“Follow the peace, not the pressure.”
This is a principle my husband and I try to follow in life, especially in decision-making as parents, business owners, and leaders in our community. It’s not wise to make decisions based on pressure from others or unrealistic expectations about what we “should” be doing.
What does following the peace look like? It’s as simple as following Jesus who is the Prince of Peace. We find this truth in Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
To be followers of Christ means we not only follow the peace in our lives but we usher it into the atmosphere wherever we are planted.
But following the Prince of Peace doesn’t always equal no pressure in our lives. Jesus reminds us in John 16:33 it will be quite the opposite, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Pressure can be good if we allow it to mold our character, heart, and mind as we focus on Jesus. A mentor once said, “It’s when a person is under pressure, and they get squeezed, that we get to see what’s really inside them.”
These pressure squeezes allow us to develop our Christlike character if we follow Him through it.
This is a principle that takes practice, so let’s start with these three simple steps to exchange your pressure for His peace:
If we want the Prince of Peace to help, we begin by releasing our pressures to Him. A simple way to do this is by journaling. Write the word PRESSURE at the top of your journal. Write every area that comes to mind where you feel pressure. Examples in my journal included my body/weight, work performance, mom duties, and friendships. Nothing is too silly to add to this list. It’s an act of obedience to lay anything that troubles you at the feet of Jesus. This sweet surrender ushes in this promise from Psalm 29:11, “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”
Click here for a free journaling resource if you need help getting started.
Now that you have written down your pressures, ask for and receive a new word from the Lord in those areas that usher in His peace. Beneath your PRESSURE section, write PEACE. Here are some examples from my journal after I exchanged pressure for His peace:
- My Body: EMBRACE
- My Performance: STOP PERFORMING, START BEING
- Motherhood: LOVE THEM & CALL OUT THEIR GIFTS (don’t worry about the rest)
- Wife: LOVE HIM & EMBRACE THE GIFT OF MARRIAGE
- Friendships: BE REAL
After I wrote these words in my journal, I looked up Bible verses that go along with them to stand in times of pressure. For example, when I exchanged the pressure I felt as a mom to be perfect, God led me to 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given you a spirit of fear or timidity, but power, love, and a sound mind.”
Take a moment to ask the Lord how He wants to be your Prince of Peace, even in the midst of pressure. Use this as a reminder: PEACE > PRESSURE. Then be sure to look up a Bible verse you can stand on in times of pressure.
One of the many benefits of living a life surrendered to Jesus is the Fruits of the Spirit we reap in our lives. Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us of these, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
In our releasing pressure and receiving His peace, we get to reap the benefits of the fruits of the Spirit. This is a gift to us and everyone in our lives! The best part is there is no white-knuckling involved when we follow the Prince of Peace. The pressure is off, and the fun is up!
My friends, whenever you feel the pressure mounting on all sides, rest in this truth from Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Father, thank you for sending Jesus, our Prince of Peace. I surrender the pressure I feel today and exchange it for Your Peace. I received Your Truth and gifts of fruits of the Spirit. When under pressure, guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Produce lasting character in me that can withstand any amount of pressure. May the light of Jesus shine in and through me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Rachael Gilbert, MMFT, is a wife, mom, trauma-informed therapist, owner of BBC Health, and podcast host of Real Talk with Rachael. She combines her clinical expertise and personal experience to help women overcome fear and insecurity to walk confidently in their God-given dreams. A frequent speaker and article writer, Rachael lives near Dallas with her husband Matt and their three children. www.rachaelgilbert.com