Finding Lasting Peace of Mind
By Pastor Jeff (CMU Contributing Author)
New International Version
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:7)
One of the hardest parts of living the Christian life is having peace in a world that is in chaos. I want to encourage you today and give you some practical advice in how to deal with this. To do this I borrow from both the medical and spiritual realms.
Let’s start with the medical. The brain is the organ of our body that controls our body processes like the heartbeat and breathing. However, the brain is also a mystery in this realm we know as thinking and even the soul. The brain has been shown to be active in different areas under the scan of an MRI during certain thought or emotional cycles. The research tells us today that most cognitive thought takes place in the big part of our brain or cerebrum. This is the part of our brain that we use to make decisions and think about things. What if we could be like Mr. Spock from the Star Trek series that acted from pure logic without emotion, His counterpart Captain Kirk was always arguing with Spock saying that being human is to be emotional.
The emotional part of our brain is the simple brain which lies underneath our cerebrum. This is where emotions are created in our brain due to the chemistry that is created. Have you ever had an emotional experience where you felt like you had little or no control? This has been the experience of many of us. We struggle with the thoughts of being out of control and maybe even feeling condemned. This is the sad barrier that needs to be overcome. We need not be dismayed for much longer. Just keep reading.
The spiritual is also coming into the picture. I would like to bring this reality into the focus of the picture as well. Paul the Apostle said that he struggled with what he wanted to do and found that sin had victory.
“I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to—what I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking. But I can’t help myself because I’m no longer doing it. It is sin inside me that is stronger than I am that makes me do these evil things.”(Romans 7:15-17)
It is pretty safe to say that even the great Apostle struggled with conquering his emotional self. The human condition is no different today that in his time. We have a struggle in the spirit to overcome sin in our body. My experience is that this is really a journey that needs to be taken and not an instant cure for things like anxiety or depression. We also know that Satan preys upon our human weakness through accusation and taking advantage of our humanity through temptation. How do we overcome?
Let me share with you my experience with this. I lost my full time employment about a year ago. I was working for a great company with a lot of promise for the future and upward mobility. In essence I was very full of joy and loved what I was doing. Then unexpectedly everything changed. Now I was out of a job and had all the fear of what to do now. I suffered for many days and nights struggling with the pressure and stress of it all. Then I decided to tackle this big giant like David versus Goliath. But you need to have the right weapon to fight the giant. So this is where I would like to take you as well.
I would pray and things just seemed to get worse and I still did not have any peace. I was really struggling. Well, I did some research and found out that our brains naturally go towards the negative thought processes due to the fight or flight response cycle which focuses on survival. I decided that this part of me could be overcome. Would I ever find the weapon I needed?
They say that prayer is our weapon against the enemy that we read of in Ephesians 6. However, my experience was that even though I was praying, my experience was still fear, anger, anxiety, etc… Praying is the right path but, allow me to share what I believe works. The Bible tells us to be still and quiet before the Lord.“ Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”(Psalm 46:10) So what you do is just sit still and let go of your thoughts and focus upon the greatness of God. This time of silence became a daily discipline for me that I made deliberate time for. What happened next was simply amazing. My thoughts became quiet and the thoughts of fear and anxiety faded. This is because I made God my focal point instead of the problem of being unemployed. Once the fear was gone then I could come to the Lord in a better state of mind. Thus I experienced the peace of God that has carried me through the hard time of life.
Going back the verse at the beginning of this article, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”(Phillipians 4:7) The peace became a new reality for me and I was free from the simple brain controlling my mind. This is when I could surpass my emotions and think with my cerebrum. This has made it possible for me to fight the giant. We all have giants in our lives that need to be conquered. I know you can overcome because if I can do it anyone can!
Copyright © 2015 Pastor Jeff.
Pastor Jeff is the founder of Worldwide Gospel Teaching Ministry that is dedicated to reaching out to the world through the use of social media with the love of Christ. Join him or get involved at worldwidegospelteaching.blogspot.com. CHATmeUp.com members can also contact him directly @pastorjeff.