Persevering with Peace
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the
As I continue trusting God through my struggles with chronic pain, even the simplest setback can feel like a fierce enemy attacker. Problem One jabs me from the right. Problem Two shoves me from behind. Problem Three punches me square in the nose. During these times, when my strength wanes and immediate relief evades me, running and hiding can seem like a good idea. But since I can’t escape my pain, change my circumstances, or ignore my emotions, I’m learning slowly to rely on God to carry me through.
When I need encouragement, comfort, and courage, I prayerfully read through the songs of the psalmists, who honestly bring their situations to God. In one of my favorite psalms, King David flees from Absalom, his son who wanted to kill him and take his kingdom. Though David lamented his painful situation (Psalm 3:1–2), he trusted God’s protection and expected Him to answer his prayers (vv. 3–4). The king didn’t lose sleep worrying or fearing what could happen, because he trusted God to sustain and save him (vv. 5–8).
Physical and emotional pain can often feel like aggressive adversaries. We may be tempted to give up or wish we could escape when we’re weary and can’t see the end of our current battle. But, like David, we can learn to trust that God will hold us up and help us rest in His constant and loving presence.
In addition to the Psalms, the New Testament has a lot to say about perseverance through trials. The book of Acts tells the account of the apostle Peter who was preparing to stand trial after being unjustly imprisoned by King Herod for eight days. Undoubtedly he would be executed. But Peter didn’t lose any sleep over his impending death. In fact “the night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep” (Acts 12:6
The apostle Paul wrote about tranquility in his letter to the Philippians: “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” (Philippians 4:6–7).
When we can’t sleep because we’re troubled by the trials of life, instead of counting sheep we can talk to our Good Shepherd. Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you” (John 14:27).
What worries keep you awake at night? Ask God to help you find the peace you need.