Peace and contentment are byproducts rather than goals. I mean, you can't say, "I'm going to go be peaceful and content now." Well, actually, I'm sure many people do in fact approach it that way, but realistically, these things are not goals in themselves - they can only be achieved by doing something else of which they are results.
So I was frustrated with myself today because I know the truth about God and I don't question Him and I know I have hope... and STILL I've been really struggling to break even, let alone be reveling in joy.
I got distracted. I was assuming (and not entirely without reason) that I should be able to get to a place where the joy and peace flowed naturally. I believe that's possible. But I was more concerned about the byproducts not being there than I was about pursuing the real goals. So specifically, I've been gut-wrenchingly lonely for weeks. And today the loneliness flowed freely from my heart out my eyeballs in shifts all day long. "I'm lonely. This hurts really bad. Why is this throwing me off track? Where did my peace go? Don't I KNOW better than to let this get me down?" should be replaced with a simple focus on the things that matter and keep me too busy loving to be lonely. Not denying my feelings but living in such a way that the more unpleasant ones don't take root.