Saturday, March 5, 2011
Falling to Pieces, Finding Our Peace
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal." -- Isaiah 26:3-4
For some, life doesn't seem to let up. While there are those whose lives are relatively peaceful with manageable trials of short duration, there are others who seem to live in the valley of despair with little hope of finding the peace that continually eludes them. All of us are in one place or the other. What is it that differentiates the ones who have found peace from those who cannot seem to attain it, no matter what they do? Therein lies the answer -- peace does not come from within us or as a result of anything we do. It comes from realizing that God is our only source of peace.
It is difficult to keep our eyes on God and our mind steadfastly focused on him. We live in a world with so many distractions -- so many problems -- that it takes deliberate effort and discipline to train our minds to focus on him rather than on our problems. How do we learn to focus on God rather than our circumstances? It all comes down to daily reading, knowing, and applying his Word and spending time with him in prayer. I am surer of this than anything else in life.
As long as we live on this earth we will have problems, heartaches, and disappointments. Until we learn that we cannot face those challenges alone, in our own power, we are destined to lose our battles and walk in defeat, rather than in the victory that is ours in Christ. The Bible tells us that "the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all those who wait for him‖ (Isaiah 30:18)! The key here is that we must wait for God. We must look for him, and we must wait for him. He alone is able to provide the peace we seek. No man or woman can. No amount of money or achievement can. No amount of human reasoning can. Only God can provide peace in our troubled times.
Our greatest ally in this daily fight to achieve peace and joy is the Word of God. Make this the year that you seek a deeper knowledge and closer walk with God through his Word. I promise you that if you will spend even a few minutes daily laying your needs before him and looking to his Word rather than this world for the answers to your problems, you will encounter God in ways you never dreamed possible. God loves you and cares deeply about you, enough that he sent his only Son to die on the cross for your sins so that you would have unlimited access to his throne of grace and a relationship with him for all eternity. God is personal and he promises peace to those who will seek him and put their trust in him.
Does finding God mean that your problems will go away? Probably not. But he will walk with you through your valley and comfort you with his presence (Psalm 23:4). His goodness and love will follow you all the days of your life (v. 6). Rather than focus on your problems, pick up your Bible and begin focusing on God. He is there, his Word is true, his promises are real, and he is faithful to those who choose to believe in him.