a free box of your favorite pizza but how can you experience those wonderful tastes of bread and marinara sauce if you never open the box and take a bite? You have to open your bible and spend time with the Lord in order to experience the free gifts he has given you.
“Be joyful always. Pray at all times. Be thankful in all circumstances.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Although this verse seems so unrealistic, it is possible. We CAN be joyful in all circumstances. This is the KEY to the peace we are all looking for. To be joyful, you must look at the positives. Like 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 states, pray and be thankful at all times. If we talk (aka pray) to God about how we are feeling and thank Him for everything we have, we can experience that joy He has blessed us with. You can say:
praying + thankfulness = joy
It’s like walking on a tightrope. Where are you going to focus? At the person in front of you? Or the people below you? (Click here for why having faith in God is like walking on a tightrope.)
What is our natural reaction when things don’t go our way or we hear bad news? We clam up, we back away from it, we deny it. That causes turmoil within us. We allow our denial of those feelings to consume us. We don’t realize not releasing these feelings causes them to be planted in us and grow into bad habits and form bad attitudes.
But what would happen if we acknowledged our feelings? What if we opened the door for them to come into our hearts instead of lurking in the halls and shadows of our mind? What would happen then?
And you know? Looking on the bright side is a CHOICE you have to make everyday. Accept the emotions that fluctuate each second throughout the day, but don’t marinate in them. Accept them and choose to see the positive. And realize you CAN be okay in the situation you are in even if your situation doesn’t change. Because why continue to live in that misery state? Okay, you’re sad, yes but does that mean you should be sad forever? No. It’s like when a loved one dies. Yes, you will forever be sad and miss them. But once you heal from the pain, over time, you can continue to live your life the best way you can. It’s the same way for other situations. Stop holding grudges. Stop allowing the small things to irk you. Stop being so bitter that you have to go to work. CHOOSE to live joyfully and be content at all times so you may experience the peace that is from God and not have to seek it from elsewhere.
I’m not saying this way of living will happen overnight but if you continue to practice that way of thinking, you may see a difference one day…
What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Mine is pineapple! Lol.