By Ann Stevens
So, how do we find peace? A quick search of Amazon books on the subject of peace generates more than 50,000 results. Needless to say, advice on the topic is prolific. Where do you even start?
Through the years, I’ve found peace in one place. Guess where? It has not been by looking to the government, the bank account, other people, entertainment, sports, getting fit, etc. For me, these have been short term solutions at best.
In 1984, when my mother-in-law Janet Stevens died of cancer at the young age of 49, I was privileged to see first-hand the peace that Mel my father-in-law experienced. Just after God took his beloved wife home, Mel stood by the hospital window looking out on a black wintry morning sky filled with softly falling snowflakes, spread out his hands to God and spoke out he and Janet’s marriage verses from Psalm 34, “I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of His glories and grace. Let us praise the Lord together and exalt his name.” Mel believed that if it was good enough to praise God in the easy times, then it was good enough to praise Him in hard times. Based on his own life-long walk of trusting God and experiencing His peace, Mel’s dad Allin reminded him, “Mel, if a man has peace, he has everything.”
Like Mel, I have discovered that the one unfailing way to live at peace no matter what the circumstances is to focus on God through the truth of His Word. In early April, when COVID-19 related issues were taking a toll on my peace, a life-long friend mentioned Psalm 91. I looked it up on Bible Gateway, printed it out (in large print!), and began to ask God to help me make it my focus of morning walks. Over the days of memorizing, reviewing, and praying that God would help me to fulfill the IF condition that He would come through with the THEN result, I had tremendous peace. For example, IF we dwell (live) in Him, trust Him and hold fast to Him in love (among other things), THEN He is our refuge, safe place, will hear and answer us when we call to Him, be with us in trouble, rescue and honour us, deliver us, protect us, shelter us, guard us, satisfy us with long life and show us His salvation.
Reading through what I got out of it won’t do you much good though, unless you replace your worries with God’s truth. So, like my friend kindly encouraged me, I encourage you to memorize and meditate on Psalm 91. Ask God to help you with it, to give you His peace, and to remind you to “dwell” in His shelter when the howling winds of circumstance threaten.
“You (God) keep them in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because they trust in You.” Isaiah 26:3
May God help you to focus your thoughts on Him, to trust Him, and give you His perfect peace that passes all understanding regardless of circumstances. (Philippians 4:6,7)