The virus prolongs its stay. Businesses close. The uncertainty drags on like a sour note. Summer ends without the usual reprieve.
“It won’t be the same anymore,” they say. Talks of the “new normal” lead to poignant paradigm shifts.
As the death toll rises and the world tips into economic breakdown, I’m stuck wondering, “When will this end, God? When will we find peace?”
Then the questions change. “Wait. Did You ever promise peace?”
It feels like another paradigm shift. The Bible verses highlight a surprising reality—God never promised “true peace” from this world. He never promised stable prosperity.
Maybe I was asking the wrong questions.
It was not so much of WHEN we’ll have peace, but WHERE we find it.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14: 27 )
[BUT PEACE IS WHAT WE NEED]
The human heart longs for peace or shalom. It’s the kind of peace that swells from the inside, grounded by the sense that everything is good and “all is as it should be.”
Unfortunately, the world fails at delivering this shalom we crave for. One thing that COVID-19 proved is that everything—and anything—can be shaken. Building our lives on our jobs, on connections, on anything from this world is as good as building on paper and sand. This type of foundation won’t hold.
So where do we find peace?
[WHO IS PEACE?]
Even prior to COVID-19, I struggled with worries. Overthinking is a nasty habit I’m still working on. And like any other human being, fear is my knee-jerk reaction to uncertainty.
We all want a sense of stability. We all want assurance.
And when the world collapses, do we lose all of that?
“I do not give you peace as the world gives,” He says. This is His “normal” all along. From His view, there is peace that does not depend on the world’s circumstances.
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. (Philippians 4:6-7)
True peace is not based on the absence of difficulties—it’s dependent on His presence. Above this world is Jesus who still overcame the world. (John 16:33)
“The world may be bigger than you, but my hands are capable enough to hold you—all of you. All your worries. All your dreams. All your pain.” He says.
Peace is found in the loving arms of the Father who does not abandon His children to the uncertainties of life (Psalm 55:22). Though life is uncertain, He discerns it from afar, working it out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
Our reality may never be “okay.” We have Heaven and Christ’s second coming for that (Revelation 21:4). The world is fallen and imperfect, poised to spiral into entropy.
It naturally sucks.
But even though we cannot avoid life’s valleys, He promises to walk us through them. He’ll get us through the trials.
[GO TO THE ONE WHO GIVES YOU PEACE]
Peace is a supernatural thing. It’s miraculous. Otherworldly. But it can be real for anyone who cries out to Christ.
My motto in life was always, “Go where the peace is.” But after the events of this season, I’m thinking “Go to Who gives you peace” probably has a better ring to it.
Jesus IS the Prince of Peace, after all. (Isaiah 9:6)
He isn’t made of paper and sand. When the world caves in, He is the only foundation that will stand.
“I do not give you peace as the world gives,” He says. This is His “normal” all along. From His view, there is peace that does not depend on the world’s circumstances. True peace is not based on the absence of difficulties—it’s dependent on His presence.”
[DO YOU TRUST HIM?]
So how do we receive this supernatural peace?
We surrender our lives to Him. We make Him the King over our troubled hearts. We admit that we can do nothing by ourselves and that we need the hand of God in our lives. He’s the God with a heartbeat; He sees our worries. And He cares.
But He’ll only move when we let Him in. He’ll walk with us through the valleys of uncertainties if we invite Him to journey with us.
When we cry out to Him, He will answer. Humility is always the first crucial step.
Cast all your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
[IT’S NOT BLIND FAITH]
He responds to our belief in Him, and He can’t respond when we doubt Him. (James 1:5-8)
But faith shouldn’t be “blind.” Faith points to evidence, stemming from a real encounter with Him. A soul needs to experience how real He is to believe in Him.
If having “faith” right now is a difficult feat, it’s alright. If you’re in a place where you want to have faith, but find it “impossible”, then this is when God’s grace can overwhelm you. He’s good enough to help you have faith when you humbly ask Him (Mark 9:23-24).
If there’s one thing you can bank on, it would be His heart for you.
When you place your trust in Him, true peace will prod your heart to rest. This peace might just surprise you (Philippians 4:6-8)
Lord, I admit that I am having a hard time. I have fears. I have anxieties. You say that You’re still Sovereign. You say that You’re still greater than the circumstances coming my way. And Your Word has said that You care about me. Lord, I want to know how to trust You.
Please show me how real You can be. Be the King of my heart. Be the Savior I need. Be my source of true peace. I can’t rely on anyone else. I’m done relying on myself. Please show me how true Your promises are about Your character. I want to learn to trust You, and I believe that You will show up to strengthen my weary heart. Thank You for being mindful of me.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Darya Ivanchuk (cover photo)
First published at One Voice Magazine