Faithfully Thinking: How can God give you peace when you’re turning to others for it?

Many of us are running to our phones or computers every morning, looking for some good news.

“God, just let there be some good news out there right now,” I find myself saying.

Yes, I’m asking God to make the national news media give me good news.

How backward is that? Very it turns out.

One thing I have learned is that I can not receive the peace of God if I am filling my mind and my thoughts with other voices.

I can’t run to the national media, looking for their reassurance and their peace because they don’t have it for me. They don’t want me to have it. Their business thrives on turmoil and fear. Tragedy and anger and fear and scandal sells. Period. It’s sad, but it’s true.

Don’t look to entertainers, to television personalities or news channels or even pastors to bring you comfort or to allay your fears.

Only God can do that.

Only God can calm our fears.

I heard a sermon one time where the pastor talked about how many of us are looking at the news and social media all day and feeling more and more stressed and then we turn to God and say “Lord, give me peace.” Then, while waiting for that peace, we grab the phone and keep scrolling, as if we are going to find it there.

How can God give you/us peace when you are going other places for it?

Pastor Steven Furtick said in his sermon two weeks ago:

“You feed yourself fear and then pray for more faith. God says stop!!”

He was talking about us scrolling through news sites, pouring over current events, filling our minds with horror stories and what-ifs and projections and fear-filled stories all day long and then having the audacity to ask God where our peace is.

I can tell you (and me) one thing. Our peace is not on Fox News, CNN, or any other national news site. It isn’t on any news site.

Our peace is in God’s word.

Our peace is in God’s voice which speaks like a whisper to our hearts throughout the day and we can’t hear that whisper if we don’t take the time to be still and listen to it.

Yes, we need to have an idea of what is going on in the world around us. We need to check in from time to time, but staying glued to the news, soaking our brains with stories that don’t always provide us with the full story is not healthy for our minds, for our hearts, and definitely not for our spirits.

Being still is hard for many of us to do. Maybe you can’t simply sit in a quiet room somewhere with candles around you, especially now if everyone is home with you. But maybe you can focus your attention on God and his promises for us by sitting down somewhere and putting some headphones in and listening to encouraging, God-centered music or a Bible-based sermon to remind you that you are not alone, that he is for us, not against us and that he has you in his hands no matter what happens in the world around us.

The leader for my online Bible study shared this song Sunday when we met for prayer and praise. I want to share it with you and encourage you (and remind myself) to listen to it and remember God gives you peace, not the world, not the national media, not doctors with models or projections, or political leaders. I will share a link to it at the bottom of this post, along with the lyrics.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

This verse means we will have peace that essentially makes no sense. When the world is spinning around us we will feel peace. It isn’t a peace that will come naturally. It is a peace we will have to ask for repeatedly, each day, each morning, each night and maybe several times throughout the day. But it will be a peace that will settle over us and envelop us like a warm blanket.

I am writing this post to myself as much as to anyone who might read it today. I haven’t been letting God’s peace fill me and I have a feeling there are many more who haven’t been doing this and don’t even know how. Feeling his peace doesn’t mean we can’t feel frightened or uncertain. It means we refuse to let that fear or uncertainty consume us to the point we forget whose hand we are in, who holds our future.

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55

Remind me, Lord, that nothing can separate us from you. Nothing. Not a virus that threatens death, not death itself. It’s so hard for me to remember at this time. So hard when death is something I fear even when I know I shouldn’t.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39


I don’t want to be afraid

Every time I face the waves

I don’t want to be afraid

I don’t want to be afraid

I don’t want to fear the storm

Just because I hear it roar

I don’t want to fear the storm

I don’t want to fear the storm

Peace be still

Say the word and I will Set my feet upon the sea

Till I’m dancing in the deep Peace be still

You are here so it is well

Even when my eyes can’t see I will trust the voice that speaks

I’m not gonna be afraid ‘Cause these waves are only waves

I’m not gonna be afraid

No I’m not gonna be afraid

And I’m not gonna fear the storm

You are greater than it’s roar

Oh I’m not gonna fear the storm

No I’m not gonna fear at all

Peace be still

Say the word and I will Set my feet upon the sea

Till I’m dancing in the deep

Peace be still You are here so it is well

Even when my eyes can’t see

I will trust the voice that speaks Peace, peace over me

You speak peace

Let faith rise up O heart believe

Let faith rise up in me

Let faith rise up O heart believe

Let faith rise up in me Let faith rise up O heart believe

Let faith rise up in me Oh let faith rise up O heart believe

Let faith rise up in me

Peace be still Say the word and I will Set my feet upon the sea Till I’m dancing in the deep

oh Peace be still You are here so it is well

Even when my eyes can’t see I will trust the voice that speaks

Peace, peace over me I hear You speaking

Peace, peace over me Oh peace Over me You speak peace

You speak peace

Over me

You speak peace

You speak peace

You speak peace

My ‘Not Today’ Day

DSC_2199 - CopyToday has been a ‘Not Today’ Day. And I plan for tomorrow to be one too. What’s a ‘Not Today’ Day? It’s when a situation is so overwhelming and I have wasted so much energy on something I can’t fix that I have made myself physically ill and now I have to say “No..not today. Today I’m drinking tea, reading a book, playing with my kids and not trying to fix what I can’t fix.”

A Not Today Day is when the bank has messed something up again and you’re so far in the hole who knows when you’ll get out – not today . . .

A Not Today Day is: Your husband’s family won’t talk to you, ignores your children and just put a for sale sign up on the family home without even telling you – not today . . .

A Not Today Day: When the little voice in the head says, “Those women who used to call you a friend hate you now” … not today.

A Not Today Day: when your period is late and you know it’s just going to come on your birthday AGAIN this year!!!. . . not today.

How many sermons have I heard reminding me to say “The battle belongs to the Lord”?

To be able to say, “The the battle is yours, Lord,” is the hardest thing ever because it is a letting go that has to be done in the scariest place in the world – the mind.

What a prison thoughts are. What an oppressive place the mind can be when you let it. Voices will whisper all that is wrong but some days you just have to say “not today”, make a cup of tea, open a book, put on an old movie and decide you’re done trying to plug all the holes in your life on your own.

The bank account is still in the negative – we will plug that hole some other day.

The family still is silent – we may never plug that hole (more than 18 years of that wears a person down).

The friends are still gone (that’s not going to change).

But the tea is hot, the book and the movie are nice and distracting and somehow, somewhere God is still good.