The faith and love of the Lord exhibited by Paul never ceases to amaze me. No matter if he endured beatings, persecution, imprisonment, or a shipwreck, he never gave up. Nor did he give in to anxiety or despair. Does it mean he didn’t have those feelings, even for a brief minute? Of course not. For Paul, like us, always battled his human nature. But because of his close, personal, relationship with God, Paul experienced a peace beyond human understanding. And we can too.
Anxiety and worry go hand in hand with life. Especially as the days grow darker. But that doesn’t mean we have to stay trapped in the swirling cyclone of turmoil. We have a choice. But unfortunately some people get so used to being surrounded by anxiety and drama, without it they feel incomplete. And sadder still, some even thrive on it. But that’s no way for Christians to live. Because God wants to fill every area of our hearts, minds, and lives, with His perfect peace.
First we need to believe in our minds that God is the Author of peace. Next we need to believe in our hearts that He will overflow us with that peace. And we do that by following Paul’s example of prayers and thanksgivings. How do we learn to pray and give thanks? By spending time in God’s Word, and applying His promises to our lives. For as we grow in our understanding of the overwhelming love our Heavenly Father has for His children, our minds can find the peace they so desperately crave. And our hearts can’t help but burst with thankfulness for all God is and does.
As long we the earth is our home, we will encounter situations that will test our faith, and attempt to rattle our peace. But remembering that nothing happens without God’s say so, and He uses all things for our good, gives us a peace that transcends human understanding. I love the analogy of living in peace being like the petals of a flower unfolding in the morning sunlight. Our petals of peace open as we learn more about God. And as we soak in the sunshine of His perfect love, our petals blossom in His warmth and goodness.