What If I Don’t Feel Peace?

peace

Sometimes we make our faith in Jesus way too mystical.

For example, how often have you said or heard the phrase, “I’ve got a peace about [insert decision/circumstance].”? If I haven’t said those exact words, I’ve at least thought them in one form or another. And we speak about this peace like it has some form of divine authority.

I know I’m making the right decision, because I have peace.

But what exactly do we mean when we say, “I’ve got a peace about…”? I think we mean that we feel peace about a particular decision or circumstance, which makes us confident that God has our back. We feel comfortable accepting a particular job, or entering a relationship, or purchasing a house because we have peace.

But is a sense of peace a sign that we’ve made the right decision? The answer is…maybe.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

Notice where the peace comes from. It comes from fixing our minds on God and placing our trust in God.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding comes from letting our requests be made known to God. The peace isn’t a divine guarantee that we’ve done the right thing. Rather, it’s the result of trusting in the God who cares for us.

Sometimes we’ll make the right, God-honoring decision and not feel a drop of peace. The reason we don’t feel peace is not because we’re out of the will of God, but because we aren’t fixing our minds on God. If we don’t feel peace we shouldn’t automatically assume that we’re making a wrong decision. We should first see if we’re trusting in God and fixing our fearful minds on Him.

And on the flip side, sometimes we’ll make a decision that isn’t God-honoring and yet still feel peace. If I make a significant decision without getting any counsel from others, it’s quite possible that I could feel peace when I shouldn’t be.

What do you think? What role should “peace” play in our decision making?

For more on biblical decision making, read:

+photo by fazen

  • http://www.considerthecross.blogspot.com Phil

    I think feeling and faith can often be confused. If we’re truly trusting in God, than we have to be walkng in obedience as well. Because faith and obedience go hand in hand. But as you know feeling and faith don’t always necessarily go hand in hand. Anyway, I’m sure you agree with that. There are times when I don’t feel peacful because of the outward conflict, and it brings all kinds of questions to mind. I do find rest from the conflict when I rest in the Word of God, fixing my mind on Him, and deciding daily to seek Him first with all I am. Great post!

    • http://www.theblazingcenter.com Stephen Altrogge

      Yep, it is so easy to confuse feeling and faith. Sometimes I can exercise faith without any particular feeling of peace. Our rest really is in the Word of God and his promises.

  • http://facebook.com/provisionit Josh

    This was timely for me. Thank you.

    • http://www.theblazingcenter.com Stephen Altrogge

      You’re welcome!

  • http://differentfrequencies.blogspot.com Dan Smith

    I have struggled with this numerous times in the past. I think that I need to feel peace in order to be ok. Sometimes I justify the lack of peace with feeling like I’m scrapping for a fight. Whatever. The fact is that I need to be more focused on God instead of whether I feel peace or not.

    • http://www.theblazingcenter.com Stephen Altrogge

      I can relate to feeling like I need to have peace in order to be okay. I think that in many cases, that simply isn’t true. If I have prayed for wisdom and sought counsel, then I’ve taken the appropriate, God-honoring steps to making a decision. If I have peace, great. If not, maybe I need to see if my heart is trusting in the Lord.

  • http://WebsiteURL js

    I have similar issues with the phrase “I am in faith for…..(a certain deicision).” This assumes that God only provides in times we are “in faith” for his provision.

    I think these people may mean “I feel God is leading me here.” But isn’t that erroneously thinking about God’s will, linking his blessing with non-moral decisions. (or even moral ones)

    I think we should just say “I think this decision is wise.” Being “in faith” is a sign of our sin/sanctification, not God’s leading….but as I said, this could be just a misuse of words