Every now and then we do well to take stock of our situations, so I’d like to ask you to look around. What’s happening in your life and in your family?
You may not be experiencing a difficult time. From your perspective, everything may seem sunny and clear. Storms come, however. At times, they roll into our lives with bounding blows. How do we maintain a sense of peace and spiritual balance when trials strike?
The answer is found in a close, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. The words of Helen Lemmel’s classic hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” contain a vital and exciting truth: an unshakable peace is available to all who turn the eyes of their hearts to Jesus.
Chances are when adversity strikes, one of the first things you do is to wonder why. Then you may question what kind of impact it will have on your life. While reactions such as these are normal, we also need another response, and that is to turn to the One who holds all comfort and security firmly within His grasp.
No one, outside of God, is equipped to handle our problems. He never meant for us to be strong on our own. He wants us to find courage, hope, and strength in Him and His Word.
Many wonder what they can do to change the feelings of anxiety they feel when they come under pressure. One of the first steps is to recognize anxiety for what it is—the opposite of peace. It is the fan that flames the fires of doubt and confusion, and it has the ability to leave us helplessly bundled up in worry and fear. When we cave into thoughts of anxiety, we lose our spiritual focus and mindset. The key to overcoming anxiety is found only in the presence of God.
Paul admonishes us: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6, 7).
Accepting God’s timetable and the limitations He places on a given situation help to dispel rising anxiety. Therefore, let Him provide for you in His timing. When you accept life as a gift from the hand of God, then you will do what Helen Lemmel’s song says—you will turn your eyes toward Jesus. You will look full into His glorious face and there find mercy and grace, forgiveness and hope, peace and everlasting security.
What would you give to experience the peace of God? Are you willing to lay down the anger that haunts your soul because someone has done something to wound you? God knows the hurt you have experienced. Will you trust Him in quietness, knowing He has not forgotten you but stands ready to heal you?
God’s peace is unshakable because there has never been a time or an event when God has felt disturbed. His peace and presence are sure. They are immovable. You will accomplish many things—great and mighty—when you keep your focus on God.
At one of the most difficult points in his life, David wrote Psalm 57, which begins: “Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by. I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth” (vv. 1–3).
How could David write such trusting words, especially with King Saul trying to kill him? David had a divine, unshakable peace within his heart that God would protect his life and fulfill His promises to him.
The safest place for you when trials come is in the everlasting arms of Jesus. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and said to them, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). This was not a trite greeting; the Lord had a specific purpose in mind. He spoke of God’s peace, immovable and eternal—the peace He had paid for on the cross (John 14:27; Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:13–16)—the peace you need today.
Does something trouble you? Has a conflict, sorrow, or situation escalated beyond your control? Hear His word to you: “Peace be with you.”
Let His peace invade your heart. Tell Him all you are feeling. He understands and knows life can be difficult—but He has a solution. Our peace resides in our Savior, who loves us unconditionally. He has promised to keep us and deliver us into the Father’s loving arms.
Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.