We’re all troubled! Whether it’s something we’ve read in the news, something that’s happening in our personal lives or in the life of a loved one, not a single day goes by without a genuine reason for our souls to be anxious, concerned or worried.
Anxiety affects our minds and our moods, making us less productive and generally stealing our happiness. Ironically, as a result our bodies also suffer, giving us even more reason to be troubled.
Have you ever stopped to think that being “troubled” may not simply be an automatic response to your surroundings or circumstances, but a choice that you make? And if so, could it be that without your circumstances changing one bit, you could be at perfect peace?
Jesus told us plainly in John 14:1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
Forgive me for stating the obvious here, but if Jesus said, “do not let your hearts be troubled”, then it must be possible to not let your heart be troubled! I know what you’re thinking – it’s a lot easier said than done, right?! But the first thing you have to believe is that you have the choice.
Jesus doesn’t leave us with this one-liner and expect us to work the rest out by ourselves. In John 16:33 he says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We make a mistake when we think we can’t have peace until our circumstances change. The fact is (and Jesus said it himself) that in this world we will have trouble – there’s no escaping it! But these 6 words offer hope, “in me you may have peace”.
There’s only one place that perfect peace can be found and it’s in Jesus Himself. No matter how ferocious your storm, His peace is perfect because He is forever perfect and constant because He never changes. Even if a measure of peace comes from your circumstances, it will not last very long. Consistent peace can only come from the One who is the same yesterday, today and forever and has promised never to leave you nor forsake you.
If you know your heart has been troubled and you’ve been waiting for peace to come from your circumstances, stop right now. Take your eyes off your circumstances and fix them upon Jesus. He’s calling you to Himself right now with these words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29).
Prayer: Father God, I thank you that your peace that passes understanding is available for me right now. I’m sorry for allowing myself to be swept away with anxiety and worry by the circumstances that I am facing. I thank you that you know exactly what I’m going through and that even if the storm continues to rage all around me, you are able to calm the storm in me. I want to choose right now to forgive those who are making life difficult for me (take a moment to work through this) and to say sorry to you for my own thoughts, words and actions that have not been right. Jesus, I am choosing to put my whole trust in you, to hand all my burdens over to you and to receive your perfect peace in this moment. Would your peace that passes understanding guard my heart and mind today and every day of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bonus scripture: You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3