This year, I have found myself looking for peace in adversity. My journey has led me to be more mindful of my personal habits. For example, I notice that I have been checking my Smart Phone more often. I want to know what is going on with those I love, what is going on in the world, and I want to see what will happen next. Especially during trying times, I notice that I become engrossed in the details of every second.
Some of you might not depend on your Smart Phones for the latest updates. You might find yourself immersed in the news. You might find yourself going beyond being informed to focusing on the present political climate, the daily occurrences of the world, or even on commentary about preparing for difficult days ahead. There is nothing wrong with being aware of what is going on around us. It does become a problem when we repetitiously review what is going wrong instead of having a balanced perspective of life.
By confronting the habit, I have learned this behavior is based in fear. As long as I operate in fear, I will not experience peace. By continuing to feed fear through my habits, I am allowing myself to become restless. Restlessness is a lack of peace.
What we behold will shape our beliefs. Your thoughts, whether positive or negative, will develop into an image that you will project in every area of your life. This is why it is important for you to be mindful of what you are seeing and make sure your sight is filtered. As long as your focus is on your surroundings (not God), you will be shaken easily. God wants us to be stable, even in the face of adversity. However, we must confront what we have been seeing and demonstrating in these moments?
Have you found yourself using the wrong filter and seeing life through the lense of fear or pessimism?
Ask yourself the following:
- Am I afraid to live?
- Am I afraid to try?
- Am I afraid to build genuine relationships with others?
- Do I expect bad things to happen each day?
- Do I expect bad things to happen in the future (before the next day arrives)?
- Do I spend time trying to brace myself for the worst?
What you fear is often connected to your perceptions. Your perceptions can be distorted if their foundation is not based in God. Your own imagination cannot be trusted, because some of your ideas are not based in God. When I find myself in a moment of anxiousness, I am learning to seek God and ask for His wisdom. One of my go to scriptures is Philippians 4:6-7, which says “ Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus (NKJV).
You do not need to live an anxious life. There is no reason to fear, because it is a waste of your energy and fear lacks direction. Many times when I have stayed up worrying about the next day, I simply lost sleep! What a waste of energy that could have been invested in time with God.
What is the solution? How can you live in peace during adverse times? You can share your concerns with God. You can seek Him in prayer earnestly. Since God is always near, you can rest in His love and consistency. You can also rest knowing that God is listening to you. When you break the cycle of self-reliance, the weight of every matter is God’s responsibility—not your own. God will lead you and let you know what to do in the face of every challenge. As you give every matter to God, you will find true peace. Peace is knowing that God is in charge and His plans are always perfect. By utilizing this wisdom daily, you can find and maintain peace in adversity.