Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "We Plow The Fields"1 (Lyrics)
Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (ESV)
The weather in Mexico during the winter months is beautiful. However, storms can come in quickly from the sea. I witnessed one such tropical tempest one evening — the howling wind of the Pacific whipping the palm trees and shredding them, the rain pelting the resort buildings. Watching in amazement from the safety of my room, I felt something of what it must be like in the eye of the hurricane, in its calm and windless centre, while the storm whirls about it.
In my daily life, even in my inner sanctum, in my own eye of the hurricane, I look out in discomfort, as ever-increasing responsibilities of the workplace, care of an elderly parent, struggles to restore fitness and mobility after surgery, and worries over finding time to write and paint swirl around me. Peace can seem elusive, and I think I may be swept away at any moment.
Colossians 3:15-17 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (ESV)
The words of the apostle Paul speak of a peace which is unworldly; it is a gift of God, not put upon by the whirlwind of conflict in our world. This peace is a major characteristic of God's community, and also the way to understand His will. Having the peace of God is the way to choose what to do and say, and the method of deciding on issues that we face as a church. The peace of Jesus will decide and govern us, not just in our inner sanctum, but in our community of faith. This radical, unearthly peace leads His believers to erupt in musical praise, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in our hearts to God. This inner peace and confidence leads us to do things in the name of the Lord Jesus, even persevering in the difficult tasks, knowing for Whose sake they are done.
There is a hymn text by Helen H. Lemmel, with the words, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace." The presence of God's peace enables us to survive in a peaceless world, as in the eye of the hurricane, in the realm of the Lord, who knows and preserves us. We respond with thankfulness in our hearts to God, and spontaneous songs of praise. Thanks be to God!
- All praise to Him whose pow'r imparts
The love of God within our hearts,
The Spirit of all truth and peace,
The fount of joy and holiness.
To Father, Son, and Spirit now
Our souls we lift, our wills we bow
To You, the triune God, we raise
With loving hearts our song of praise.
– Matthew Merker, Bob Kauflin