Many people at the moment are feeling caught up amid the storm amid the pandemic, inflationary woes, and the constant fear-mongering of the media, but the Bible offers a lesson for calm.
Life at the moment is exhausting for many people who feel caught up in a constant whirlwind of chaos.
There is the pandemic and the recently discovered new variant that is triggering waves of fear. And not without good reason. Lives are being lost; incomes are being disrupted and creating suffering for many families.
At the same time, inflation is rising, making it extremely hard for many people to make ends meet and cover the cost of food, housing, and gasoline.
Then there are all the social issues, with an underlying “not so quiet” revolution or rebellion drawing dividing lines between people.
Is it possible to find peace amid this whirlwind of chaos? Jesus Christ says: Yes.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
–2 Timothy 1:7
To find calm in our lives, the first thing we need to reject is fear. Replacing fear with faith was a lesson Jesus had to teach his disciples.
In the book of Mark, chapter 4, beginning at verse 35, as well as the book of Matthew, chapter 14, beginning at verse 22, Jesus and the disciples had crossed the sea of Galilee by boat. A great storm arose, and the waves were filling the boat with water. The disciples awakened to see that Jesus was not with them. They became fearful for their lives. Jesus stilled the waters and calmed the winds, even walking on water. Then he questioned them for not having faith. Seeing these miracles, the disciples realized: “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41) and “truly you are the son of God” (Matthew 14:33).
There are three practical steps you can take to get yourself in a calm state of mind. Focus on: Presence, peace and prayer.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Focus on the moment and do not allow your mind to wander or worry over matters beyond your control or have not happened yet. Live in the present moment, not in the past, or become too focused on the future. No matter what happens, God is with us and watching over us and every moment.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
Peace begins with the state of mind. It requires blocking anxiety and worry from your thoughts. Sometimes we rob ourselves of peace by our own thinking or how we interact with others. Nonetheless, the world around us can also affect our peace. We can limit how external things affect us because we always have a choice in how to feel about things.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
– John 14:27
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
One technique is to focus on gratitude and thankfulness, which preempts you from your own worries. Pray with gratitude to God for the things you have presently, rather than wishes and wants first. Pray for others.
God knows our needs. When teaching the disciples how to pray, Jesus said:
“Therefore do not be like to them, for your Father knows of what things you have need before your asking Him.”
– Matthew 6:8