Can you think of a year when there was nothing at all that bothered you, nothing at all that gave you cause for concern? Are you one of those people who never gets unsettled, stressed or troubled about anything and anyone? If we are going to be sincere with ourselves, we all have one thing or the other going on in our lives right now that we aren’t happy about. We all have an issue we need God to intervene in, a problem we need God to solve. It could be in our finances, our health, our marriage or family life. It could be something connected with a rash decision we took, our place of work, our education, a project we embarked on, a friend or even our nation. Sometimes the problem keeps us awake at night, sometimes we cry about the issue. There are times we don’t feel like talking to anyone because of the mess we are in. Sometimes, we even find it hard to pray, read our Bible or spend time with God because of the challenges before us. Maybe it’s because at such times, we feel abandoned by God or there’s little or no zest for prayer and the Word of God considering that we have done all we know to do, yet no change.
It’s not an evil omen, it’s not a prophecy of doom, it’s the reality of life that there will be trying and difficult times. But in the midst of all the struggles and troubles of life, we can have peace and victory if we walk with the Lord. Jesus told us point-blank, ‘In this world you will have trouble! (John 16:33). In other words, a trouble free life does not exist. There will be a thorn in your flesh, a boisterous storm, a fire to pass through at some point. But Jesus didn’t say when troubles come, the only response is to be worried, stressed and anxious. Jesus didn’t say we should give worry a comfortable seat in our lives. In the midst of all the struggles and troubles of life, God shows us the path to peace:
- Have a close relationship with Jesus, the Prince of Peace, so when the storms of life come, the Storm Calmer is with you. It is risky for you to be caught up in a storm and Jesus isn’t with you in the boat of your life. How on earth are you going to survive that storm?
- Don’t let everyday stresses, responsibilities or the hustle and bustle of life, keep you away from God’s Word. Place a high premium on studying and meditating on God’s Word so the power in the Word can penetrate deep into your heart and into whatever situation you are going through. Even when everything around us seems to be falling apart, even though what we see and hear is the complete opposite of what God’s Word says, we must keep believing and holding on to the truths of God’s Word to create the change we need, to experience peace when sandwiched between chaos and confusion.
- Pray about everything. Anytime a situation, a need, a conversation, a decision to be made or step to take pops up in your mind, and you notice you are tense, anxious and fearful, immediately take it God in prayer. Don’t exert energy worrying about it. Instead, pray about it. Ask God to handle it and sort it out for you. Always bring your requests, concerns, issues and burdens to the Lord. If you feel you have prayed and prayed and nothing has happened, ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray through, pray aright, pray persistently. We can’t give up on prayer just because we haven’t gotten the results we want. Giving up on prayer is actually giving up on receiving peace. It is in the place of prayer that the peace of God that surpasses human understanding flows (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Walk away from malice, strife, bitterness, jealousy and comparison traps. These are things that dispel peace. Forgiveness on the other hand sets peace in motion. Pursue peace and peace will follow you and be with you (Hebrews 12:14).
- Don’t do life alone (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). Life can be tough and overwhelming, especially when you do it alone. Ecclesiastes 4:10 tells us the person who has no one to help him when he falls is to be pitied. Don’t make yourself an object of pity, have your circle of sincere helpers, encouragers and prayer partners who can lighten your burden and help you through trying times.
- Keep your eyes on God not on problems. Focusing on problems triggers stress and anxiety. The mind stayed, dependent and focused on God is the mind the peace of God rests and abides in (Matthew 14:25-32).
God is not an author of confusion, but of peace. May God fill our hearts and minds with His peace as we fix our eyes on Him and rely on His strength not on our strength to go through the different seasons of life.
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