When I was a child we sang an old hymn in church called “Wonderful Peace” with these lyrics:
Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight
Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm;
In celestial strains, it unceasingly falls
O’er my soul like an infinite calm.
Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!
Those lyrics were nice when I was a child, but I didn’t truly comprehend the need for them. I didn’t know that as an adult I would reflect on them as I reflect on
Philippians chapter 4
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:4-9 NIV
He is the God of love and the God of peace, and He has made that fact evident in my life. God does not bring a spirit of fear or of despair. So whenever I begin to feel afraid, lost, or desperate, I quickly turn to the Word and to praise. My attitude and my perspective switches quickly when my attention is turned to Him rather than the storm. It is in praising Him, reading His Word, praying, and sometimes fasting that I find what I need. The cure is His peace. He’s got EVERYTHING in His hands. He is trustworthy. It is so much bigger than just our corner of the world, but the God of the universe also cares about your little corner of the world – and my little corner too.
I believe the devil hates to hear our honest and humble praises. In fact, about three months ago the devil went wild in our church trying to stop a worship night we had scheduled for a Wednesday evening (before we started quarantine). A couple who runs our sound room ended up at the hospital with their baby boy, the substitute person for the sound booth was feeling very unwell, the pastor’s mother was having surgery, and several worship team members could not make it. Why would the devil try so hard to stop something so trivial in one little church? BECAUSE WORSHIP IS POWERFUL! Don’t believe me? Try it. I dare you. Forget about what your voice sounds like if anyone will hear you, if you sang the right pitch, or if your neighbor thinks you’re crazy. Just SING out to your maker in joyfulness and FAITH…….. It will change you because as Paul says in Philippians, the God of peace will be with you. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
I praise you today for your love and your wisdom. Please bestow your peace upon your people. May we turn to You for the answers we need in any time of trouble. Let us trust You more and more as we praise your holy name through the good and the bad, rejoicing in Your great love for us.