This last week has been rough. There has been a lot going on. Long days. A lot of frustration. I’m sure I’m not alone. Many, I think, feel that there is more going on than they can keep up with and handle. And it tends to get to most of us; at least it does to me. I get snappy and short-tempered. I get moody and almost depressed. I get overwhelmed, and it shows.
I needed a reminder for myself about how my stance should be as a Christian. I hope it helps others, too.
Psalm 46:10 says to “Be still, and know that I am God” (ESV). The context is God establishing Himself as ruler over the earth. Sometimes, we just need to realize that God is in control, regardless of how things appear, and learn to cease . . . to be still. That is very hard for me to do, but it is commanded, so I need to learn to do it, by God’s grace.
Once we learn to focus on God, we are promised that God “keep[s] him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on [Him], because he trusts in [Him]” (Isaiah 26:3, ESV). If we are right with God (see Romans 5:1), and if we keep ourselves focused on Him, He will keep us in perfect peace. We see Christ give the promise to His disciples in John 14:27: “‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid'” (ESV). We are promised peace. It is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). As we focus more on God and less on our circumstances and issues, God will increase the peace in our lives.
I don’t mean for this to sound like some form of “name-it-and-claim-it” belief, as if we can make troubles vanish by speaking them out of existence and speaking good things in their place. I mean the promise of God that we can have peace in the midst of our trials rather than having to wait for the trials to be taken away.
When we focus on God, reminding ourselves that He is in total control and that He dwells with us through His Spirit, we can learn to live in peace because we don’t have to do everything. This should be a major relief to us. We are not God, and we don’t have to try to be. We serve a God who is in control of everything and who loves us and works for our overall good in eternity, regardless of current circumstances.
This is why David could write, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8, ESV). Rather than staying awake all night, fearful of circumstances around him, David could rest securely in the sovereignty of God, knowing that God looks after him. I am the type of person who often struggles to fall asleep because my mind won’t stop racing. I need to commit this verse to memory until it becomes a part of who I am and impacts every aspect of my life.
I am preaching to myself here. I am not writing from the perspective of someone who is walking in this way perfectly. Not even close! But I have to learn to take the word of God seriously. If God tells me that I can have peace by staying focused on Him, then I need to submit to His word rather than justifying my disobedience by walking in stress and frustration.
My prayer is that God, by His grace and through His Spirit, will enable me to take these words to heart and to live them in my life. I pray that God’s peace will surround everyone who reads this as well.
Shalom! Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus!