2020 has been a year with no shortage of hard life moments, and specifically, chaotic moments. From unprecedented pandemics (COVID-19 + racism) to an unprecedented election — chaos seems to be all around us.
If you’re like me, you’ve pondered a lot about the times we’re in and have even asked repeatedly, why is this happening? And maybe you’ve even asked, where is God in all of this?
God Is Always There Even When Everything Else Isn’t
“When He (Jesus) got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves; but Jesus was sleeping. And the disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us, we are going to die!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was [at once] a great and wonderful calm [a perfect peacefulness]. The men wondered in amazement, saying, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8.23-27
You see, peace is not the absence of chaos. Notice how all-powerful Jesus Himself was on the boat with the disciples while the storm was raging — in the midst of chaos.
If you’ve ever been on a vehicle of any kind, a car, boat, plane, etc., that’s about to crash or sink, then you’re familiar with that feeling of chaos.
Peace is not the absence of chaos but peace is God’s presence holding and keeping us through it.
God never promised us a perfect life devoid of strife, challenge, and chaos. But He promises to be with us.
We can be with God and still struggle in our faith [to fully trust Him] much less acknowledge Him. At this point in Jesus’ ministry, He had already performed supernatural miracles. And yet the disciples were with Him and afraid in the midst of chaos.
There’s a big difference between wanting or trusting for the storm to pass and trusting in the One who calms the storm. God holds it all (whatever it is) in His hands.
Our Hope Needs A Direction
Why is it important to remind and rehearse to ourselves Who is the One who holds it all and calms the storms of chaos? Because hope always needs a direction.
You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].” Isaiah 26.3 AMP
Peace doesn’t just appear because we’re Christians. There are many believers that don’t have or regularly walk in God’s peace.
God’s peace is cultivated by what we set our minds and gaze upon — Him and His faithfulness. God through Jesus is the direction of our hope as believers; not just for now, but for what’s coming too.
Peace is not blocking all of life’s shots. Peace is putting the ball in God’s court and trusting Him with the game of life. When life intercepts (and it will), get the ball back to God. 🏀
God’s Peace vs. The World’s
The Hebrew translation of “perfect peace” here (shalowm shalowm) is a double repeating word, “peace peace” — a Hebrew idiom denoting emphasis. It represents a peace that only God can give and intends for us to live out of.
The world’s peace looks like the room quieting down so that we have a moment to ourselves. God’s peace looks like Daniel saying God will rescue us from this fiery pit, but even if He doesn’t, we’re going to serve Him anyway (Daniel 3.16-18).
God’s peace always transcends circumstance. You can have peace when there’s no logical reason to (Philippians 4.7).
Keeping Our Peace
Because our real peace is based on Who we look to, our peace is never really stolen. Instead, losing our peace requires that we relinquish it. Or in other words, putting more faith, attention (what we set our minds upon), and trust in something other than our Heavenly Father.
This doesn’t mean that we ignore everything going on or that we’re immune to our human emotions. It does mean that we don’t let our emotions rule over us.
It means that we grab our peace by looking to the One — eyes on Jesus — and placing Him at the head (Lord over) our anxieties.
Keeping our peace means learning the habit of constantly refocusing on Jesus. Squirrel! ➡️ Jesus!
And if we’re really keepin’ 💯, most if not all of our life’s problems took grip as an effect of us taking our eyes off of Him for some other desire, pleasure, or anxiety.
Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble.Psalm 119.165
A Prayer For Today
Lord, help us to hold onto and manage our peace peace by keeping our eyes upon You, day by day, moment by moment. When life rattles us, teach us how to look up to You, our Keeper of peace.
Want To Read More About Peace?
Today’s blog is an excerpt from our new devotional, Where Is God In The Midst of Choas?: God Is Still God When Life Is Hard.
This seven-day devotional is for people who are seeking consistency in a changing world. It’s written from two Christians’ worldviews who share stories of everyday life and how God shows up to give messages in the mundane.