When life is predictable, we erroneously assume that we are in control. However, we can become unhinged very quickly when the unexpected happens and our illusion of control is compromised.
There is no shortage of situations that warrant our prayers. In part, John 16:33 says “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” From personal issues to community concerns to global news stories, we are bombarded daily by events which motivate us to seek God – either to express appreciation, register a complaint, or make a request.
The Lord is always available. He wants us to cultivate a rich and intimate relationship with Him. When we are fixated on the troubles of life, it hinders communication with our Creator. The enemy knows our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. He seeks to exploit every fear or concern he senses, amplifying stress to full-blown worry, fear, anxiety, or depression. The enemy doesn’t care about your feelings. He just wants you distracted and disillusioned. You cannot receive fresh revelation when the “Woe is me” tune is playing in your mind on full blast in heavy rotation. We must train ourselves to release every anxious or self-defeating thought to the Lord. He can handle those thoughts. We cannot. 1 Peter 5:7 says to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
The enemy wants you to view troubling situations through a warped lens that makes your problem appear larger than the God you serve. You cannot serve what you don’t trust. Trusting God is easy when life is easy. When life throws you a curveball, you can immediately discern your true trust source. We often confuse prosperity with peace. Psalm 29:11 says “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”
A successful career, beautiful residence, extensive bank account, or fine automobile may provide a sense of security or prosperity, but only God can bless you with a sense of peace. Peace comes from God because peace IS God. Peace is the very presence of God. John 14:27 says “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.” When you are blessed with God’s peace, you can withstand situations that could otherwise destroy you.
Peace is often compared to rivers because just like life, a river’s path is meandering, taking on a series of twists and turns. Yet, the river continues to flow in one direction while enhancing life for everything around it. When we release worry, fear, anxiety, and depression we make room for God’s joy, comfort, hope, and peace. We become receptive to God’s flow and enhance the lives of everyone around us. Philippians 4:7 says “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”