Experiencing God’s peace in the storms of life
Here’re four steps that will help you experience God’s peace in the storms of your life.
This post comes from Philip Nunn who lives in The Netherlands.
Jesus told His disciples, “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” (Jn. 14:27NIV). In this world we only have peace after the storm (or difficulty) is over. But Jesus can give us peace while we are in the middle of storms and difficulties! For example, Paul and Silas sang songs of joy while they were imprisoned (Acts 16:25). Although it was cold and wet and dark, they were singing praises to the Lord. They enjoyed God’s peace in an adverse situation.
How can we experience God’s peace in our situation today? In our storms of life (or difficulties). In Philippians 4:4-8 Paul gives four steps which are the secrets of experiencing that peace in the middle of the storms of life.
Step 1: Look upwards
He begins with, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (v.4). This message is important – it’s repeated! When we are in difficulties we tend to focus on ourselves; on our pain; on our difficulties; and on the negative aspects of our situation. Instead we are to focus on the Lord Himself. For example, while Peter had his eyes fixed on Jesus, he could walk on the water (Mt. 14:28-30). But when he looked elsewhere, he began to sink. The lesson is to fix our eyes on Jesus. Look upwards.
Step 2: Ask
Then, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (v.6). Here we are encouraged to ask God about our problems. Be specific. Present your requests to God with an attitude of thanksgiving. Learn to hand them over to Him. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence” (Heb. 4:16).
Step 3: Receive
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (v.7). There’s a peace that surpasses our understanding. You can’t explain it logically. It’s not linked to the circumstances. We also need to receive this peace of God. We need to let that peace reign in our heart. We’ve asked and handed it over, and now we enjoy this God-given peace.
Step 4: Think about God’s blessings
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (v.8). Finally, think about positive things. On good things. On God’s blessings. On God’s word [the Bible]. On God’s promises. We have a tendency to focus on the negative. Don’t think of the things we lack, but on the things we have. Remember God’s faithfulness to us in our lives in the past. Meditate on anything that is good and positive. The beauty of God’s creation. Things that help us praise and thank the Lord.
These are Paul’s instructions to help us experience God’s peace in the storms of our life. They are to: “Look upwards”, “Ask”, “Receive”, and “Think about God’s blessings”. May we follow these to experience God’s peace in the storms of life.
This post is based on a video made by Philip Nunn from Eindhoven in The Netherlands.
Posted, June 2020