EXPLORING HOPE TODAY
Devotional thoughts from director, Dr Peggy Banks
Finding peace in God’s presence!
Christ alone can bring lasting peace – peace with God – peace among men and nations – and peace within our hearts. (Billy Graham).
In days of isolation, little communication with extended family and new ways to do our work, it can be hard to find our peace. Yet the Bible tells us that there is a peace available to us that will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. How can we get this peace?
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:4-7)
The other morning, I was dealing with some uncertainty in my life and took a walk to the beach in the early morning. I sat down, and my eyes filled with tears. There was a pain in my heart for the circumstances and suffering, but a deeper understanding appeared as I witnessed the beautiful sunrise in front of me. I realized this beauty was God’s hand-painted beauty for me to see. I rejoiced in the peace that came to me knowing God’s presence is all around me. I was able to rejoice in God’s love and mercy even in my pain. He is there for you, too. Look around; where do you see God’s presence? Find it in your heart to rejoice at his love and creation and to believe that God has not forgotten you.
There are times in our pain when it is hard to pray. Maybe we don’t have the words, or we are afraid of feeling the pain all over again as we tell someone about it or speak it to God. Years ago, as I was living as a new believer in Jesus, I could see many areas of my life changing. Everything I knew to be good was falling apart. My relationships, my business, old friendships and my new church family were all changing. The pain of loss was so great I couldn’t even put it into words, and the deep pain in my heart was always bringing me to tears.
Many times, the pain lasted for hours, days and weeks until I found peace. However, I have realized that God heard my cries when new friends came into my life, healing came to my heart and I found a new church home where God’s people showed love to a broken world. God’s Word, his peace and his people were healing my heart of the pain, betrayal and confusion.
Maybe you are in this same place today, searching for this peace in your times of pain or confusion. Find a way to tell God of your loss, fear, loneliness and pain. He is near and hears your cries for mercy (Ps. 6:9).
Every day, I write out a gratitude list before the Lord. I begin with my gratitude for salvation, surrender and safety. It is in Christ alone that we can find our peace each and every day. It’s not always easy. Actually, there are many days that it’s not easy. But when we have a thankful heart, in Christ, we are able to find God’s peace.
Here is an example of a thankful prayer that you could pray with me today: Lord, thank you for giving me hope when I was hopeless. Thank you for strengthening my faith when I was filled with fear. Thank you for helping me know my purpose even in my pain.
PS Our international office prepares a two-monthly prayer calendar, which includes the devotional thoughts shared in "Exploring Hope Today" and a testimony in "Story of Hope" as well as the letters of encouragement from our global director, Dr Peggy Banks, and A Word of Hope. Click here to view and download the document.
Download the monthly prayer calendar in your heart language