“Before I became saved, I heard from ministers and others that walking with God would be a wonderful experience and my life would be changed forever. In many ways that has been true, yet I hear of other Christians as having peace and rest in God. I do not see that in my life. I feel no peace since becoming a Christian. If anything, my life is harder. It seems that, now, I am constantly having to make some "spiritual change" in my life, or some trial comes along, or I am constantly worried about whether I am raising my kids right, or wondering if ‘x situation’ really is God's will or my own will, since I do not seem to ‘hear’ from Him as others do. Where is the peace Christians talk about? What would it be like if I ever did have it? I feel like such a baby in the faith and it is not growing. What do I do?”J.I. Packer, in his book, “Knowing God,” addresses this very issue in chapter 21. To be brief, he mentions how it is cruel for a Christian to tell an unbeliever that his life will be like a “bed of roses” once he accepts Christ into his life. (And, on the flip side, it is also not a good idea to stress only the “rough side” of the Christian life.) To be fair to an unbeliever, we must be truthful about the positive difference Christ has made in our own lives, but remember to give a balanced approach in what a person might encounter.
While it is true that a Christian can experience peace and rest through knowing Christ, the truth is that, in many ways, life does become even harder for us. Satan hates it when we turn to Christ, so he will do everything he can to keep us from becoming effective for the Lord. He tries to influence our attitudes, actions, and thoughts. It is definitely not an easy life! But, if we continue to stay in the Word, continue to learn what God's Word says, and continue to seek guidance through prayer, then we will GROW in the Lord, and we will have confidence in knowing He will always be there to help us through the difficult times.
As for peace, Margie had a misunderstanding as to what peace from God really means. Another definition of peace is "contentment." God does not promise we will never go through struggles. But, through Him, we can be content in whatever situation we are in - Contentment with the thought that God knows what is best for us; contentment in knowing the things He allows us to go through are used to help make us stronger Christians; contentment in realizing we are reaching our goal of becoming more like Him. Peace and contentment does not always come easily, but the more we walk with the Lord, the more He will show us that peace is something we encounter when we choose to abide in Him.
I hope this encourages you in your Christian walk - not only to explain things accurately to unbelievers, but to also realize we CAN have peace in the midst of our trials. In Christ, we have hope that others do not have. So, take courage, my friends; and, may peace be with you...
John 16:33 - "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."(NAS)