Lent, Week 4: Peace

When I think of peace, I instantly think of the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” because of the first verse: When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul.

How confident are we in this peace that surpasses all understanding, that even when sorrows come in like sea billows we can still say it is well? Crises, trials, accidents, temptations, chaos… But the Bible says to focus on the Lord because He will give you peace, a calmness the world cannot provide. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” And Jesus said that in Him you will have peace (John 16:33): “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

The story goes that the writer of the hymn, Horatio Spafford, experienced great loss and pain during an overseas trip. He sent his wife and four daughters to England before himself, later learning that their ship had a collision and only his wife survived… that’s when he wrote the first verse. Wow.

Being able to say those words even through tragedy! That’s the kind of peace God gives us, brothers & sisters. As we trust in Him in the good times and the bad, with steadfast minds, we place our faith in Jesus Christ who is coming back.

We’re already about halfway to Easter but are you continuing to look to and trust in God at all times? Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In this fourth week of Lent, whatever is troubling you, whatever is comforting you, whatever your lot (defined as fate, future, or destiny…), I hope we will be able to look to nothing else but the Lord who guards us and leads us by still waters.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

Reflection Song: You Are Greater


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Hanging By A Thread

Getting tired of being disappointed? Are you on the verge of quitting your job? Does your patience get tested? Feel like you’re losing grip of everything? Finances? Relationships?

We’ve all had some moment(s) where we’re hanging by a thread and it’s about to snap. So what do you do?

The Psalms tell of many difficult times, grieving, sorrows, etc… To name a couple, Psalm 88 and Psalm 42 sound particularly distraught. But as we read on, we realize that God is indeed faithful and He provides. Take a look at how He delivers from troubles in Psalm 121 and Psalm 34.

Even Jesus tells His disciples in John 16 (“The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn To Joy”) that they’ll face trouble in this world but to take heart, for He has overcome the world!

So actually, it’s no surprise that we so often feel like we’re hanging by a thread. In fact, it’s just as much not a surprise to know that God will come through and set us back on solid rock! Psalm 40 says exactly this: “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

But back to the original question: So what do you do? We can be sure that God knows what’s going on in our lives, how we’re feeling, what we’re going through… So pray to Him, cry out to Him, trust in Him – the One who is for us. We shouldn’t focus on the bad or the suffering but, just as we saw in the Psalms, remember that God is good, loving, gracious, and on-time. Isaiah 26 says that God will keep those whose minds are faithful in perfect peace because they trust in the Lord.

May Jesus be the peace and the anchor in our troubling times. For just as the life of Jesus was not spared in order to save us from our sins, we trust in our God who is rich in love & mercy who can surely catch us from the thread, pull us out of the pit, bring us ashore… And if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you… (1 Peter 5:7)

Reflection Song: Christ Is