Show God You're Thankful By Nathele Graham God gave us everything. Because of Him we…
Peace Amid Turmoil
By Nathele Graham
Life can be filled with turmoil. It’s been said that you’re either just entering a crisis, in the middle of a crisis, or just coming out of a crisis. That sounds a little pessimistic, but we do see much trouble all around us. Jesus said that there would be tribulation in life, but Christians have hope.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33.
If you are a person with no turmoil, you are most likely a hermit living far away from modern society. Still, you have troubles. Does the roof leak when it rains? Do you have enough food stored for the winter? Do the wild animals see you as a food source? There is always something to cause us turmoil. The way we handle the turmoil depends upon our relationship with God. My mother was a very gentle lady who tried to live in a way that reflected Christ. I called her a “people magnet” because people were drawn to her, whether she knew them or not. She was a good listener and always had the right words to say to encourage others. It would seem that such a gentle person would have an easy life. Not so. The troubles she faced were major, but her faith in God was unshakable. I wish I could tell you that I, her daughter, made her life easier, but too often I was the cause of her troubles. As I watched Mama deal with her problems, I saw she had a peace about her that was not from a human source, but from the Holy Spirit living in her. She had many favorite hymns, and one of them was titled “Mid all the Traffic of the Ways” by John Oxenham. My mother hummed this song and it helped to get her through some very difficult times, and I find myself humming it quite often in these troubled times.
Mid all the traffic of the ways,
Turmoils without, within,
Make in my heart a quiet place,
And come and dwell within;
I’m not a person who deals well with city life. The traffic and noise aren’t things cause me distress. I prefer the peace and quiet of life in the country. Watching a deer graze in my front yard, or seeing raccoons visiting my front porch looking to steal my cat’s food, brings peace into my life. I enjoy listening to the frogs singing in the pond in my neighbor’s field and hearing the cattle calling to each other at night. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but even here among the beauty of nature, there are troubles. My house needs some repairs, my dog really needs to learn obedience, I have too many cats, and the chickens don’t always lay eggs like I want them to. Those troubles may be pretty minimal compared to the horrors happening in Israel, or the gang wars in cities. No matter what the trial and turmoil, peace is to be found in Jesus. We have many examples in Scripture of people facing troublesome situations, but God always gives peace and confidence amid the turmoil if we turn to Him. Paul is a good example of finding peace in every situation. Paul was persecuted for sharing his faith, and often went hungry, but he wasn’t bitter. He lived for Christ, not for himself. Quite often he was thrown in jail because of his faith, but used every opportunity to share his faith with others. One account that stands out in my mind is the time he was in Philippi and did what he thought was a good thing. There was a woman who was possessed by a demon, and Paul cast that evil entity out of her. That act of God’s love, was met with anger from her handlers. The men who used the woman to make money from the demon that possessed her, had Paul and Silas arrested. In those days there was a different kind of justice than most of us understand today. The magistrates immediately inflicted judgment.
“And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: who having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.” – Acts 16:23-24
The pain must have been awful, and not knowing what tomorrow would bring could have caused Paul and Silas to be angry with God, caused depression, and turned them away from their faith. Instead, they found a quiet place of peace, even in that prison.
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” – Acts 16:25.
They shared their faith by praising God in a time of turmoil. Then, there was an earthquake and the prison was opened and the chains came off the prisoners. They could have escaped, but they all chose to stay. The jailor would have been forced to fulfill the sentences of all who escaped, and he decided on suicide, which is never a good choice. Because Paul and Silas found a place of peace among the trouble, no prisoner escaped and the jailer was spared. The jailer understood that Paul and Silas had peace which came from their faith, and asked them what must he do to be saved.
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” – Acts 16:31.
Have you found God’s peace in troublesome situations? Have you been able to share your faith, and help others find the peace that only comes from God? Be an instrument of God’s love, rather than the hate that Satan brings to the world.
A little shrine of quietness,
All sacred to thyself,
Where thou shalt all my soul possess,
And I may find myself;
Too often we forget that when we first believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is sealed within us. The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Holy Trinity, and is God. He will guide you through the troublesome times if you allow it. Remember that He knows your thoughts, and hears every word you say. Do the words of your mouth honor God? Do the actions of your hands show God’s love to others, even those who offend you? Find that place of quietness where God lives in you and find His peace.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” – 1 Corinthians 3:16.
The Holy Spirit will guide you in God’s ways. The closer we draw to God, the greater peace we will find. When Paul left Philippi, he had established a congregation of believers and had many friends there. He kept in touch with every congregation he established, and in his letter to the Philippians, he closed by encouraging them to find peace.
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7.
True peace is only found in Christ.
A little shelter from life’s stress,
Where I may lay me prone,
And bare my soul in loneliness,
And know as I am known;
Do you have stress? Bills to pay, kids to shuttle from one activity to another? Appointments to keep? All of that between holding a job and finding some “me” time. It’s not always easy. One thing that most people shuffle to the “last resort” or forget altogether, is prayer. Not only talking with God about your needs, but praising Him in everything. A time set aside when you can lay everything out to Him and listen for His answer. A time when it’s just you and God, with no distractions, no interruptions, and just honestly talking with Him. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a need for time alone with God. Health issues are a common worry as well as a financial strain. God cares about these things, but He also wants to hear your praise for that promotion you were hoping for, or the good grade on an important exam at school. He knows you and you matter to Him. Even if you feel as if nobody around you cares about you or your problems, God is there to lead and encourage you every day. King David had his share of troubles, and some were cause by David himself, but most were everyday problems of a king who loved the Lord and who loved the nation he led. Whatever David faced, he faced it with God.
“[[To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David]] Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.” – Psalm 61:1-4.
David found peace amid turmoil because he loved the Lord, and found God’s peace no matter what situation he faced.
A little place of mystic grace,
Of self and sin swept bare,
Where I may look upon thy face,
And talk with thee in prayer.
Grace is a gift from God, and often times we think we deserve His grace and mercy. God’s grace is a gift that we can’t earn, but only comes by faith.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” – Ephesians 2:8.
When we forget our own selfishness, we can be better able to approach God, humbly and with thanksgiving. When we move past our own self-centered feelings, God can speak clearer to us. It’s easy to see life and troubles from our own point of view, but by sweeping our selfish desires and sin out of the way, we can then have an honest talk with God and hear His words. Admit your sin, and ask to be forgiven, even if you feel justified in committing the sin. Find the peace God wants for you in spite of the hustle and bustle of daily life.
When you let Jesus come into every part of your life, you will find peace amid the turmoil.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” – Psalm 122:6.