Do you have a philosophy for dealing with hard times, adverse circumstances, stressful situations? All of us face these things in our lives. But I’m afraid most people just wait until hard things proverbially smack us right upside the face before we have a plan.
We are in the midst of a “pandemic.” The word itself sounds scary, and I talk to many people who just don’t know what to believe. Just how bad is it? How horrible is it going to become? No human knows for sure. There are so many differing opinions.
So, what in the world are we going to do about it?
Some people will worry. They are stocking-up and saving-up to be prepared for whatever. Some will have anxiety, and some will flat-out panic. Being prepared as possible is probably a good idea. But I believe there is a much better way to go about preparing for our current situation than worry or panic. The real question seems to be:
How do you find peace in the midst of chaos and hard circumstances?
God wants us to be at peace or happy, even though we experience trials. Now, I understand many folks don’t like the word “happy” because it generally means it depends on our circumstances or happenings. But happy is a real state for us and how we describe good feelings of peace, relief, or contentment. The world wants us to believe these feelings are based on our circumstances. But then when our circumstances change, so do our feeling; and our entire outlook on life.
It only makes sense that if we place our hope and joy on “how things are going,” our circumstances, that we will always be riding the roller coaster of life. We will live by all the variables life throws at us.
Are we in the Chaos for a Reason?
Jonathan Cahn, in The Book of Mysteries, says, “there aren’t many houses or hotels on the Sea of Galilee, because the sea has always had a negative connotation for Jews.
The Hebrew word for water – “mayim” – comes from the root word “mah” meaning “chaos,” which makes sense when you consider they grew up hearing that a flood wiped out the earth. So why then does Jesus “insist” his disciples cross the Sea of Galilee during a storm? He sent them into the chaos! But then came to help them by walking on top of the water – showing that he is in total control of ALL chaos.”
I often relate to how the disciples must have felt with all the craziness around them. If the Lord is right here, present in my life, why do all these hard, chaotic, anxious things happen?
But when I look back into all that God has allowed into my life and put me through, here is (some of) what I have learned and come to understand regarding how we go through this life:
- Peace is not going to come by God changing our circumstances. It is about Him changing us– in how we think about circumstances and how we will, or will not, trust in what He is doing in us, in others or what He is going to do.
- We can become a better person than we used to be-more caring, patient and empathetic towards others because of what we have gone through. And because of this change in our lives, I can see how God was that way toward me too.
- God changes our character (not mostly our circumstances). If you knew me 20, 30 or 40 years ago, and know me now, well, ’nuff said.’ I am not who I use to be. Same personality, different character. We can change our thinking, hearts, feelings and our behaviors. God will help!
- Sometimes we don’t immediately know what the result will be in what He is doing right now. This is about faith in who He is and in trusting Him when we can’t SEE.
- You and I can expect that things will go bad, wrong, and be painful. However, we can watch to see and understand where God is at work much more quickly. We can learn in hard times to expect God to do something great in us and others. It is no longer a surprise, but a CURRENT GRACE that brings us peace and contentment despite the circumstances.
- People DO change. You can grow. God is good. You are loved.
Control, Comfort or Inner Peace
Some of us turn to control or comfort to gain peace. But that can be futile and doesn’t calm our hearts. God wants us to enjoy our lives, but only with Him can we have a true inner peace that helps us be content in any situation.
Philippians 4:10-13 says “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Christ, who gives me strength.”
I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. John 14:27 (NLT)
Are you facing turmoil today? Will you listen? Will you hear God speak in the midst of your storms and allow him to change your character? Remember that Jesus is in control of your chaos, and he’s calling you to get on top of the chaos with him.
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What do you think? Do you have a philosophy or how to handle times like these? Is God working on you, your view of the world, your character?
Send me a quick email and let me know.