Pastor's Pen: Where is peace?

I grew up near the beach and went through a number of storms.  I saw the damage a hurricane can cause to a boardwalk, the way wind can throw heavy objects around and how flooding can severely ruin a building.  Yet, there is inevitably those that refuse to believe they will fall victim to the storm.  Warnings can be given and shelters provided, but they will head to the beach thinking themselves incapable of receiving any harm.  When harm does come, the normal response is, “Why didn’t they go to the shelter?”  No one thinks of their actions as intelligent.

But isn’t that what we do when we cry for peace?  We look around at the wars and cry for peace.  We look at financial stress and desire peace.  We experience family heartache or emotional turmoil and desire peace.  But peace doesn’t come.  We’re standing on the beach wondering why anxiety is overwhelming us when there is a shelter nearby.

Paul, one who had every right to worry; was ridiculed, lied about, stoned, beaten, ship-wrecked, never knowing what would be next, and imprisoned several time talks about peace in Philippians 4:9.

“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.”

When will the God of peace or the peace of God be with you?  When the things you learned, received, heard or seen in Paul are put into practice.  Like Paul, my thoughts and life must be constantly in line with God.  Paul trusted God and followed Him even when life was hard, yet he had peace about it.  He knew the One he trusted was faithful.  He knew it would all be worth it and his life lived that out.  I must do the same.

I must trust God.  My thoughts, actions and speech must reflect Him.  I can’t dump my worries on God and then live a worldly lifestyle thinking He will take care of me.

If you want to be safe during a hurricane you don’t stand on the beach hoping the shelter 3 miles inland will protect you.  You have to go to the shelter for protection…and stay there.  If you want peace from God then you must go to God…..and stay there.