We live in chaos. When I look at the world around me chaos is what I see. I see a government divided that cannot get along with itself. I see people who are hurting. I see disease and sickness. I see sins like selfishness, pride, anger, and anxiety. I see a major failure among people to agree to disagree. I see hatred and addictions. I see people who are searching for something but they cannot seem to find what they want. I see a fast-paced world that is racing by us. I see people with schedules that are packed full, but they feel like they are living lives that are meaningless. It is so easy to be swallowed up by the chaotic world in which we live.
If I am honest about my own personal life, I must admit that things seem pretty chaotic at times. My wife and I have 3 children under the age of 5 so things can get crazy at our house very quickly! Even while I write this, I have been interrupted 6 times so far. It feels like there is never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that I need (or want) to do. So, we are all faced with the question, “How can we live in peace in the midst of chaos?”
Early this morning I was reading from my Bible and I read these words, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
There is a lot in this passage! We see a call to rejoice in the Lord, a call to be known for our reasonableness, a call not to be anxious, and a call to pray to God in everything and to include thanksgiving in our prayers. Then, we have a beautiful promise that “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” I find this promise to be encouraging. The starting point for claiming this promise is knowing Jesus as your Savior. In Isaiah 26:3 we read, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Paul was writing to a church of believers in the book of Philippians who had trusted in Jesus, His death on the cross for the sins of the world, and His resurrection from the dead. Believing in Jesus is the starting point for a life of peace. In Philippians 4:4-7 we see these steps we can take to further help us in gaining this unexplainable peace of God.
- Rejoice. This world has many cares and concerns, but there are always reasons to rejoice in what God has done and is doing.
- Be reasonable. If we are reasonable then we will often avoid being bothered by useless arguments, and we will be able to get along well with others. This eliminates a lot of chaos.
- Do not be anxious about anything. Anxiety and peace cannot exist together. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Worrying about things that are out of our control will wreck our lives. When we cast our anxiety on God, we are trusting Him to take care of it.
- Pray. My mother once taught me to “replace worry with prayer” It was and still is a valuable lesson! When we pray about our concerns and take them to God it helps us to let go of them and not dwell on them. Include thanksgiving with your prayers. When our hearts are thankful, it keeps things in a proper perspective.
These steps help us to enjoy a relationship with God. Our church’s vision is “To be a church where lives are changed as God is glorified and enjoyed, known and made known.” With the busyness of a fast-paced world of full schedules and high expectations, it can be easy not to take the time to enjoy a relationship with God and the life He has given us. Sometimes I wonder if we forget to enjoy God! I would encourage you to carve out time in your schedule for a break from the chaos to enjoy God and the life He has given you. This could include going to church, or taking a day off, spending time reading the Bible... In my family, we block out sections of time that we call “family time” but it is basically time that we designate for enjoying God and each other. It is time when we intentionally ignore our busy schedules and focus on spending quality time with God and each other. Sometimes this looks like a walk in God’s creation together, sometimes it looks like a family prayer time…the key is to spend time focused on enjoying God.