What does the Bible have to say about finding peace in this chaotic world? Steph encourages us to focus on God and and trust that He is in control of every situation.
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Finding Peace In The Chaos
We’ve been discussing laying up treasure in heaven, as we read about in Matthew 6. We can focus on accumulating heavenly treasure when we remember that nothing we acquire here on Earth comes anywhere close to the wonder of eternal riches. At best, this world offers only cheap imitations.
One thing countless people are searching for in this chaotic, often scary world is peace—genuine, lasting peace. In Philippians 4:4-7, we discover the steps to finding peace that will reassure us that God can be trusted here and now, peace that will last for all eternity.
This passage says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I have quoted these verses time and time again.
What Are You Focusing On?
When something deeply troubles me, I’m like a dog with a bone. I obsess over whatever it is. I keep coming back to it. Even when it leaves my mind for a time, my emotional heaviness reminds me, “Oh yeah! I was troubled about such and such.”
And that’s when these verses come to mind.
If we repeatedly choose to rejoice in the Lord—in who He is and what He’s done—our focus immediately changes.
I love how the writer of Philippians completely understands human nature. It wasn’t enough to tell readers once that they should rejoice in the Lord. He goes on to say, “Again I will say, rejoice.” How we need this encouragement, especially when our world seems to be crumbling around us.
God Is In Control
He goes onto discuss reasonableness. It really isn’t reasonable to obsess over something that troubles us, something we may even fear, if we have confidence that God is in control and will fulfill His promise to believers in Romans 8:28, “For those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (ESV).
All things …
The things that keep us up at night.
The mistake that costs us our job.
The marriage that falls apart after decades.
The adult child who turns away from the faith.
The diagnosis we never imagined hearing.
Our humanity says it’s reasonable to get upset about these things, but the God of the universe says we can trust Him, that we can find peace even in the midst of the most horrific of circumstances. He even reminds us that He is right there with us. “The Lord is at hand.”
How Do We Go About Finding Peace?
And then He goes on to give us clear directions for finding peace:
1. We must refuse to be anxious—much easier when we remember the God who evokes rejoicing is by our side.
2. We are invited into His very presence. That is the privilege prayer affords us.
3. We are instructed to offer thanksgiving during our times of prayer. At the darkest of times, it’s hard to give thanks. But the more we do so, the more we realize there is always much to be thankful for.
4. Peace will be the outcome. And the peace He talks about isn’t fleeting or shallow. It guards both our heart and our mind, our emotions and our thought processes.
The world offers many cheap imitations of peace, but only God opens the storehouses of heaven and pours out peace that will last for all eternity.
If you desire this kind of peace—and who wouldn’t?—confess your sin, accept the gift of salvation provided by Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death, a death you and I deserved, and His resurrection. It is once you have done this that you can take the steps listed in today’s passage.
Will they always be easy? Definitely not. Can we take God at His word? I have no doubt.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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