(Photo above): Will Graham, vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
How has the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine affected you? Perhaps when it began you were fearful, and then confused, and now frustrated. Maybe you know somebody—or multiple people—who have been gravely ill or even died from this terrible virus. Perhaps you’ve been so focused on financial worries that you haven’t even been able to think about the health implications.
Whatever your personal situation, it’s safe to assume that many people are having a difficult time finding peace during these troubled days. Whether you’re a follower of Jesus or not, upheaval in this world leads to worry and stress.
If this describes you, allow me to ask: What are you focusing most of your time and energy on right now? If it’s the never-ending news cycle, it is likely that you are troubled, confused, frustrated and scared. If it’s social media, you’ve probably seen friends sniping at each other, sharing competing news articles, attacking politicians and complaining about the current state of affairs.
Simply put, focusing on the things of this world lead to despair. But God has a better plan. “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). We must focus everything we have on the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
First, He wants you to take those burdens you are carrying—the fear, the anger, the frustration, the depression—and cast “all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). He doesn’t want you to flounder and struggle, sinking deeper and deeper into the mire of this broken world. He cares for you and is there for you.
Second, God wants to do more than just take your brokenness. He wants to give you peace in its place. Psalm 29:11 says, “May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!” In John 14:27, Jesus says, “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.”
In a world filled with distrust and upheaval, we can have peace in Him.
“In a world filled with distrust and upheaval, we can have peace in Him.” —Will Graham
Now, this is easier said than done. I understand that. You must be intentional about shifting your focus from the things of this world and casting those concerns onto God. While I’m not telling you to turn a blind eye to what is happening around you, there is wisdom in stepping away from the barrage of information and anger that pervades our society.
Rather than immersing yourself in social media and news coverage, immerse yourself in God’s presence.
When uncertainly rolls over you like a wave, anchor your soul in God’s eternal Word. Pull out your Bible. Open it. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart so you can understand what you are about to read. Then start reading God’s precious words to us.
And when confusion or anger pull at your emotions, draw near to the Lord in prayer. “Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
My grandfather once said, “Your future does not hinge on the world situation, however grim it might become. It depends on what happened 2,000 years ago at the cross and your acceptance or rejection of the Prince of Peace.”
Yes, peace in this world—and in our hearts—is hard to find. However, for those who call upon Jesus as Savior, we can rest in His caring, eternal love. And if you have not yet surrendered your life to Him, I encourage you to do so now. Don’t wait! Cast your cares on Him and find hope and peace for eternity.