By DR. BILLY HOLLAND
Have you known someone who was even-tempered and composed even when circumstances seemed to be falling apart all around them? In times of a serious crisis, somehow these individuals have the type of personality to remain calm and collected, in fact, it’s not unusual to see them comforting the very ones who came to help them. So, what is the secret to living in a peaceful and tranquil state of mind? For those who trust in God, I believe we come to a point in our spiritual journey where we simply begin to realize that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and it only makes sense this would include believing what He has declared is true. It may sound rather elementary, but having a passion for knowing Him personally will go a long way toward learning to trust Him.
Life has its share of wonderful seasons where we enjoy the blessings and have delightful experiences and then there are times of disappointment and occasionally these are devastating. Have you noticed that when we are on the mountaintop, we tend to forget about God because we are so distracted with our pleasures. Then, after the celebration has passed, we find ourselves walking through a dark and discouraging valley, and immediately call out to Him because we want to go back to the good times. A certain amount of fluctuation is indeed a normal part of life but riding on an emotional roller coaster is not exactly the way God intended for His people to live. His perfect plan is for us to become mature in order to have a higher spiritual connection with Him whether we are walking through abundance or adversity.
Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13, “I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” I believe it would help with our anxiety and stress if we could just sincerely place our lives into His hands and rest in the confidence that He knows about our situation and is working behind the scenes for our best interest. As a counselor, I realize that when someone is desperate for an immediate solution, advising them to keep praying and be patient is not what they want to hear. Proverbs chapter 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In ALL thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Observing this carefully allows us to comprehend He is simply wanting us to stand on what He has promised. He desires that we trust Him not only in times of crisis but every moment.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 145:18 and 19, “The Lord is near unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them.” The bottom line is that God wants to intervene because He loves you. His answers might not always be what we imagined or when we wanted them, but He will always make the right decision in His perfect time. Many are struggling financially and are stressed to the point of a nervous breakdown. Others are facing serious health issues, family problems and are afraid of an uncertain future. Worry is the opposite of faith and can steal the joy of our salvation. I do not have specific answers for every issue and neither can I explain why bad things happen to good people, but I do know that whatever type of valley you are walking through today, God hears your prayers and will never forget or forsake you.
I’m reminded of the story in Mark chapter 4, where Jesus and His disciples were in a boat during a violent storm. Jesus was resting comfortably while the men were crying out in fear of sinking and drowning. They woke Him, and He calmly commanded the wind and waves to stop and they did. He is always in total control of every situation and if we are holding His hand, we can always rest in His perfect peace.
Dr. Holland is a Christian minister, community chaplain, and author. Read more about the Christian life at: billyhollandministries.com.