Peace. What is peace? Well, Merriam Webster dictionary has five definitions:
(1) A state of tranquillity or quiet: such as
a : freedom from civil disturbance. For example, Peace and order were finally restored in the town.
b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom. For example, a breach of the peace.
(2) Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. For example, I have been in perfect peace and contentment —J. H. Newman
(3) Harmony in personal relations. For example, the sisters are at peace with each other.
(4) a: a state or period of mutual concord between governments. For example, there was a peace of 50 years before war broke out again.
b: a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity. For example, offered the possibility of a negotiated peace.
(5) —used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell
— at peace: in a state of concord or tranquillity. For example, the problem was settled and his mind was at peace. The peace am referring to in this post today is that of freedom from disquieting or oppressive emotions. Peace despite facing volatile circumstances. How do you have such in your life? Well, the Word of God says in Philippians 4:6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. How often do we allow ourselves to want to solve matters our own way? Or want to ache our minds with worry, yet there is nothing much we can do to change the situation?
A story is told of a member of a famous orchestra group who approached the great Italian conductor with an expression of sheer terror on his face. This was shortly before a major concert before a standing-room-only audience. “Maestro,” the musician fretted, “my instrument is not working properly. I cannot reach the note of E-flat. Whatever will I do? We are to begin in a few moments.” The great conductor looked at the man with utter amazement. Then he smiled kindly and placed an arm around his shoulders. “My friend,” the maestro replied, “Do not worry about it. The note E-flat does not appear anywhere in the music that you will be playing this evening.”
My confession today would be to admit that the orchestra player and I share something. In such moments, I tend to ignore the still small voice that says everything will be all right. I figure it is better to worry then afterwards nothing happens than not to worry and then something bad does happen. A complete lie from the devil. That is such a waste of time and emotions that could be used more positively. The author of “The Waste of Worry”, Brad Stevens wrote the following: “If we were to keep a record of all the things we worried about during a given period of time, we would discover–in reviewing them–which the great majority of our anticipated problems or troubles never come to pass. This means that most of the time we devote to worrying, even the constructive kind that prompts us to try to come up with a solution to what is troubling us, is wasted. Thus, we not only caused ourselves unnecessary mental anguish, but also took up valuable minutes and hours that could have been spent elsewhere. To avoid this, it is often necessary to subject potential sources of worry to the coldly objective and analytical light of reason.
So How Do You Have Peace In Volatile Circumstances?
Many self-help ideas tend to focus on deep and long breathing exercises, Yoga, others talk of taking a walk, reading a book, walking away from the volatile environment, counselling, and going to the gym, cooking or really doing something to take your mind off the problem. When you come to a church setting, solutions vary from praying, singing, opening up to the Pastor or close confidant or even taking time to serve in church or the needy. The latter two stem from the idea of taking focus from yourself and help out others who may actually be in a greater dire situation than you.
One of the great reliefs I have discovered recently is to just praise God. Praising Him with actual utterances from my mouth. Not necessarily singing but speaking out praises to the Kings of Kings. I had to work on the inner me to avoid the temptation of doing so in expectation of reciprocation of immediate blessings or sudden solutions to my problems. It is important for me that my motives are pleasing to my Heavenly Father in all that I do. One morning in the past few weeks as I made a few steps in my bathroom, I was overwhelmed by intense pain in my body. Mobility was completely not possible as a tiny movement of my legs brought excruciating pain. I believe neighbours must have heard my screams. As I was standing still for about twenty long minutes in pain, I sang and praised God. I told Him that He was good and I was glad to rejoice in the day He had made. I recall calling out the name of Jesus so many times. In my mind, whether God took away the pain that moment or not, He remains to be God. His throne remains to be in heaven and earth His footstool.
As I digress a bit, my personal testimony of my journey in writing since February 2018 has created events in my life that test the word that I actually share. It comes back to test whether I would do exactly as my post say. And that experience in the bathroom was one of them. It was a test of the post “…God remains to be God”. What I did in that bathroom did not take away my pain immediately. Taking a bath, heading to work, and working through the day, I was still in pain. But guess what? Something changed inside of me that gave me the strength to take the next steps of the day. There was the option of calling in sick and not go to work, but my mind and heart had changed despite the circumstances not changing much.
What then is the use of praising God if the current circumstances do not change immediately?
Well, in my experience they will change. It may not be at the time or the way you desire but the promise is that they will change. It is not a matter of if, but when. Whatever has a beginning on earth has an end. It is only Jehovah who is the same yesterday, today and forever. It is not easy when the flesh is fighting back with anxiety but that has been a sure way for me to receive peace in my not so interesting moments. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13..No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
The fiery furnace may not be the most exciting place to be in life, but it sure does make one grow. So, maybe our prayers should focus on allowing God to be glorified in the valley and ask for grace and strength to see us through. One prayer I have been making this week as I thanked God for my birthday is to use all my pain and suffering in my past for His glory. That it would not be in vain and the results of the fiery furnace be used to expand His Kingdom. Just noticed I have no emoji today and am not sure what that means. All I know is that God remains to be God. Our environment does not change who He is. He deserves worship and adoration no matter our circumstances. My prayer is that He shows Himself strong in and through our lives even as we purpose to do exactly what we were created to do. To worship Him!!!!
Thank you so much for taking time to read. May the Good Lord lead you in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Amen and God bless. See you next week Friday!!!!!!!
#UnchangeableGod #Peace #PraisingGod #Worship #Hopeforyouandme