Peace

We live in a fast-paced, hectic world. It seems that noise surrounds us everywhere, and there are no moments that are unhurried and quiet. From our phones ringing and text notifications coming in to demands on our time from employers, family and friends, having even a moment to sit down quietly and listen is almost impossible.

And the more the noise continues, the more broken our spirits become.  They are like plants that dry up from lack of water; and just like their limbs can become brittle and break when they lack the life-giving water that sustains them, we can break when we cut ourselves off from the silence that God inhabits.

You see, God dwells in the silence. It is there that he speaks to hearts devoted to him and focused on him, and he loves it when we slow down and turn to him.

But even though we want to do that, sometimes the noise in our lives can drown out the gentle voice that beckons us each day.

Amy Carmichael was a missionary to India, and she touched on this when she wrote, “Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace…If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you know what His will is.”

When we turn to Scripture, we discover so many verses addressing peace.  In Isaiah 26:3 we find these words: “Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee.”

Isn’t it interesting that this verse links peace and trust? We find perfect peace when our minds are focused on God and we trust in him—in his goodness, his mercy, his boundless love. In other words, when we know that we have a loving father holding us every moment of each day, we can rest because we don’t look to ourselves or our circumstances; we look to our Father. 

If our eyes and attention are focused on him, we can let go of all that concerns us because we rest in the knowledge that he is always there for us and that he is ultimately in control.

Jesus himself tells us that he gives us his peace and that our hearts don’t have to be troubled or afraid (John 14:28)—ever. 

And that means ever. Even if we are going through trials, even if it seems all is lost, we can know—deep down—that God is in control and his love will never fail us.  We can find and embrace a peace that the world can never know.

This short poem says it well.

I rest beneath the Almighty’s shade, My griefs expire, my troubles cease; Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed, Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.

Charles Wesley

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