Peace in the Midst of Chaos

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I’m a word girl. I know, big shocker there to discover a writer that likes words. What can I say? Words are the tools of my trade. Without them, I would be scribbling stick figures with awkward, uneven eyes and jagged lips doing all sorts of acrobatics to indicate their internal turmoil. It just wouldn’t make much sense.

Similarly, God’s Word is the tool of the Christian’s trade. That would explain how, when the world seems to be falling apart and is in total chaos, we can read God’s Word to find wisdom, understanding, direction, and peace when the world offers us none.

Instead of looking through our own eyes at what’s happening in the world today, we can look through eyes of faith and see things more clearly the way God intended through His Word:

“If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:15 NIV, emphasis my own.)

The word that stood out to me was “devour.” I remembered reading that here:

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV, emphasis my own.)

Can you see how “devour” in both of these cases consumes in order to destroy?

There’s another word. Destroy.

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10a NLT, emphasis my own.)

So our enemy, the devil, is out to destroy us, wanting to devour us. That’s his purpose. Can people actually be used by the enemy to destroy each other?  If they’re not filled with the Holy Spirit and staying alert to the enemy’s schemes, sadly, yes.

What does God’s Word say about how we should treat each other?

“This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:17 NIV.)

 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8 NIV.)

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” (Romans 12:9-10 NLT.)

There’s a powerful word. Love.

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT.)

So when we look through our eyes at a world that seems to be crumbling all around us, we have the opportunity to look through God’s Word and see. Really see. We can see through eyes of faith that the enemy is behind the killing, stealing, and destroying.

As we know, the thief comes to cause harm, but Jesus Christ has come to give us life to the full (John 10:10) and peace. True peace which the world can never give us.

“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 NIV.)

We are not to be troubled or afraid, my friends. We are to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12 NIV.)

And when the world looks back and sees God’s children joyful in their hope as they seek their Father’s face, patiently awaiting His direction during times of disorder, and faithfully praying to God for each and every need and person the Holy Spirit guides them to pray for, then the world may very well get a glimpse of peace in the midst of chaos.

What a beautiful sight that would be for all eyes to see.

 

(Photo from pexels.com.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anger

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I’d just bought groceries and was heading to the car when I noticed a long line of traffic in the parking lot. A truck was stopped as the driver waited for a car to back out of a handicapped spot. Obviously, the driver of the truck couldn’t go anywhere unless he wanted to plow into the car.

But another truck behind that first truck, well, the driver was angry about the wait. He blew his horn, flailing his arms as if this were the most awful thing he’d ever had to endure. This only enraged the driver of the first truck.

Both drivers were now shouting obscenities at each other, loud enough to be heard even at the far end of the parking lot where my car waited.

I got to my car and turned to see what would happen when both men parked their trucks just a few feet away from each other.

There wasn’t a physical confrontation, at least outside the store. But the hateful words they continued to throw at each other like sharp stones sliced through the air as moms pushed their little ones in shopping carts.

My heart sank.  I mean, it really did. I refuse to be desensitized. I refuse to laugh it off as, “Well, that’s the world we live in today.” I refuse to let the violence and language so prevalent in society make me feel like this is the norm and that it’s okay to act this way or witness these things without being disturbed by them.

I refuse to be cold, hard-hearted when I see things like that. I refuse to find humor or any sort of thrill from it.

I think back to my grandpa, the shock on his face when he’d watch the evening news. He had been in WWII and witnessed awful things, and yet, he remained sensitive enough to find violence troubling when it showed up on his television set.

While I loaded groceries into my car, I prayed and asked God to help those men and to help me understand why they both got that angry.

God helped me to see that the enemy was behind it. If Satan can get us to bite and strike out at each other, tearing each other down, he doesn’t have to work as hard to destroy us. We destroy ourselves.

I mean, think about it. I just witnessed a man filled with venom striking out at another man because he had to wait to park his truck. The other man returned the same venom. Can’t you see the enemy in those vehicles, just egging them on to fits of rage, and laughing when they fall for it as he slinks away?

So my question for you is this: Are you letting Satan stir anger within your heart? Are you feeling justified by being angry, that those you’re angry with deserve your wrath?

Satan is on the prowl, my friends. Don’t let anger trip you and cause you to fall into his trap.

“If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:15 NIV.)

“And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT.)

 ”Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.” (Psalm 4:4 NLT.)

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” (James 1:19-20 NLT.)

(Photo from Pexels.)