You don't have to look at or listen to the news long to realize that our nation and our world have some serious challenges ahead. They concern us because they threaten the quality of life we have come to know and love. The question is, how can we have peace in a world as turbulent as ours?
During His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said these words to the multitudes: "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink: or about your body, what you will wear" (Matthew 6:25). I believe that many people today would have difficulty obeying what Jesus says here. That's because these basic needs-food, water, and clothing-are among those things that many people today do worry about daily. In fact, if it were not for food stamps, homeless shelters, charities and the like, many Americans today would literally starve to death.
So how can we possibly live in this world of uncertainties, under all the pressures of life, and not live in worry and anxiety? Well, first let's talk about what causes anxiety and worry. They result when we face challenges in life that overwhelm us and we can't figure how to bring them under control. You see, as long as we have everything running smoothly, we have peace. But it's when things come off the rail and we can't get them back on track that we experience anxiety and worry.
So let me share with you a couple of pointers on how to have the peace of God in your life. First, the Bible says that God will keep those in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). So to realize perfect peace, we must do those things that help us to keep our minds on Him. These include coming to church to hear the Word of God, personal Bible study, listening to and viewing Christian content on the Internet, TV, radio, etc. We must do these things in lieu of abiding in empty, worldly environments and listening to the local and national news all day long.
Secondly, to have the peace of God the Bible says, "Do not anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV). This passage, written by Paul the apostle, echoes what Jesus said earlier. We are to be anxious about nothing. When we obey God in this regard and simply make our requests known to Him, He gives us supernatural peace.
God wants us to make wise decisions in life. He wants us to do smart planning for the future. But He does not want us to worry. He is our heavenly Father, and He promises to take care of us completely. When we truly believe that, His peace will fill our lives.