Every so often I review, update, and recycle my archived blogs. This one, originally published in December 2019, remains eerily relevant. Scroll down to read the first paragraph, and you’ll probably feel the same way I did: it sounds just like this year except COVID isn’t mentioned.
When I wrote the following words at the close of 2019, no one suspected that a worldwide pandemic would soon descend on us, dominate headlines, and deal pain and disappointment to everyone in its wake. No one expected our normal to flip upside down and hang in uncertainty for so, so long.
Considering what the last two years have looked like, we might view 2022 with sadness, suspicion, or cynicism. Or, we might choose a different perspective: that God has demonstrated His faithfulness to us in the past, and He’ll do it again in the future. Let’s hang onto that promise and enter 2022 with confidence knowing God is already there, okay?
In the meantime, read this slightly tweaked reminder about where we find true peace in the midst of personal problems and pandemics….
“These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Yesterday a news broadcaster reviewed the past year’s many tragic headlines from North America and beyond. They told of floods and fires, plane crashes, the opioid crisis, mass shootings, genocide, displaced people, and war. The collective sorrow seems incomprehensible. Those affected pick up the shards and try to carry on in their new normal. Some folks succeed; others not so much. How does one heal when the shards continue to cut to the depth of one’s soul? How does one find hope and peace amidst the chaos?
There’s only one answer. For this we have Jesus—the Prince of Peace.
Before His arrest, Jesus spoke these words to His disciples: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).
Peace of mind and heart is a universal need. Men and women of all ages and from every culture seek it. The world offers cheap knock-offs that may provide temporary pain relief, but nothing and no one offers lasting, deep peace like Jesus.
Hours before He died, Jesus spoke of sharing His peace with us. This is a peace we can neither conjure up nor fake.
It doesn’t come through easy circumstances or having enough money to feel comfortable. It doesn’t come through having good health or relationships. Granted, enjoying these things hip make one’s life less stressful, but none of them are guaranteed. They can vanish in a heartbeat. Where does that leave us if we’ve founded our peace on their presence?
True, unshakeable peace comes from the Prince of Peace. Our circumstances change but He never will. He carries us and comforts us when life as we know it falls apart. He strengthens us and sustains us through change. He loves us and leads us like a gentle shepherd when we lose our way.
How do we experience the peace Jesus promised?
I believe aligning our thoughts with truth about who God is, is key. Apart from the truth, our minds make Him into a God too small, and attaining peace becomes impossible. So, here are several truths about God on which to meditate when life gets hard:
- God is Creator of heaven and earth, and He is our Maker.
- God is our heavenly Father who welcomes us into His presence.
- God is the One willing to carry our burdens and give us both strength and rest.
- God is good. Everything He does or allows finds its source in His goodness.
- God is holy, holy, holy. He is without fault, therefore, all His ways are faultless.
Aligning our thoughts about God with truth changes everything about our perspective and brings a peace that surpasses human understanding. But there are also several practical actions we can take to keep us on that path to peace:
- Refuse to entertain worrisome thoughts and fears.
- Focus on God’s promises. Speak them aloud and personalize them.
- Tell God about everything that concerns you.
- Make gratitude a lifestyle.
Philippians 4:6-7 explains it well. “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.”
Only God knows what the new year will hold. For us, it’s a huge uncertainty. But this one thing we can know for sure—no matter what the new year’s headlines say, we can experience peace because Jesus promised.
#bgbg2 #innerpeace #Jesus