The house is a mess, the business has hit some bumps, and the car hit a bigger one. Bills, reminders, missed appointments - it is easy to be overwhelmed by our daily difficulties and the doubts and fears which can easily transform them into epic disasters.
And then we turn on the news and see families drowning by the boatload or being gassed in the remains of their war ravaged homes and suddenly our problems seem petty. For a moment we are thankful. Yet somehow before we know it we have returned to our own spiralling thoughts and fears.
How do we stay in that moment of gratefulness which can give us a better perspective on our difficulties? And how do we process the awful scenes playing out on our screens and not view the world with despair?
The bible says that “God will keep in perfect peace all who trust in him, all who fix their thoughts on him.” (Isaiah 26:3.) It doesn’t say that our troubles will vanish; in fact Jesus says “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) If we make a conscious effort to focus on God, to pray, to ask for His help and trust that He will answer, while being thankful for all that we have, we can have peace amidst the difficulty (Philippians 4:6,7). We can be sure that even though our troubles seem insignificant compared to people in Syria or Burma, God cares about all the details of our lives.
Encouraged, we can then turn our attention to helping others in our own communities and overseas and therefore make the world just that little bit better while we wait for Jesus to fix it all one great and glorious day.
Larisa Hockey – Mangapapa Church
Since buying a farm John and Larisa Hockey have been living in that place of challenge and adventure where they get plenty of practise in focusing on God to keep their peace!