When mariners describe a tempest that no sailor can escape, they call it a perfect storm. Not perfect in the sense of ideal, but perfect in the sense of combining factors. All the elements, such as hurricane-force winds plus a cold front plus a downpour of rain, work together to create the insurmountable disaster. The winds alone would be a challenge; but the winds plus the cold plus the rain? The perfect recipe for disaster.
You needn’t be a fisherman to experience a perfect storm. All you need is a layoff plus a recession. A disease plus a job transfer. A relationship breakup plus a college rejection. We can handle one challenge . . . but two or three at a time? One wave after another, gale forces followed by thunderstorms? It’s enough to make you wonder, Will I survive?
Paul’s answer to that question is profound and concise. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
As we do our part (rejoice in the Lord, pursue a gentle spirit, pray about everything, and cling to gratitude), God does his part. He bestows upon us the peace of God. Note, this is not a peace from God. Our Father gives us the very peace of God. He downloads the tranquility of the throne room into our world, resulting in an inexplicable calm. We should be worried, but we aren’t. We should be upset, but we are comforted. The peace of God transcends all logic, scheming, and efforts to explain it.
This kind of peace is not a human achievement. It is a gift from above. “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).
Jesus promises you his vintage of peace! The peace that calmed his heart when he was falsely accused. The peace that steadied his voice when he spoke to Pilate. The peace that kept his thoughts clear and heart pure as he hung on the cross. This was his peace. This can be your peace.
Max Lucado, Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World(Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2017).
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