Peace, Be Still
by Samuel Saeed
The year 2018 was meant to be the best year of my life. Graduated from school, getting my license, starting university and even moving out of my own home and living with my friends. Ultimately, this was the year of freedom for me, the year where I would finally have everything I wanted and be happy, or so I thought.
I start the year, and everything goes wrong. Moving becomes a struggle for me, adapting to a new life is tiresome and strenuous. Basically, all the wrong that I thought I was invincible against, happened to me. Sound pretty depressing right? I thought this was meant to be the year for me. I thought this would be the best year of my life. What happened God, where did it go wrong?
The problem I soon uncovered later by the Grace of God was that I found that I was putting my sense of peace and happiness on the external circumstances. I thought that what was happening around me would give me happiness. Wow was I wrong. This occurs to everyone daily. For example, you get to work, your boss yells at you, you do something wrong and lose clients or patients, or whatever it may be. Sound familiar? Or how about you go to school, realised you flunked a test, someone may have bullied you, or a teacher may have yelled at you. We allow these types of circumstances to affect my peace, but all of these are external. What about the internal?
Let’s look at Joseph the Righteous. A man loved by his father, but hated by his brothers. Given many gifts, yet he was still sold as a slave. This man went through it all and only at the age of approximately 17 or 18. Imagine being sold by the people you called your brothers and who you thought loved you the most or being imprisoned for something you didn’t commit, not a great feeling. But the most amazing thing is not once did it say in the Bible that Joseph complained or was upset or hated his life. “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man” (Genesis 39:2). All of the external circumstances were against Joseph, yet his internal state was peace and this is what sustained him. His trust in God and love for God that sustained him regardless of his external circumstances. It was God’s peace that sustained him throughout all of these adversaries.
Let’s look at the example of Susanna and Daniel. This woman was sentenced to death for something that she didn’t do. Her life flashed before her eyes as the two elders lied to the assembly and she was being condemned to her death. Clearly, her external circumstances were appalling, however let us look on her internal state. She did not frail, nor did she complain, but rather, she cried aloud to the Eternal God in complete trust and faith and was saved the very same day. Susanna’s internal circumstance was one of peace and faith and this delivered her from death at the hands of the evil men.
What does this mean for us? We all go through periods where we just feel like the world is against us. We may feel as though whatever we try to do in life, it keeps on messing up and turning against us. God is telling us today, “peace, be still”. He is telling us with love, to leave all of our external circumstances in His hands and to focus on our own internal peace which is only from Him. Indeed, this is how all the martyrs lived. They didn’t care about death or torture, but rather they maintained their internal peace and trusted in God even until the point of death, and King David describes them as “the excellent ones on the earth” (Psalms 16:3).
Ultimately, when I put my sense of peace and happiness in God’s hands and not in the hands of the external circumstances, then nothing should hurt me except sin alone. I should truly become invincible. To finish with a story, there was once a man in my church whose wife had fallen ill and had to be delivered to hospital. She had lost all her memories and was bed-ridden and to be honest, it didn’t seem like things were going to end well for her. However, when I spoke to the husband, all he would say was “God is going to take care of everything, I know it”. Surely enough, she was healed and all her memories returned. Despite the external, this man did not allow his internal circumstance to waver from the peace that God gave him, and this is what we should all be aspiring towards.