The Key to True Inner Peace During Times of Distress

Every time we check our phones or look at the news, the future seems increasingly uncertain. As more and more people are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we may find it difficult to find peace in the midst of these distressing circumstances. Despite everyone’s efforts to fight this illness, it’s still not clear when things will get back to normal.

This uncertainty has also crept into our daily lives, raising worries about our jobs, finances, friends, family, and more. Even as believers who know and love the Lord, we may find it challenging to truly be at peace during these times.

But the Bible assures us the Lord has promised true inner peace. Today, we’ll look at the source of such peace and how we can experience it moment by moment, no matter our circumstances.

The source of peace

Two verses in the Gospel of John reveal the source of this lasting peace.

1. John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

In this wonderful verse, the Lord Jesus promised to give us His peace. As the eternal God of peace, He is the unique source of true peace, which is altogether different from what the world gives. There is no way to find true or lasting peace in the world. But no matter how impossible our outward circumstances may seem, we can enjoy true peace from our dear Lord Jesus, and we do not need to be troubled or afraid. 

2. John 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have affliction, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

The Lord never promised that we wouldn’t  experience difficulties in our lives. He plainly said, “In the world you have affliction.” Although we’re saved, we still live in this world full of suffering and distress. But these words from the Lord Jesus bring us comfort, assuring us that even in the midst of our trials, we may have peace.

How can we experience this enduring peace? The Lord Jesus said that in Him we may have peace. This tells us peace isn’t something that’s separate or apart from Him; it’s in Him. That’s why it’s vain to look for lasting peace anywhere else.

These verses show us that having true inner peace doesn’t depend on our environment being easy, but on looking to the Lord Jesus, the source of peace, no matter what our circumstances may be.

The key to experiencing peace

So how do we practically experience this true and lasting peace in our daily lives? The apostle Paul gives us the key in Philippians 4:6-7:

“In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”

Social isolation, job security, financial obligations, and many other things naturally fill us with anxiety. We can’t escape our problems, but we can experience the peace of God in the midst of them. The key is “prayer and petition with thanksgiving.” By turning our heart to contact God in our spirit through prayer, we commune with Him, which results in something marvelous. 

Note 1 on verse 7 in the New Testament Recovery Version says:

“The result of practicing fellowship with God in prayer is that we enjoy the peace of God. The peace of God is actually God as peace (v. 9) infused into us through our fellowship with Him by prayer, as the counterpoise to troubles and the antidote to anxiety (John 16:33).”

When we have sweet fellowship with God, we’re revived and refreshed. As we petition Him concerning our needs, God infuses us with Himself as peace. We’re turned from worrying about our situation to thanking Him. Our environment may not change, but we’re changed. The peace of God guards our hearts and thoughts, saving us from anxiety.

Enjoy the peace of God daily

As we continue to live under these trying circumstances, we can enjoy God’s peace at any time. Throughout the day, anxious thoughts may come to us, but we have the key! We can turn our heart to Him and pray, call on His name, sing to Him, or simply talk to Him. Through our fellowship with Him, God becomes our true inner peace and rest, the much-needed antidote to our easily troubled soul. Here is an example of a short prayer we can offer to the Lord:

“Lord, You are the eternal God of peace. You are peace itself! Thank You for Your promise to be my true inner peace, regardless of my environment. Keep me looking to You and fellowshipping with You. Come into my situation and be my peace. I love You and I thank You, Lord Jesus! Amen.” 

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