Pandemics. Riots. Sickness. Violence. Empty shelves. Fear. Panic. Anxiety.
My heart pounds as I pick up my phone to read one more news report chronicling the most recent spike in virus cases. I frantically search nearby stores to make sure I have enough food stocked in my pantry for my babies. My nurse-brain runs constantly to keep my family healthy. I kneel to pray for my family, my town, my country, but the shaking words seem so feeble. Where is the faith-filled boldness of a few months ago?
For weeks in the spring of 2020 I lived in this world of fear and worry, literally waking up each morning wondering what new headline would rock our world. I felt that I couldn’t pray, not with my weakening faith.
Finally, after dealing with this turmoil for months, I began to realize what I was doing to myself.
I was glorifying the chaos!
My mind was completely consumed with all the bad in the world instead of being filled with the goodness of God.
I was reminded of another time in my life when I felt overwhelmed by trouble. My precious grandmother, a source of love and wisdom, instructed me that the Lord would give me “peace that passes all understanding” about the right decision. And, truly, He did! I wrote out each verse of Philippians 4:4-9 on sticky notes and taped them to the inside of my coffee cabinet. Every morning when I opened the cabinet I would read these verses:
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
When we rejoice, thank God in prayer, think on the pure, good, lovely, the good report, the peace of God will keep us, and the God of peace will be WITH us! What a promise!
Isaiah 26 also states this promise:
Thou wilt keep him [or her] in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord fo ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.
This is a simple message today, but keep your mind stayed on Him, friend. As the world rocks this way and that way, keep on rejoicing. When we go to prayer, remember to thank and glorify Him.
As we go into 2021 we can be sure the God of peace will be with us if we go praising.