Christians must fight against "peace stealers" to maintain a state of rest within the Lord, Joel Osteen says.
Osteen, who heads Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, wrote in a recent blog post that while the Bible encourages Christians to "enter into the rest of God," it can become a daily struggle to maintain internal peace when we encounter so many new challenges.
Therefore, Christians have to fight daily to maintain their peace, not allowing "peace stealers" to cause them a life of stress and grief.
"There will always be people and circumstances trying to pull you out of peace. If you're going to live in peace, you have to put up some boundaries," Osteen writes.
The pastor goes on to say that Christians must try to immerse themselves in the most peaceful environment possible. Some of your choices can lead to peace, such as choosing to avoid watching the news excessively to protect yourself from reading about endless murders and violence.
Osteen uses an example from his own life in which he went to see a movie with his wife, but the movie was so violent that he left the theater "on edge."
"Always remember that what you see and hear eventually gets into your subconscious mind. If you're taking in all the negative, violence and discouragement, that's going to depress your spirit. We have to constantly be aware of what might pull us out of rest," Osteen writes.
"Sometimes it's our own choices. But just like your choices can pull you out of rest, your choices can lead you into rest. Choose wisely and hold on to the peace He's giving you every single day!" Osteen concludes.
Pastor Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta and founder and president of In Touch Ministries, also addressed the issue of peace and wrote that Christians can harness a feeling of "unshakeable peace" through their relationship with God.
"Serenity can't be manufactured-it's a gift from our heavenly Father. His Spirit produces a sense of calm in believers who seek the Lord's protection against anxiety," Stanley wrote in a column posted by The Christian Post.
"God wraps hearts and minds in peace, effectively safeguarding both against all-consuming worry or fear. Notice that He doesn't make problems go away-we may still be under pressure or prone to weep, but we are cushioned against anxiety and encircled by peace as well," Stanley adds.
Kenton Beshore, who serves as senior pastor of Mariners Church in Southern California, also spoke on the topic of worry in his recent "Things I Wish Jesus Never Said" series, saying that by excessive worrying, Christians shift their focus from God to other issues like finances and careers.
"When you worry, you reduce your life to a very small thing," Beshore told his congregation in his April 10 sermon, adding that by allowing worry to control our lives, we are suggesting that we don't trust in God's plan for us.