Steps to Finding Peace
When you experience suffering…
- Pray your pain to God. This is what it means to lament.
- Remember that God is holy, sovereign, and a good Father.
- Cling to God’s promises (Psalm 32:10; Isaiah 43:1-2; Romans 8:28; Hebrews 13:5, etc.).
- Share your burdens with godly friends.
When you struggle to forgive…
- Recall the mercy and grace God has shown you.
- Meditate on Christ’s suffering for your forgiveness.
- Tell God something like: “Father, I don’t feel like forgiving __________. I’m angry over the way he/she has hurt me. But I know you’ve commanded me to forgive. So, help me to love __________ just as you loved me when I was still in my sin. Give me the grace to live at peace with him/her so far as it depends on me. Help me to be willing to reconcile with __________ if they are willing too. Be with me and help me! Amen.”
When a relationship is strained…
- In humility, inspect yourself before you accuse the other person of wrongdoing.
- Confess to God the ways you’ve sinned against him in your relationship struggle.
- Schedule a time to meet with the other person to talk through the situation.
- Ask the person open-ended questions like:
- Did I do something to hurt or offend you?
- What did you mean when you said…?
- How could I have handled the situation better?
- Be willing to say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”
- Be willing to say, “I love you and I forgive you.”
When you feel worried or anxious…
- Stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, and start talking to God.
- Meditate on a passage of Scripture like Isaiah 26:3-4.
- Ask yourself, “What is the root of my worry or anxiety?” “Am I not trusting God for something?”
- Go for a walk outside. Ask your spouse or friend to go with you if you don’t feel safe being alone.
- Thank God for his faithfulness.
When you feel lonely…
- Remember that Jesus experienced loneliness as well.
- Remind yourself that God is always with you because the Holy Spirit lives inside you.
- If you’re living in sin, confess it to God and turn from it so that you can experience true fellowship with him and others. Sin always leaves us feeling isolated.
- Don’t isolate yourself. Grab lunch or coffee with a godly friend.
- Find a way to use your gifts to serve others.
When you feel disappointed…
- Be honest with God about your disappointment.
- Make a list of the blessings God has given you.
- Use your list to thank God for the ways he has cared for you.
- Read stories of Christians who’ve endured disappointment well.
JBC Must Reads: On Anxiety by Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation
Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Ed Welch
Uprooting Anger by Robert Jones
Reset by David Murray
Refresh by Shona and David Murray
Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Paul David Tripp
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament by Mark Vroegop