"Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means (in every way). The Lord be with you all...The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." II Thessalonians 3:16,18
Our country has been in state of unrest for as long as I can remember, but it seems things have heated up in the last 10 months or so. We have endured a tumultuous and heavily debated election, and people were divided by the left and the right and those who did not agree with either side. We have seen attacks on police officers, attacks in the streets, and even attacks against the church. We can see the tide turning in our country, and the divide seems greater that it ever has before. The press has not helped bring about unity because of how they have reported the news. We have come to learn that we cannot trust the news in any form of media, and no one walks away from watching or reading the news and feels like they are at peace. The world is full of trouble and many seek peace in a political party or a cause, but there is no peace that this world can offer. John 14:27 states, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." If we have come to know anything in our day and age, we have come to know for a fact that this world does not give peace. Jesus told His disciples long ago that there was no peace in this world, and surely there is no peace like only God can give.
I grew up in cul de sac from the age of 4 to the age of 13, and we had a huge backyard that opened up to an alley. We had a chain link fence that you could see through and a big flood light that illuminated the yard. We had a basic screen door on our front door, which was nothing like the security screen doors you often see on houses today. Our neighborhood was not crime ridden per se, but it was not devoid of crime either. We had a drunk driver hit my basketball court late one night, and I once spotted some criminals trying to escape the police while I sat in our neighbor's tree. Although I did not feel unsafe playing around the house, my mind often played tricks on me when the night grew dark and it was time for me to go to bed.
I would often hear noises in the middle of the night, and I am not sure if they were real noises or simply noises my mind imagined. I would sometimes think people were trying to break in, although there was no evidence of such. My dad's truck was broken into and they stole his speakers, but I don't recall our house ever been broken into. I remember at times hearing noises, and laying still in my bed scared to move and scared to look out my window. I did not want to get up and bother my parents, so I lay there in my bed hoping to just fall asleep. Sleep would inevitably come and soon the morning would arrive, and I would forget about what I was worried about. The sun rising brought about a new day, and it was as if every dark corner from the night before was now illuminated by the brightness of the Arizona sun. I was no longer fearful, and I was at peace unlike how I was the night before.
There were times when the sun did not come up soon enough for me, and I was so scared that I went to my parent's bed to seek help. I remember laying on my dad's chest or sleeping in the middle between them. The noises of the night went silent and my soul was no longer noisy as I lay there without a care in the world. I will say I no longer hear the noises of the night, but I still experience things in my life that make my soul noisy. The pressure of work, the burden of home, the people who depend on you, and the news of this world does not do much to bring peace to my life. Many times we seek peace in things of this world and it only serves to bring about more chaos and unrest and there is no peace to be found. I can no longer walk down the hall to sleep on my dad's chest or ask my mom if I can sleep in the middle. The unrest of this world can only be combated with the truth of God's Word and resting in the peace that only He can give.
John 16:33 states, "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 tells us we will have troubles in this world, but the troubles of this world are not able to take away our peace. God has already overcome the world and did it in a victorious way when He rose the third day and gave us the hope of the gospel. We will find unrest in this world, but we will find peace in Him. Paul and Silas were in jail in dire conditions, but they had the peace of God that even beatings and imprisonment could not take away from them.
What about you? Do you bite your nails while watching or reading the news? Have you placed your hopes and dreams in this world, or have you placed your hope in the God of peace? God is sovereign and knows what tomorrow will bring, and He is the same God of tomorrow as He is the God of today. May we find rest and peace in our God no matter what may come. The disciples were in the midst of the stormy sea and were sore afraid, but the sea was calmed by Jesus saying, "Peace be still." May "the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way", and may we seek Him for the peace our soul desires.
Stay in the fight!