Today’s post is a guest post by Cathy Canen. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me. Hugs! Katie
If anyone else had said this, we’d laugh, but Jesus said it:
“In Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trials and tribulations, but take heart:
I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
How to Have Peace During Trials
Peace and trials. They’re like oil and water.
Doing without trials and trouble would be nice. We could understand peace like that. Life without hassles and traffic and the day-to-day things that weigh on us could make peace attainable any time. And why shouldn’t we expect it? Jesus calmed storms and supplied tax money and fed people on next to nothing, so we have a Scriptural model for thinking that Christ could just make our trials go away. But Jesus spoke of a peace that can happen when He doesn’t remove our problems. In fact, He taught that His peace thrives in a context of difficulty. How can this be?
Aren’t Peace and Trials Opposite Things?
During Hurricane Matthew, I saw an interview with a pilot that flies into storms to gather data. On these missions he has to keep the plane steady, or, you can imagine the consequences.
Peace happens like that. Being “in Christ” means that Christ is our atmosphere, so we should position ourselves to abide in Him – even in the very real presence of conflict, danger, uncertainty, and perilous instability.
Distractions still come though, and that’s when peace is threatened. Even good things can distract us – joys and love and pleasant work, and the things that fulfill us in our callings. But when we move from our abiding in Christ, our Mighty Fortress, when we are called out by distraction we are in danger of double-loyalty, loyalty to Christ and other things. We’ll never find or maintain peace that way. Christ is all, and all things are held together in Him. When we get that one relationship right everything else is under His management.
As Lord of our lives, Christ wards off things that are beyond our ability to withstand, but then He allows things in which challenge His peace. He doesn’t always send those troubles away, but He does limit their strength and fulfills the Word that has gone into us. He quiets us and brings us confidence that the world can’t give, so we find our peace the way Mary did: by being still, and shaking off the “trouble about many things” so we can hear Him. We have peace knowing that all other things fall under His Lordship and purposes.
Peace During Trials is Possible
Peace is certainly possible, but sometimes we don’t maintain it because the world is so quick to challenge it. Sometimes it wins. The world conquers me when it draws me away from God and makes me fear, when it makes me its slave, when it tempts me to trust its ways and makes me despair if I lose something.
The world takes my peace when it comes between me and God, when it fills my desires, when it absorbs my energy and when it blinds me to the unseen things. I conquer the world in the name of the Prince of Peace when I put my foot on its temptations, I crush it down, I shake off its bonds, and when I let nothing keep me from abiding in the presence of the Lord.
Bless the Lord, we who are His will continue in the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we are His and abide in Him, peace is not only possible, it is one of the branding marks on our lives – and one of the believer’s greatest testimonies to a world that cannot help but know it.
Cathy Canen lives in Northeast Georgia. She blogs at Kids Get Research, Teaching Kids To Learn For Themselves. Cathy blogs about homeschooling, invisible illness, and practical Christianity.