How do you manage to rest in the peace of God during times of turmoil?
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 (NKJV)
The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought so many changes in our lives recently, and we are all eager to see an end to everything going on at this time. The problem is that the more we dig into the news to find some answers, the more worried we become, considering nobody has the answers we are looking for. As a result, we are seeing a rise in fear and anxiety in our society, and most people are not really sure what to do.
In Colossians 3:15 we read: “let the peace of God rule in your heart…”
And in John 14:27 we read:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The word “let” implies that you have a choice. It’s up to you if the peace of God will rule in your heart or not. it’s undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating a favorable environment for fear and anxiety to thrive, but the gift of peace that you have received from God is still in your heart. However, you have to nurture it, to fully experience it in these times of uncertainty.
The question now is how do you practically let the peace of God rule in your heart?
I have taken some time to dig into the world of God, and in Philippians 4: 6-9 I have found 4 practical things that you can do to nurture and maintain the peace of God in your heart, regardless of what’s going on around you
What are your concerns about this crisis? What worry you the most? What do you need at this time? Besides worrying about getting sick with the COVID-19, you may have even deeper concerns such as losing your job, and not being able to pay your bills. It’s important to dig inside so you can identify what’s really troubling your heart, and then take time to present your need to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6).
It’s easier to be frustrated about what we don’t have than thanking God for what we have. Focusing on your lack will only increase your frustration and anxiety, and will prevent you from experiencing the peace of God. When all this crisis started, I was just coming back from a very dark place where I was crushed with grief over the loss of my daughter. When everyone around me was worried about what’s going on, I was overwhelmed with gratitude instead. Looking back, I understand that gratitude is one of the key things that is keeping me calm through this troubled time.
Close your eyes and think with me for one minute: Think about that particular event in your life, where you found yourself in the most desperate situation. You thought it was the end for you, but the Lord showed up and delivered you in such an unexpected way. How did you feel that day? Now I can see you smiling as you are bringing back that beautiful memory. Your whole being is relaxed, your heart is full of joy and an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction. Can you feel it? That’s what I am talking about, and it’s called gratitude.
Gratitude allows you to realize that the God who helped you in your previous challenges is the same, and He can do it again.
3. Positive thinking
When we are facing challenges in life, the natural tendency is to have negative thoughts, which have been proven to be toxic to the body. So, to avoid falling into this natural inclination, you have to be intentional about your thoughts. In Philippians 4:8 we are encouraged to keep our thoughts on what is true. What’s true is the word of God. Therefore, when going through difficult times, you should look for scriptures with promises relevant to your situation; and make the choice to focus your thoughts on those promises. That’s what I call positive thinking – a thought process that is rooted in biblical truths. You may not have control over your circumstances, but you still have full control over your thoughts.
What are you worry about today? What are some scriptures with promises that you can hold on to, as you are going through these challenging times?
Remember, when presenting your needs to God, the answer may not come overnight. You have to expectedly wait on the Lord for the fulfillment of his promises. This is call patience, which is a virtue of the holy spirit that lives in you. Also, while you are waiting on the Lord, you should make sure to be intentional about obeying His commands. What recommendations do you find in the bible about your situation? What step of obedience can you take today?
The Bottom Line
Fear and anxiety are a natural response in times of trouble. However, for us believers, we have been blessed with the gift of peace through Christ Jesus, and it’s our responsibility to let that peace rule in our hearts. Prayer, gratitude, positive thinking, and patience are some practical steps that can help you maintain the peace of God in your heart, regardless of your circumstances.