Finding Peace in Chaos
Can I be honest with you? I feel like I have been on an emotional roller coaster lately. I started strong but as the days drag on and the uncertainty lingers, I found myself unable to find peace in chaos.
Maybe I would be processing things better if I were just dealing with the difficulties of living during a pandemic. But, like many of us, I have a lot of other stressors that steal my peace.
For example, my only daughter is graduating High School and leaving for college in a few short months. She’s our third of four children, and the emptier the nest gets the harder it is for my heart to stay settled.
There has been spiritual warfare, changes in my role and responsibilities in motherhood and ministry. And stress coupled with lack of sleep, increases the chronic pain I suffer with daily. I’d like to say that I’ve handled it like a champ, but the truth is that lately… I have been a hot mess.
Progress NOT Perfection
The condemnation from the enemy doesn’t help matters either. After all, I’m a pastor’s wife, and a Bible teacher for heaven’s sake, shouldn’t I have it all together?
Well of course not. I’m human. I have hormones and a hectic life, and my flesh gets the best of me sometimes. It happens. Praise the Lord for His mercy and grace!
The enemy would like for me to think that perfection is attainable and depression is evidence of a lack of faith. But, the devil is a liar. So I’ve decided to get off the roller coaster and put to practice what I already know to be true.
I need to be sober and walk in the Spirit, so that means I have to remember to pray and proclaim God’s word to find peace in the chaos surrounding me.
“There will be no peace in any soul until it is willing to OBEY the voice of God.” ~ D.L. Moody
Remember to Pray for Peace in Chaos
Prayer can often be an afterthought, a last-ditch effort to see a turnaround in a stressful situation, but God wants prayer to be our first instinct. The Bible says that “ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2), so if the chaos in our lives is causing inner turmoil, we need to pray.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing. That verse is only three little words, but it informs us of our duty to lift our cares to the Lord continually, diligently, and faithfully.
Prayer moves us out of self-sufficiency into dependency on God alone to bring peace in the storms of this life. It invites the Lord into our daily drama.
1 Peter 5:7~ Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…
Prayer is a vital component of walking in the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter and is the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17; 15:26). He helps to calm the storm and end the war of emotions raging within us.
The Comforter teaches us all things and brings the word of God back to our remembrance exactly when we need it (John 14:26-27). Peace is the fruit of His presence and power within us (Galatians 5:22-23), and just like peace is the opposite of chaos, the Spirit is the antonym of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17). So the absence of serenity is a sign we are not in step with the Spirit of God.
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at CHRIST, you’ll be at rest.” ~ Corrie ten Boom
Praying with Confidence
If I don’t purposefully pray about everything, and apply what I know to be true, I get all tangled up in my emotions. The Lord refreshes my spirit, reminds me of truth, renews my mind, and restores me to rest every single time I call out to Him and cast my cares upon Him.
I want to become a prayer warrior, don’t you? Well, I’m not quite there yet, so I’m studying how to pray powerful prayers that work. I just started reading Fervent, A woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer, by Priscilla Shirer, and I love it! She gets me fired up to take back the peace the enemy has stolen from me. And to pray with passion, purpose, and precision.
Through intentional, deliberate, strategic prayer, you grab hold of Jesus and of everything He’s already done on your behalf. It’s how you tap into the power of heaven and watch it reverberate in your experiences. It’s a key part of your offensive weaponry against a cunning foe who prowls around and watches for your weaknesses, your vulnerable places, for any opportunity to destroy you. In prayer you gain your strength- the power to gird yourself with armor that extinguishes every weapon your enemy wields. ~ Priscilla Shirer, Fervent
Philippians 4:6-7~ Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Remember to Proclaim Truth for Peace in Chaos
We may not be able to control the crisis in the world, but we do get to choose how we respond to it. Peace isn’t the absence of problems, but the quiet rest within us amid the storms of this life.
Webster’s dictionary defines peace as mental calm or serenity, so that is our clue that the battle is in our mind.
To have peace in the pandemic, and calm in the chaos, we must be sober-minded. A sober mind is a disciplined, sound mind that isn’t carried away with imaginations. An unsober mind runs constantly with what-if’s, worries, and woes, causing anxiety and emotional instability.
We have to cast down imaginations (2Corinthians 10:5), and think on things that are true (Philippians 4:8) to be sober-minded. But we can’t think on truth if we don’t know it, so that’s why it is essential to meditate on and memorize God’s word.
And not just that, but we also have to take the next steps to apply and then proclaim that truth when the devil comes creeping in to steal, kill, and destroy our peace (John 10:10).
Isaiah 26:3~ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Putting it into Practice
It isn’t easy to be sober and Spirit-filled in stressful times, it takes diligence and practice. I wrote a post about 6 steps you can take to have a sober mind. You can read the whole article here, but I’ll go ahead and give you the steps:
- Take a time-out- Pause to put the situation into perspective.
- Take every thought captive- Put the cuffs on it.
- Take it to the word- Pick a scripture.
- Tap out of the fight- Practice humility.
- Tap into the force- Power up.
- Talk it out with God- Pray without ceasing.
Colossians 3:15~ And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly thrown our world into a state of confusion and chaos. This global crisis has wreaked havoc on our economy, our families, and our security. Routines have changed, and we’re struggling to find our footing in the shifting sands of our new normal.
Some days it may feel impossible to find peace in the chaos of life. But we don’t have to be a victim of our circumstances or a slave to our emotions. We can be at peace despite the stressful situations we face when we practice being sober and Spirit-filled.
Sister in Christ, you may feel uncertain and unstable during these difficult times, but Jesus is right there with you. Lean on Him, and remember to pray, and proclaim truth when the world, the flesh, and the devil attempt to stir up anxiety in your heart. Don’t let that creep deceive you into looking to food, Netflix, or wine to calm your nerves. You can only find true and lasting peace in Jesus Christ. Only Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 3:16~ Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.