Each day brings opportunities to take action, build resources and develop strategies for cultivating serenity and peace. Here are eight serenity suggestions: 

1. Remember one of Jesus’ great promises

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (Jn. 14:27). The peace he leaves with us is the peace of experiencing God’s presence. No matter what your circumstances are, claim that gift through prayer by daily affirming the peace and serenity of Christ in your life. 

When challenges and traumas emerge, be encouraged by this observation from New Testament scholar Dr. William Barclay, who says that the peace of Christ does not mean the absence of trouble. He writes in his book on the Gospel of John, “The peace which Jesus offers us is the peace of conquest. No experience of life can ever take it from us, and no sorrow, no danger, no suffering can ever make it less. It is independent of outward circumstances.” 

2. Pay careful attention to your mental and spiritual attitudes

Are you being guided by fear or by faith? We are what we think. The mind is like a garden, and thoughts produce fruit. Abundant thoughts produce plentiful fruit; meager thoughts produce poor fruit. Review your thinking to be certain that the focus is upon faith and triumph, not despair and defeat.

3. Use the power of music

Back in the eighteenth century, German author Johann Paul Friedrich Richter noted “Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life.” Today there is scientific evidence that music can soothe frayed nerves. 

At Baltimore’s St. Agnes Hospital, classical music was provided in the intensive care units. “Half an hour of music produced the same effect as ten milligrams of Valium,” says Dr. Raymond Bahr, head of the coronary-care unit. “Some patients who had been awake for three or four straight days were able to go into a deep sleep.” Other studies show that music can lower blood pressure, basal metabolism and respiration rates, thereby lessening physiological responses to stress. To increase serenity during times of high stress, make a point of listening to music that you truly enjoy. 

4. Employ the therapy of laughter

“A cheerful heart is a good medicine,” declares the writer of Proverbs (17:22). That biblical wisdom is now confirmed by science. According to W. F. Fry, M.D., a psychiatrist and associate clinical professor emeritus at Stanford University Medical School, humor is a “direct antagonist to the three major negative emotions—anger, fear and depression.” There are times when we should just laugh at problems. Purposely taking time out to watch a television or film comedy not only helps us laugh but helps us look at our challenges from a different perspective.

5. Don’t expect perfection from yourself

Remind yourself that being human means making mistakes. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and take the necessary steps to reclaim your life. Tone down negative and harsh thoughts of yourself by recalling how God views you: “You are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you” (Isa. 43:4). 

6. Live one day at a time

Many people are deprived of peace of mind because they live with anxiety over the past and with fear of the future. The way to eliminate such anxiety and fear is to take one step after another and live one day at a time. 

7. Take care of your soul

Ultimately, serenity and peace are gifts from God. “Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people ... to those who turn to him in their hearts” (Ps. 85:8). Today an increasing number of psychologists are noting the positive correlation between a person’s faith and his or her serenity. Tapping into faith produces spiritual and emotional benefits. 

8. Practice the art of taking a minibreak

Life must never be reduced to movement from one appointment to another and from task to task. Jesus is a good example. After a day full of ministry, he instructed his disciples: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while” (Mk. 6:31).

The daily grind of life should be broken by periodically doing something different and pleasant. Go for a bike ride on a quiet road, play a favorite childhood game, visit a local tourist site, or spend a few hours on a beach.

Enjoy this podcast with Rev. Jennifer Hadley — Get Your Peace Back


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