The way things are lining up these days in the world, many people are concerned about peace. It’s true – we do need peace for troubled times. But – things as they are – what does that look like? So – today we are talking about Peace For Troubled Times.
History and Peace
For centuries, people have yearned for world peace. Wars, conquests, dictatorships, brutalities, ethnic cleansings. These have robbed earth’s citizens of peace over the centuries. This has been our sad story. People of many countries have worked hard to establish, re-establish, and secure peace between nations – and in their own homeland.
The last several decades, it has become popular to openly express the wish for world peace – from presidential candidates to contest finalists to the neighbor next door. And probably you.
How noteworthy that world peace has been God’s agenda from the beginning. World peace was already in place at the inception of all things. A lot has happened since then. We read concerning headlines from far away and from our homelands. Where is peace for troubled times now?
People Also Need . . .
Enduring these troubled times has almost become “a normal day.” Still, we wonder what is going to happen. Hearts start to fear. Anxiety grows. The yearning for peace is still strong. But we can’t guarantee global outcomes. And that leaves people often feeling helpless.
Earth’s citizens also need comfort, justice, and intervention. Why? Well, to simplify – maybe oversimplify – life is filled with troubles and trials. People need help and often don’t have resources needed as they suffer. So what can be done? We often look to governing bodies to provide these resources. But even resources become scarce when there is no peace.
The question still remains – can you have personal peace in these times despite world-wide tensions? There is something available, even in troubled times.
Peace For Troubled Times
God’s peace is a result of His grace – that wonderful universal constant. Grace makes peace possible even in a broken world. The eternal principles God put into motion in the beginning are still applicable, practical, and valuable. We’re not limited to governing bodies to provide resources. God gives personally and generously, individually and collectively – to anyone who believes Him. His system still works. God’s grace is very real.
Of course, God uses governments, organizations, and individuals. But He’s not limited by them.
One day when Jesus returns, He will make all things right. He will restore peace everywhere like it was in the beginning. But during these troubled times, we yearn for and wait for God’s peace even as we receive His grace.
Earlier, we asked – where is peace for our troubled times now? Let’s explore.
Where Is Peace?
Even though God is often falsely accused, His name spoken disrespectfully, His character slandered – what’s His response? The cross. Grace. Patience. Peace. He is a very generous person.
Anyone who trusts God can receive His grace, peace, and presence despite sufferings. It’s available, but only yours if you claim it. So, I’m saying peace is a gift – just what we need for troubled times.
Why not trust God for His powerful grace – and get peace, too? Are you willing to step up and help provide comfort, justice, and intervention to others?
God loves you so much. Jesus said, “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.” (Jn. 14:27)
Jesus is addressing the state of your heart. He doesn’t want your heart to be troubled. He is also addressing your enemy – fear – with a guarantee you can overcome it!
In all the tangled issues people must navigate each day, God is patient and faithful. He takes your hand, if you are willing, and walks you through confusion, injustices, and troubles. God helps you. He refreshes your soul and renews your spirit. Even if issues have not yet been made right.
You Can Have Peace
Why not accept God’s peace in the middle of your difficulties? Embrace His peace now. It’s a faith choice, not a feeling. Believe He will make all things right, if not now, then one day.
God sees your troubles. He “is close to the broken-hearted and saves all those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:18) God promises to pay back everyone who works against you as you stay close to Him. Plant yourself deep in God’s heart of grace by simple faith, and you will find peace. Justice comes in His timing.
God wants to come close to you, and He wants you close to Him. (Jas. 4:8)
An excellent resource about peace is The Peace Hand. The simple tool of your own hand helps you grab onto peace quickly. Ask yourself 5 questions by assigning 1 question to each of your 5 fingers. This is such a practical way to renew your peace. Let’s look briefly at these 5 questions from The Peace Hand.
This is the question you affiliate with your little finger – “Tiny Tim.” You ask yourself some questions. Then you need to answer them honestly.
- In my current situation, is God able to bring about His good?
- Am I willing to let His good look differently than I had in mind?
- Does God have solutions for my situation?
- Can I truly expect His interventions and help?
- Is His strength and provision enough?
- What about His miracles and promises? Do they actually work?
2. Does God know?
This is the question you connect with your number four finger – “Reuben Ring.” It’s important and comforting that a loving God knows and deeply cares about each individual life circumstance. Still, you must ask more questions to get answers:
- Is God aware of my suffering?
- Can He see me struggling?
- Can He see I’m at my wits end, and I don’t know what to do next or where to turn?
- What does it matter that He sees what I cannot?
Get “Toby Tall” – your tall middle finger ready for a question. Now, this question will help you define your theology a bit more. What do you really believe about God and you? More “defining questions” to reveal “defining answers” that shape your relationship with God. Here we go.
- If God can see and knows what is going on – and if He is able – why is it not changing?
- Does God even care about what is going on in my life?
- Are the details of my world important to Him?
- Am I truly valuable to God?
- What does that look like from God’s perspective?
4. Can I trust God?
This question gets paired with your “Peter Pointer” finger. He’s a pretty main guy on your hand . . . and this is a pretty main question you must come to terms with if you will ever enjoy God’s gift of personal peace. More questions for you to answer:
- There have been so many others I thought I could trust, and . . . . well. . . . it didn’t turn out very good. How do I know I can really trust God to do good things in my life?
- Do I believe His promises in Scripture are for me?
- Am I willing to take those words He spoke and apply them to the very situation I’m in now?
- Do I choose – here and now – to trust God?
- Is it possible God could screw my life up?
5. Am I obeying?
Here is your “Tom Thumb” question. If you didn’t have a thumb, you’d lose your grip pretty quickly. Same for this thumb question. If you don’t have this one answered, you will lose your grip in life. Why? Because obedience must follow faith, and faith always follows Jesus if you want personal peace.
Here are a few more excellent questions you need to answer:
- Will I obey God even if I can’t see and don’t understand?
- To the best of my understanding and ability, am I willingly obeying God?
- Have I done all I know to ensure I am pleasing God in my thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions?
- Is it more important to me to please Jesus Christ than to have life look the way I wanted?
- Do you believe God is faithful?
- How will you be faithful back?
- What action steps will you take to align your thoughts, words, attitudes, and actions with His peace?
- Are you living in God’s peace today?
- Are you enjoying His grace even in your sufferings?
- What are you doing to pass God’s peace and grace to others?
- What practical thing will you do today to help someone who needs resources of comfort, justice, and intervention?
Material partially taken from the Bible study book – More E-pistles For An i-Generation, L. 68. Great tool covering Paul’s letters for your daily devotional time.
* The Peace Hand is adapted from: McDougall, Colin. Models for Disciple-Makers. Robbinsville: Eternal Truth Ministries, 2002