Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
If you are like me, you may be experiencing information overload. The desire to know moment to moment what is going on in the world and how the response to the virus is going is insatiable. Every few moments we are looking at our phones or computers waiting to get updates on where things stand. While newscasts freely offer the information, it is nonstop and overwhelming. It’s no wonder it is hard to have a moment of peace.
Personally, I try to sit in peace and quiet but the noise of all that is going on around me is deafening. How are we as followers of Christ meant to live in our current situation? Here are a few things I am learning about how to live in the current noise…
FIRST – KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON. It is okay to want to know what is going on. We need to be in the know and understand the newest updates and how they apply to us. We need to work hard at being informed but not allowing the constant information to overwhelm us and overtake our every thought.
SECOND – BALANCE IS KEY. While staying informed is important, it is also important to balance all that we take in. If we don’t, we run the risk of exhaustion and overload. Balance means taking in some of the information we need but not doing it 24/7. We need to allow times where we let other things shape our thoughts and actions. Balance is so important in times of crisis.
THIRD – ALLOW JESUS INTO YOUR THOUGHTS. When I take the time to turn off the noise around me and let Jesus into my heart and mind, I find supernatural peace. It is a peace that is unlike any other. It is a peace that no matter what is raging around me, can enter into my heart and mind and give me pause to reflect on the important things He wants us to know and embrace.
FOURTH – PEACE IS SOMETHING WE ALL CAN EXPERIENCE. It is God’s desire that in the midst of all that is going on; He wants his children to experience the peace that passes all understanding. In the Philippians 4 passage, we are told to “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Paul says that the key to experiencing peace is to be in prayer with thanksgiving and to turn to His peace that can give us rest in the midst of all the noise. It is this peace that will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ. Our minds need guarding so that we don’t get too overwhelmed by all that is going on around us. It allows us a healthy perspective of who God and His will for us.
FIFTH – SHARE THAT PEACE WITH OTHERS. Know that our world is looking for answers and hope now more than ever. How can anyone have peace in the midst of our current crisis…we can, because of Christ. We need to spread that message with those around us not just by word but by how the peace Christ gives continues to transform us daily. Showing those around us that Christ makes a difference in our lives is how we can live out the Gospel in a powerful way.
How are you doing these days? Need some peace in your life to transcend all that is going on in your world? Call on Jesus; He gives it every moment of the day!
Posted by Paul Olson ~ Executive Pastor, SouthRidge Fellowship