How to find peace in a troubled world
What does the Bible say to those of us who are worried?
We live in a world that’s full of war, fighting, and turmoil. It doesn’t take much to see that people are hurting, filled with anxiety and lack of hope. Even among God’s people, we see our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world being persecuted for their faith. Is it even possible to find peace in such a world? Christians believe the answer to that is “yes.”
In the Gospel of John, Jesus has this to say to His followers...
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33, NIV).
Jesus knew that after He returned to the Father, those who followed Him were going to face many trials and persecutions, and so He encouraged them to find peace in him.
Often in life, we try to find peace and comfort in all sorts of things, whether it’s in our friends, family, sports, technology, food, or popularity. But nothing will satisfy us and give us the kind of peace that Jesus promises.
People let us down. Things fail and go wrong. The world with all that’s in it is only temporary. But God never leaves us nor forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:5). God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to save us from a life full of sin and death and to provide us with abundant life—a life that can only come through a relationship with God (Jn 17:3).
Dealing with worry and anxiety
There’s going to be times in life when we find ourselves full of anxiety and worry. But that’s not what God wants for us (Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:6). He wants us to have peace. So what do we do when we find ourselves worrying or being anxious?
Paul, one of Jesus’s followers, gives us some steps for dealing with anxiety (Philippians 4:4-13):
- Rejoice in the Lord (Phil 4:4)
- Be thankful (Phil 4:6)
- Take your requests to God (Phil 4:6)
- Change our thinking (Phil 4:8)
- Learn to be content (Phil 4:11-12)
- Get our strength from Jesus (Phil 4:13)
If anybody had reason to worry, it was Paul. When he wrote this letter to the Philippians, he was in a Roman jail because of his faith in Jesus. Paul encouraged the Philippians to follow his example. He found his peace in Jesus. He knew that even in his darkest time while in prison, Christ was there with him and gave him the strength that he needed (2 Timothy 4:16-18).
How you can have a more peace-filled life
Now that we’ve considered what the Bible has to say about peace, and now that we’ve looked at some steps for dealing with anxiety, how do we begin to develop the virtue of peace in our lives? Here are some steps to consider:
- Read through and reflect on Philippians 4 this week
- Be aware of things that you are tempted to find peace in (people, hobbies, technology, food, popularity etc)
- Ask God to show you areas that are full of worry and anxiety
- Begin practicing the above steps from Philppians for dealing with anxiety in your lives
- Create a list of things you’re thankful for.
- If you’ve been finding peace in things other than God, or if you find yourself filled with worry or anxiety, you may need to take one further step: Confess to God areas of false peace, worry, or anxiety in your life
When we trust in God for our peace, it goes beyond anything we can imagine. God’s peace will protect us and keep us strong in Him (Phil 4:7).
Note: If your anxiety is more than just worry, and leads to feelings of panic & lack of control, consult a medical professional, as you may have symptoms of anxiety disorder.