Day Nine: No Perfection Required (21 Days of Gratitude)

John 14: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 16: “33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ESV

You won’t be able to walk in gratitude and ultimately find peace if you are looking in the wrong place(s). Expectation often drives our level of contentment. We tell ourselves that if we land the big job, get that ‘perfect’ partner, receive a financial breakthrough, buy that home, and on and on it goes. What have you said? What are you still saying right now?

If this happens, then I will be happy.

If this happens, I will finally enjoy life.

If this happens, I can have peace.

The problem with this approach is that perfect never comes in this way. Paul says to “aim for perfection” and Jesus commands us, “be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”. In these perplexing words, we are never promised that we will HAVE perfection in this life.

Don’t let this discourage you. Let this empower you.

Jesus makes us aware that in this world, “you will have trouble”. You will have sickness, setbacks, enemies, disappointments, missed opportunities, and of course, that list goes on and on as well. And yet, he says, in that brokenness, in that messed up reality, I have given you peace. Not the peace that the world gives and that worldly things give.

Not a temporary peace based on what you have or what you do (or don't do).

His peace is a matter of wholeness, the inward perfection that is not dependent on an outward formula.

This is why Jesus can sleep in the middle of a storm. He doesn’t have to calm the storm to be at peace. He is the Prince of peace.

This is why Jesus can sleep in the middle of a storm. He doesn’t have to calm the storm to be at peace. He is the Prince of peace.

When we understand that peace is a kingdom thing, and that the “kingdom is in our midst” always, we can live in peace no matter our circumstances or the breakdowns of our hopes. Peace doesn't wait for perfection. It is the capacity to be content in the midst of imperfection.

So for Jesus, it is more important that WE are calm rather than the storm.

Be perfect. Be at peace. Jesus has overcome the world. Give thanks for that!

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