Oddly enough, for me this peace of the soul comes from a restless heart. The minute I stand still, the peace of my soul dissipates. You would think it was the opposite, but not for me. My faith pushes me to action, that is just the way it is. But I have learned over the past few months that love for Christ and action in faith need to be carefully balanced. Focus can get out of whack quickly even if the motivation is right.
There is a huge, fundamental, life and faith changing difference between living faith with Christ, and living faith for Christ or because of Christ (as discussed in the book With by Skye Jethani).
It is a question of my focus - on God, not self. It is a question of my motivation - on love, not obligation or fear. And, above all, it is a question of Christ's focus and motivation - on relationship, not religion.
When Christ tells me to go and sin no more, He isn't telling me to try harder. He is telling me to come closer. When He tells me to obey, He isn't telling me to work more. He is telling me to come closer.
And when He tells me to love and worship Him, He isn't telling me to pray longer or sing louder. He is telling me to come closer.
That's what Paul means when he tells us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Without ceasing only works if you are talking about a state of being. There is no activity under the sun that I can do without ceasing. But I can be without ceasing. I can be with Christ until the end of time.
The same is true for the "peace of God that surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). This is not an event or a mental exercise. It, too, is a state of being.
To truly be with God does not need words or deeds. It is being, not doing, not feeling, not expressing, just being. All activity and reason come later - much, much later.
This is a huge turn-around for me, as you can imagine. It does not mean that I stop doing the work. But it does mean that I approach it differently. I need to go with Christ, not in His name, not for His glory, not in obedience. All of that will follow if and when I go with Him. If I go without Him, my action becomes self-centered halo-polishing not convincing anybody, least of all God.
One final thought: my excitement of a life with Christ is not meant to convey the image of an equal partnership. Christ is with me as my Lord, nothing less. The minute I lose sight of His sovereignty, I start pulling away and I head straight back into the self-centered halo-polishing. In other words, this takes work. Being with Christ means submitting to Him and that does not come naturally, but it can be learned. Better yet, it can be cherished.