Peace amid chaos

By Angela Barfield - Your pastor speaks

‘Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.’

Prayer of St. Francis

These are incomparable times. I admit, in my lifetime there have been some challenges, whether cultural, health-related or political, but never all at once! The current events we are experiencing may even make you wonder if we will ever find peace amid all of this chaos. I want to share a verse that I personally have found to bring comfort during many difficult times, and I can claim that it has helped in each situation.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11: 28-29

Personally, I think these may be the most comforting verses in the Bible! This passage gives instruction in handling overwhelming circumstances, as well as promises us that we are not alone, and that we WILL find rest when we seek Jesus’ help. He will walk with us through the challenges we face, and provide the courage needed to face them. Often, when we are struggling, we just need a place to turn, and He gives us the direction we seek.

There are many (361) verses in the Bible that speak of peace. In the Old Testament, we read about the many wars and conflicts, yet there are also many verses on peace. God always provides peace amid chaos, and helps us find that peace when we search for it in His Word, and pray for His help to find it.

“And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” Isaiah 32:17

In the New Testament, we meet the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, and these verses are words spoken by Him, defining peace, and providing an important promise. We only need to seek, and trust that He has a plan greater than the chaos we are experiencing.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Matthew 5:9

Peace brings comfort, even amid chaos, and we can mirror that peace to those around us, as peacemakers, being the blessing needed in troubled times.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Here we are told that we can expect trouble because we live in a fallen world, but we are also given instruction in how we can contribute to a peaceful existence, not relying on our own strength, but that of the Holy Spirit living in us. We have the promise given to us with assurance that only Jesus can give, as the one that has overcome the world! Let us cling to that, and trust in His promises.

In conclusion, this final verse is found in one of the most memorized passage of the Bible, the 23rd Psalm. It confirms that we will walk through struggles, but gives the promise of God’s continued presence in that walk, when we rely on Him. I pray that we remember this during these difficult days that we are living, and that we can help provide strength to others by reflecting Jesus to those around us, also needing this comfort.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

By Angela Barfield

Your pastor speaks

The writer is the Wilson Health Hospice chaplain.

The writer is the Wilson Health Hospice chaplain.