Volatile: Liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse.
Does this word seem relatable? ‘Volatile’ seems to be stuck in my mind after 2020 and a rough start to 2021. The world around us seems to be chaotic, unpredictable, and, if I’m being honest, hopeless at times. You might be feeling some of the weight of this. At times we might wonder where God is and how we might proceed in the midst of such dissension.
The jarring events of last night showed us something important. It showed us that the tensions of dissension and uncertainty lead to catastrophic consequences. For all of us reading today, I want to assure you that God has something so much greater planned for you in 2021. God is not the ‘god’ of volatility but of peace and calm. Elijah was told that God was not in the earthquakes or fires but in a gentle whisper.
I’m not sure where you are today or what troubles you. I cannot know the fears in your heart or how they manifest in your daily life. What I can tell you is that God wants to speak to you. Are you ready to listen?
Philippians 4:6-7. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I have read this scripture one-hundred times. I come to this scripture in times of uncertainty and when I feel a little off. If I’m being honest, writing this was difficult at first. How can I write this when I am feeling a little worried? How can I encourage people when I am feeling discouraged?
I found myself in this scripture, and the first four words convicted me heavily. Be anxious for nothing. Notice that it does not say TRY to be anxious for nothing. It does not suggest to be anxious for nothing when it is convenient or when it feels appropriate. It simply says, be anxious for nothing. This is a command. It is NOT a suggestion. It is NOT an option.
Instead, we take EVERYTHING to God through prayer and supplication. Because God cares about every part of our lives and not just some. We pray to God about these areas in our lives, then we ask. Oftentimes, supplication is forgotten. We wonder how we are to move past or overcome these areas in our lives, but we forget to ask. When we ask, we begin to participate. When we participate, we begin actively putting God as the leader of our own lives.
Then the peace of God infiltrates and guards our hearts and minds through Jesus. “What is God’s peace? The unruffled serenity of the infinitely-happy God, the eternal composure of the absolutely well-contented God.” (Spurgeon) This type of peace and comfort makes no sense. They surpass all of our understanding.
When we do this, our hearts and minds become guarded by this peace that we do not understand. The word guard is a military command. Or in other words, God’s peace stands guard over our heart and mind. Therefore, when we begin to lose ourselves or fall into worries, we have forgotten to command God’s peace over our hearts and minds. All we have to do is ask and then listen for the truth that surpasses all of our own understanding.
What are you going to do with this new-found peace? You might remember these famous words from This Little Light of Mine, “Hide it under a Bushel? NO! I’m going to let it shine.” Now more than ever, we need deeply devoted followers of Christ who have peace that surpasses understanding. We need those followers to let that peace infiltrate the lives that we interact with. I am challenging Wesley House to two things:
1. Endure Despite Your Circumstances
Who has heard of Joseph? His life was volatile. Yet, he thrived. Despite his circumstances, he found a way from slavery to the leader of all of Egypt. He found room in his heart to save his family from starvation despite being the ones to sell him into slavery. This would not be possible without his trust in God and his peace in volatile times.
Will you be a leader who rises above? Will you be a leader who finds room in your heart to offer peace?
2. Rise to the Occasion
Isaiah 6:8 says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”
Isaiah rose to the occasion. Isaiah did not wait to see if someone else would do the job. Instead, Here am I. Send me!
Can you initiate peace in your friend groups, at your school, and at Wesley?
Now more than ever, we need peace and we need leaders spreading peace. I believe it is the first step to finding unity. Will you join me?
I want you to know that the Wesley House loves you all. I want you to know that we are here for you if you need anything. Here is our info:
Isaiah – 940-447-1626
Sean – 540-450-7569
May the peace that surpasses all understanding guard your heart,