Peace in the Maelstrom

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“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life.” – Matthew 6:25


Anxiety is a killer. It is an ever-present irritant to the body’s nervous system, impacting your physical health. Excessive and constant worry gives disease a foothold. It wears you down. It saps your strength. It is perhaps the worst carcinogen of all. But truly, is an anxiety-free life even possible?

The Bible certainly warns about the danger of worry while directing you to an alternative: great confidence and trust in God, something that appears to be very difficult to achieve in a fearful world. Peace of mind is not the absence of life challenges or tests to your faith. Life in a fallen world is life on a spiritual battlefield (Ephesians 6); there are many minefields to safely navigate, constant damaging projectiles to avoid, the constant stalking of a very real and lethal enemy.

It is not the absence of problems which is your case, but your response to one problem after another, and overcoming them. Each of the letters to the seven churches of Revelation commands the believer to be an overcomer. Overcoming implies the ever-present existence of obstacles in your life. Peace in the midst of that arises from a perseverance of faith that will never be cowed by the enemy’s onslaught. He can throw the kitchen sink at you, but that will not defeat you. Jesus is the anchor to a soul that cannot be moved.

Jesus said repeatedly, “Do not fear.” He encouraged, “Do not worry.” “Can your worry add a single hour to your span of life?” “Do not be anxious about tomorrow,” he continued, “for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for today is its own trouble.” He spoke truth to you, but do you really believe Him, the Lord of the universe? “Great peace have those who love Your law,” wrote King David, “and nothing can make them stumble.” “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you,” wrote the prophet Isaiah.

Peace is a frame of mind, a real palpable condition of the heart, which God’s Word promises is fully attainable, and not just to what you consider “VIP” type of people; it is attainable to any child of God (because really every child of God is a VIP even if you do not accept it). Peace is the absence of anxiety, the absence of worry, the full confidence of your mind that you are in God’s protection and need not fear any harm or evil. Peace is an overwhelming sense of joy; an inescapable feeling that all is under control; your Heavenly Father personally has your back. It sounds too good to be true. But this is the unexaggerated description by God to you of the peace that passes understanding – the very peace He gives.

Life for every one of us is unpredictable. This is especially true because there is another world of reality from what you can see, a spiritual world of good and evil players. Even within the visible world you do not control the actions of those around you, who can impact your own safety, health, and well-being; and the invisible world puts your world under double the threat. Peace is not even in your picture if there is not your Creator and mighty God in the picture. And because He is, and because He is your God, His promises of peace to you are very real.

But is your faith such that you will seek His peace and experience it, even as you continue to live in a very dangerous world? No matter how dangerous, it is His world! “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world!” Jesus said powerfully and honestly, “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.”


“When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well, with my soul.’”

(1st verse of Horatio Spafford’s hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul,” 1873)

 

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Stephen Leonard

Paul Anderson Youth Home