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Peace Begins When Grace is Received - stop striving and start leaning on the grace of God

I'm just going to jump right in and burst some of our bubbles.

Peace does not always mean an absence of conflict. Peace does not mean an absence of confusing emotions or chaos. Peace does not mean that life is always easy and full of big, obvious miracles.

In fact, it probably rarely looks like that.

Recently, I've had to do a lot of soul searching, heart work and decision making. It's not exactly easy, and I tried to tackle it all on my own. I wouldn't exactly say I was at peace, and it was really difficult for me to work through some of that.

So just like we do every week, we went to church. I came feeling drained and lost, confused as to what should be my next steps. And man, what the Lord spoke to my heart completely changed the game.

As I was worshiping, I couldn't help but pause and listen to the Father. He told me that it's okay, I'm safe, and I don't have to have it all figured out. I don't need all the answers, and I most definitely don't need to do it all on my own. It's okay if I mess up a few times, because He's going to walk me through it all, and He has a beautiful purpose for this situation. He reminded me that He is with me in this place, and I don't need to wait until I'm all put together and have it all figured out to run to Him, because I can come to Him right now, wherever I'm at, in whatever I'm feeling.

Tears sprang to my eyes, because dang, that's exactly what I needed to be reminded of. I felt so much pressure to get it right and figure it out, but none of that was from God. Our Father does not expect us to be perfect, have all the answers, or be put together all the time. And thank goodness, because I most definitely am none of the above.

During the sermon, our pastor went through the first two verses of Corinthians, and talked about how in every single one of the books Paul wrote, he started it off with "grace and peace to you, from God our Father". We dove into what grace and peace means, what that really looks like, and the thing that has stuck with me since then is this:

"Peace begins when grace is received."

Peace does not begin when you're on a beach vacation, soaking in the sun and eating unlimited ice cream cones. Peace does not begin when you've graduated and gotten a secure job. Peace does not begin when summer comes. Peace does not begin when you get a boyfriend or resolve the friendship drama. Peace does not begin when there is an absence of conflict.

Peace begins when you come to Jesus, mess and all, and fall into His arms. Peace begins when you run to the Father and let Him guide you, instead of trying to figure it out on your own. Peace begins when you fill your mind with Scripture and prayer instead of worldly things. Peace begins when you start trusting that God's plan is better than anything we could ever come up with. Peace begins when we are rooted and grounded in the Lord. Peace begins when grace is received.

Praise God for that!

We don't have to chase a vacation or conflict free life in order to experience peace. All we have to do is come to Jesus and accept the grace that He so freely gives us. All we have to do is lay everything down at His feet and trust that He will make it all work for His glory and our good. And as we choose to surrender, trust, and lean into His grace, we will be able to experience peace that surpasses all understanding.

So if you're struggling right now, feeling overwhelmed with the demands of life or difficult situations, I'd encourage you to slow down and breathe. Be still and be open with Jesus about everything you're facing, and then allow Him to speak truth into you. Quiet your heart and your mind, and remember that you don't have to have it all figured out. You don't need to get it right the first time. There is a God who loves you so incredibly much, and nothing will change that. He will guide you and lead you, if you'd only be still.


Jesus told us that in this world, we will have trouble. We know that, but there's good news - in the midst of all of the hardships, all of the trouble, He is waiting, arms wide open, to bring rest and joy and peace. He's waiting to comfort and guide us, not to criticize or condemn, but to forgive and love. He knows we won't always get it right, and He's ready to handle all of our emotions and anxiety. He's got you; just rest in His arms.


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