Discover the Recipe for Peace In the Middle of the Storms of Life

Have you ever been in the eye of a hurricane? Have you noticed the incredible calm that can happen right before a tornado?

Those moments are so strange. You know the chaos that is about to unfold, and yet, you feel the peace, the calm.

That moment of peace makes me think of this scripture:

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7, ESV

This peace is that heart, mind, and soul kind of peace.

I struggle to hang that peace when the winds start to swirl, the raindrops get bigger, and the clouds grow darker.

What about you?

Philippians gives us a bit of a recipe where the calm can thrive. Let’s back up to verse 4, as we explore this recipe.

1 – Rejoice

I love this word! When you think of moments of rejoicing, what memories flood your thoughts? I remember when my son was born, my husband’s face on my wedding day, and the moment my son came out of the waters of baptism. These were all incredible moments where my heart was rejoicing!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4, CSB

This scripture says to rejoice always. We don’t only rejoice in the big moments. We rejoice daily. We rejoice hourly.

I can rejoice as I sip my morning coffee. I can rejoice in the fact that I have God’s Word available in my favorite translation. I can rejoice in knowing God’s mercy is new every morning.

It is hard to rejoice and not feel some peace at the same time.

2 – Be Gentle

Let your gentle spirit be known to all people.

Philippians 4:5a, ESV

As you read these words, do you have some of the same questions that I do. What if I don’t feel gentle? I know so-and-so, and she’s not gentle! How can a “gentle spirit” be known if I’m not gentle?

These questions allow us to dive a bit deeper into God’s Word. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit as well.

Galatians 5:22-25, NASB

While the Fruit of the Spirit may make for a good Sunday school lesson, I find these words are quite convicting. Stay with me here.

If you are in Christ, you have the Holy Spirit living in you. This fact is essential to the Christian life. So, if you have the Holy Spirit in you, you have the “fruit of the spirit” in you. 

Do you see where I’m going here?

As one with the Holy Spirit living in you, you have gentleness; therefore, the command is to “let your gentle spirit be known to all people” (Philippians, 4:5a, ESV).

(Note: scripture says “fruit” not “fruits.” Each of these characteristics is part of the singular fruit. One does not exist without the others. You don’t have goodness and joy, but no gentleness and self-control. With the Holy Spirit, you have it all!)

3 – Pray

In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6, WEB

Often people quote this scripture to overcome worry and anxiety. The opposite of worry and anxiety is peace. So, it seems the antidote to worry and anxiety requires prayer and gratefulness.

Have you ever prayed and felt worried? I know I have. 

I worried as I prayed during a recent tornado that went through my community. I worried when a dear friend was sick and doctors couldn’t figure out why. I worried when a family member was awaiting the results of a medical test. 

So, the question is how can prayer bring peace when we are praying amid worries?

Worry will keep us from a true posture of prayer. Maybe, it’s just me. 

When I get so anxious about something, I have a hard time trusting in God’s sovereignty. I hold onto the worry and pray as if the outcome depends on the words I pray. He is God. I am not. In these moments, I need to confess a bit of pride. I cannot control the outcomes of situations. Who am I to think that I know more than God does? Who am I to pray for Him to do my will? (Please tell me that I’m not the only one here.)

So, what does a posture of prayer look like? As I have said before, it’s about knowing who we are and knowing who our God is. A posture of prayer requires us to acknowledge that His ways are higher than our ways. His plans are better than our plans. A posture of prayer allows me to bring requests in humility and know that God will work all things for our good. When I release that need for control and confess my pride, I find peace. (Feel free to check out more about creating rhythms of prayer from this blog post.)

4 – Be Grateful

As we round out this recipe, I’m sure this one doesn’t come as a surprise. Research has identified how thankfulness impacts our physical health. We are body, mind, and spirit (check out my blog post from earlier this year). Wellness in one area impacts our wellness in another area. Gratefulness impacts all areas!

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6, CSB

Think about moments of gratitude or thanksgiving. I was so grateful when I discovered writing as a way to grow my faith and share the Gospel with all you. I am always thankful when I hear my son praying. 

When my heart is full of thanks, there is no room for angst. 

When my heart is rejoicing and praying with gentleness and gratefulness, I find the supernatural peace that passes all understanding. While the work of maintaining a heart with this posture is difficult, the work is worth it! That beautiful calm reminds me that the Lord is with me. I almost feel his arms wrap around me as my loving Father. 

Images created with ImageFX.



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