How can do you protect your peace when you live in a broken world?
It’s been heartbreaking, watching all the sad happenings in the world lately.
Recently, The New York Daily News, a top-circulating news paper ecently splashed the headline “God Isn’t Fixing This” after the horrific California mass shooting early this month.
The headline was a response to “our thoughts and prayers are with you” Tweets from top political leaders.
Sadly, the idea that God has left the world to fend for itself is not limited to secular media. Many Christians are wondering the same thing, albeit not as loudly.
(Ps. Apparently the newspaper wasn’t trying to slam prayers, rather asking leaders to do more)
Seeking a safe place
This week as I worked out at the gym, I found myself scanning for the Exits.
I’ve never done that before; riding the bike while thinking about my husband working out in the weight room, calculating how fast I could get to him (and vice versa, how fast he could access me) in case of an emergency.
There’s nothing wrong with knowing where the Exits are located.
But it’s strange to walk into a gym or stroll in a mall or go to the movies and strategize for worst case scenarios.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think it was always like that.
Before my husband and I moved to America and even with the “first world problems” we saw on TV, I still thought America was one of the safest places on earth.
And it is, to a huge degree, compared to other places.
But I have learned in the last couple of years that the horror and brokenness of the world is no longer contained in geographic locations.
There is only one safe place to be and that is IN Jesus.
As I have thought and prayed, God has reminded me of these three things.
To protect your peace in a world wracked in pain and strife, we must do these 3 things;
1. Protect your peace by soaking yourself with the Word of God, not with negative news
With all the negative news and “expert” but grim opinion soaking the airwaves, it’s easy to begin to lose all peace and hope.
But Jesus said
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10 Amp.
Jesus did not say
“..I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows] unless there’s terrorism and shootings.
No, He came to give us life, regardless/in spite of everything we face in the world, life or marriage.
God is more than able to keep you in peace but you must intentionally choose to abide in Him through feeding on His Word and meditating on what He says.
You can’t feed on a constant stream of negative news and keep a hope-filled peaceful outlook.
2. Remember, even in darkness, the light still shines.
“You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.” 2 Samuel 22:29
Apostle John wrote
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
God rebuked me the other day.
I was fretting and worrying and He said to me
The reason you are worried is because the bad news have upset your hope for a comfortable future.
It’s so easy for me, and I believe for many of us, to make this world our home, so much that we grow indignant at people who threaten “our future”.
We are mad at them because they are messing with our long-term earthly plans.
So my prayer has changed. I am praying
“If the darkness and terror will force people to see their need for a Savior, so be it Lord. If the mass exodus of people from their home countries will take them to other places where they can hear the gospel, so be it. And forgive me, Lord. Get the world out of me, help me remember why I am here”
Christ cannot be overcome by darkness. And because He lives in you, darkness cannot overcome you.
To protect your peace, remember God is not trying to win this war, He has already won! While the world may look like it’s falling to pieces, God has not left us.
Yes there are questions we can’t answer, pains and sorrows we can’t soothe.
That’s why the world desperately needs the Prince of Peace!
Which brings me to last point
3. To protect your peace, remember you are God’s ambassador of peace.
I love the lyrics to this song by Matthew West
I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”
The song reminds me; I am on earth for something. It might sound cliche, but there’s no truer statement in this day.
Christ lives in you and me. The Prince of Peace, God with us, lives in us. Therefore we have the capacity to speak peace, walk in peace, promote peace wherever we go.
Wherever you are, Jesus is. The Bible calls us Ambassadors of God. Therefore our conduct must line up to our title and calling.
You will never see a foreign ambassador, from another nation embroiled in the affairs and issues in the country of his posting.
Ambassadors represent the interests of their country of origin.
We are citizens of heaven with an appointment on earth. I am not saying we should not speak or get involved in the world, government, law or policy.
I am saying we should not be so engaged with debates and matters of this world that we forget whose we are, and why we are here in the first place.
It doesn’t matter what you believe or whose side you are on, whether you like to shoot guns or despise them, whether you are Republican or Democrat.
You are first and foremost a child of the most high God, a representative of heaven.
Your words must be words of peace, not bitterness, divisiveness, anger or rage.
As humans we’ll obviously have our own opinions and feelings. But we must ask God to capture our hearts so that whatever pours out of our mouths brings healing, peace, reconciliation, love, hope.
We must ask God to help our lights shine brighter and stay about His business. We must be so sold-out to Jesus that we are no longer scared of death or hardship.
My prayer, and I pray yours too, is to be about my Father’s business. To live poured out that by the time He takes me home, I have nothing left.
I am not there yet, to be honest. I feel like I hold back a lot and can be a better Ambassador.
But I keep putting one foot in front of the other, I keep moving, keep obeying. I keep praying, keep loving, keep doing what He tells me to. I hope you do the same.
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
Question – Are you distressed and concerned by the things happening in the world? How are you protecting your peace and keeping hope alive? Let’s talk in comments!