The storms of life. We all have them — the storms of stress, sorrow, setbacks, and sickness. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NKJV).
Eternity without pain is on the horizon, but in the meantime, God has a special four-part “peace plan” to guide, strengthen, and empower you, filling your life with peace, purpose, and joy. Daily applying these four principles will help you flourish instead of flounder as you face the inevitable challenges and demands of these last days. They are:
1. A lifestyle that promotes peace. Lifestyle is a major factor that affects mental, physical, social, and spiritual health. Lifestyle choices matter, especially the ones you repeat every day. They profoundly affect brain function, which is the seat of your thinking, emotions, and decisions. “Many of the fundamental tools for the care and feeding of the brain are everyday matters. Physical and mental exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep will help anyone gain cognitive clarity and emotional stability.”1 Healthy food choices, rest, and daily exercise are powerful mental, physical, and spiritual health promoters.
2. Attitudes that produce peace. Your thoughts and attitudes have a powerful effect on the rest of your body, especially your immune, nervous, and digestive systems. You can literally think yourself into a frenzy, but God promises His peace, “perfect peace,” to the one whose mind is centered upon Him (Isa. 26:3). He invites you to trust Him with every circumstance of your life. “A contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to the soul.”2 This is an attitudinal discipline that focuses on God’s truth and solutions rather than fear, circumstances, and unreliable emotions.
3. Spiritual principles that secure peace. “Spiritual well-being is at the center of a healthy lifestyle.”3 To meet your deepest longings, God has provided spiritual principles that bring true life satisfaction. This does not come with wealth, fame, popularity, or even perfect health. It comes through making peace with God — in entering into a surrendered, saving relationship with Him. God’s love is the foundation of a relationship with Him and healthy relationships with each other.
4. Faith that preserves peace. Faith is more than positive thinking. It is connecting with the living God who seeks to restore what sin has broken and taken away. Jesus never promised an absence of problems. Faith is the conviction that God will guide you and give you power through good and bad times. Faith says, “Either make the problem smaller or me bigger!” God has a plan, and He cares for you in a very personal way. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, purposes of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11, NKJV).
Especially now, in these troubled times, Jesus invites you to enter His peace plan. He will help you to not just survive but thrive in the storms of life.
1. John J. Ratey, A User's Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention and the Four Theaters of the Brain(New York: Vintage Books, 2002), 356.
2. Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1905), 241.
3. C. Clark and T. Heidenreich, “Spiritual Care for the Critically Ill,” American Journal of Critical Care 4, no. 1 (1995): 77-81.