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Yesterday I told you about a lesson I learned from Kung Fu Panda 2, of all places. You can read more about my thoughts on personal allegiance to Christ and the persecuted church HERE.

Today I want to share another scene from the movie — again taking place between Lord Shen and Po (pictured at left). This time Shen knows he is about to be defeated, and can’t understand how Po can possibly be living a life of joy despite his circumstances.

Scene 2:

Shen: “How did you…how did you do it? How did you find peace?”I took everything away! I scarred you for life…”

Po: “The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now.”

Reflections:

I loved this scene. Shen is so clearly haunted by his own demons, one moment reveling in his own power and self-glorification, yet in the next admitting that he has lived his whole life without peace. He doesn’t understand how Po could have possibly overcome the trauma of his past to go on to live with joy and purpose.

Po’s response to Shen’s question reminds us all that joy is a choice. Peace is a choice. Moving beyond injury is a choice.

Humans may have written our stories in the past, leaving us on our knees in pain, heart splitting open and raw, but we are reminded that God can write our futures if we allow him the freedom to do that work.

How can I find this joy and peace?

1. Admit that the way you’re doing life isn’t working. Paul says to “flee…evil desires and…call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Never was this verse more applicable than during Lent when we are to turn and repent, asking God for help as we pursue a new way — HIS way.

2 Timothy 2:22
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

2. Claim the promises of Scripture. Jesus promises his peace and reminds us that he does not give as the world gives (with false motives, out of guilt, expecting something in return, attaching strings). He commands that we not be troubled or afraid.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

3. Draw near to the Holy Spirit. Our joy will not be found in eating and drinking, shopping or gaming, vacationing or sporting. But righteousness, peace, and joy come from the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…

Po was right: what matters is what you choose to be today. Will I turn and repent? Will I claim His promises? Will I choose life in the Spirit?  

If I’m willing to do those things, I will find the peace and joy so many seek.