The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. ~ Psalm 29:11 (NLT)
Growing up, I had a concept that had been drilled into my head in countless Sabbath Schools, grade school bible classes, and other spiritual training. It went something like this: If you are a Christian you will never have anything go wrong in your life. I loved this thought. Christians had it good! We would never have any stress, difficulties, or sorrows. Woohoo!
However, there was one, slight problem. This concept is completely false and unbiblical. How do I know? Well, I’ve faced my fair share of trouble, stress, sorrow, and heartaches in my own life. Additionally, Jesus actually says we will be persecuted and hated because we are His followers. (See the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 & 6)
So, what is this verse trying to tell us, then? It says the “Lord blesses them with peace.” Doesn’t that mean we won’t every have issues in this life? Uh, no.
Our problem is that the concept of peace has gotten out of whack. Peace doesn’t mean no trouble. Peace means that the trouble won’t consume us. Peace means that in the midst of our heartache, in the middle of our sorrow, in the moment we are hurting the most, we have an all-powerful, all-loving God on our side. He will right the wrongs. He will comfort the hurting. He will heal the sick. He will show us the way out. He will rescue us. He will fight for us. He is on our side.
Peace means that no matter what life may throw at us, no matter who may abandon us, our God is always with us. He lives within us. And, notice the verse again, He gives us strength to endure, to emerge victorious. He holds us up and pulls us through.
What turmoil is consuming your life at this moment? What sorrows have weighed you down? What stress has the world heaped upon you? Give it to God and rest in His peace. How? Talk to Him about what is going on, He wants to hear from you. But, the second step is just as important. Thank Him for never leaving you, for holding you up, for using His strength to fight for you. Turn your heartache and stress into praise.