I originally wrote the following devotional in the late 1990s and included it in my book, “Dare to Call Him Friend” in 2016. Five years later, I am convicted by my own words. I must choose peace, now more than ever. Although I was intelligent enough to know that the mere turning of the calendar year from 2020 to 2021 would not make much of a difference in my world, I didn’t realise just how weary I had become. I had slipped into the dangerous habit of looking at outward circumstances as either accelerants or retardants of my inner peace. Sidenote: Little did I know in 2016 what 2020 would look like! However, I stand by God’s word and His truth. What held true in relatively tranquil times, holds true today.
“My hope is found on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” – Edward Mote
I am blessed to live in a nation that has not seen the ravages of war on its soil for hundreds of years. There is no famine, plague, or pestilence anywhere close to me. I know of no present enemies who wish to do me physical harm or know of any threats against my life. I still have the freedom to speak my mind, share my thoughts, and practice my faith openly. As a woman, there are no restrictions on where I can walk and what I can wear. I live in a secure high-rise building in a relatively safe neighbourhood. I have access to quality health care and an abundance of nourishing food and clean water. As I have witnessed the ravages of third- world poverty first-hand, I know that I am blessed, and I give thanks to the Lord for his mercy over me.
To my shame, even in the midst of the incredible security God has provided me, I often slip into the turmoil of anxious thoughts. My mind races to the ‘what-ifs’ of an unknown future as a single woman who lives on a disability pension. “What if I end up forgotten in a state-run nursing home? What if I fall at home? What if I lose my pension? What if? What if?”
Like it or not, I have a decision to make.
I fret when loved ones are pulled deeper into addictions, mental illness, and spirit-breaking debt. When I scan the headlines and read of wars and rumours of wars, (Matthew 24:6), my imagination paints the worst-case scenario. I wonder how soon the trickles of opposition Christians presently experience will become rushing rivers of persecution. Yes, if I allow these thoughts free rein, they take me to anywhere but peaceful waters.
The world’s definition of peace is:
▪ The absence of war or other hostilities.
▪ An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities.
▪ Freedom from quarrels and disagreement.
▪ Harmonious relations.
▪ Public security and order.
God’s peace is not dependent on my outer circumstances. His peace doesn’t leave when the world storms against me. God’s peace doesn’t require everyone to be in perfect agreement with me. God’s peace doesn’t depend on everyone liking me. If anything, God’s supply of peace increases exponentially during times of adversity. However, if I am to draw upon His great supply, I must allow His peace to rule in me. I can only do so by removing fear and anxiety from the throne of my heart. I must leave the ‘what ifs’ of tomorrow to His care.
John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Colossians 3:15 – “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
2 Corinthians 13:11b – “Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Choose peace or choose anxiety – One takes self-discipline, the other takes a devastating toll
He leaves the decision to me. I can choose to dwell in His peace, or I can choose to dwell in my anxiety. The peace and assurance that accompanied the martyrs of old is the same peace and assurance He offers me today.
Choose to find peace in this truth: Ephesians 1:20-22 – “He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet” (Emphasis Mine)
“No matter what your world looks like, no matter what chaos is going on, no matter what governmental situations, we know that the Lord Jesus is on His throne, and He rules and He reigns.” Rich Schmidt
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Until Next Week,
©2016, ©2021 Katherine Walden