Pastor Nick Hood – on THE WORD NETWORK Saturday’s at 2:30 pm EST

I would like to share my thoughts about how to find and how to maintain  inner peace.  Inner peace has been described as tranquility and calm.  I would be the first to say that all that looks like calm and tranquility, can sometimes be deceptive. It is quite possible that an individual looks calm and tranquil on the outside, but on the inside they are churning with confusion, doubt, hatred, and other destructive emotions.

It is often caught me by surprise over the years that people I know have told me to my face that they think I am calm and peaceful. I’m often surprised when I hear this, but the truth is that I guess in the scheme of things I am calm and peaceful. I want to share with you some of my thoughts on becoming a calm, peaceful, and tranquil person

  1. for me it begins with personal self-esteem. I feel good about myself. My first eight years of life were spent in New Orleans, Louisiana. Born in 1951 and into the segregated S, South, my parents did what many parents did in their generation, they protected me and my brother from the horrors of segregation, his must as much as they could. The church my father pastored was populated by several families who did the same for their children. Before I was eight years of age, I felt good about myself because people were always telling me I was smart and good looking. This may seem like a joke now, but I am convinced that myself esteem began as a child in the South.
  2. For me, my faith in God is the cornerstone of my self-confidence and inner peace. I encourage people all the time who are seeking peace to start by reestablishing a relationship with God. This is important because the core of our faith in Jesus Christ is that God is all knowing, all powerful, and all loving. Our faith teaches us that we are created in the image of God, and placed on earth for a reason. If we are placed on earth for a reason, then we ought to feel good about ourselves.
  3. One of the techniques I’ve learned from the Bible in particular the 4th chapter the book of philippians is that at one of the most difficult points in the life of the apostle Paul, he encourages his readers to think positive thoughts. He says in the 10th verse whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, if there is anything worthy of praise, any excellence at all, think about these things. I believe that often when a person is struggling to find inner peace calm and tranquility, we will see that they have allowed negativity to creep into the thoughts of their mind. The more we dwell on hateful, jealous, and evil thoughts, the more this trickles into the rest of our thought pattern. I try hard, smile and I do mean try hard, to think positive thoughts. Sometimes individuals we’ll see and do things that get on our nerves, and challenge any attempt to be positive. But I try to be positive. In seeking something positive and good and each individual that helps me to be tranquil.
  4. I also believe that God has put me here for a reason, and because of the intent of God, I am convinced that somehow, some way, things will work out for good. The apostle Paul also says in Romans chapter 8 that all things work together for good for those who love God and who are called according to his purpose. I believe that. For example, I try to look for something good even in the death of a person that I know. I try to look for something good, even when people have done bad things, or said bad things.
  5. Another way I seek calm and tranquility is through physical exercise. I do not exercise to be calm or tranquil. I exercise to try to maintain and improve my health. My workout routine is not necessarily the most intense, and I’m sure those who are reading this and know me my laugh because my physical routine does not require that I lift a large amount of weight, run fast or long, or do anything that is particularly strenuous. But it is a routine, and what I find is that the rest of my day tends to go better what I have exercised in the gym. The last routine I engage in before I leave the YMCA in downtown Detroit, is to do my version of the yoga technique called the sun salutation. It is a series of stretches with arms outstretched to the sky as if you are literally saluting the sun that make me feel relaxed. Often, as I progress through the various segments of the sun salutation, I smile to myself and say, nick, this is a stretch you have not made yet this day. I laughed to myself, and relax.
  6. I try to see something good in every person. This is difficult, because sometimes the behavior of others can be challenging. In speaking with for boys who are in my confirmation of faith class, I shared with them that sometimes I find it difficult to forgive, particularly when someone has done something mean or cruel to other people, but even in those instances I try to ask myself is there something good or positive I can understand from this in faith.
  7. The apostle Paul tells us in the 4th chapter of philippians that if we reach out in prayer with Thanksgiving and supplication to God thank God will fill us with peace that comes from Christ Jesus.

I thank you for reading and reflecting on my thoughts about how to seek, find, and maintain inner peace. Again, I stress that I am not, and do not claim to be an expert on inner peace, but I feel very good about myself as a child of God, and I hope after reading this you might feel better about yourself. May the Lord continue to bless you, guide your steps and your thoughts and grant you inner peace. Blessings, Nick.