As someone who has spent a lifetime struggling on and off with depression and anxiety it might not surprise anyone to hear that my favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:4-9:
“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 everything , by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – think on these 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.”
Why those verses? In the midst of my mind wanting to think on all the negative in this world, in the midst of my spirit mourning for those that reject the truth of scripture and the sacrifice of Jesus, in the midst of fear that seeks to seize me and steal my joy I desperately cling to the God of Peace. Peace that passes all understanding, that is the kind of peace to which I will hold fast. It is a supernatural peace that comes from a God that does not follow the rules of this world, its societies or its governments. It is a peace that allowed Christ himself to rest easily in a boat on a stormy sea while his disciples were in a state of panic. Jesus had complete trust in his Father and knew there was no reason to panic or fear. I sometimes roll my eyes at those silly disciples and think, “Come on you guys, do you really think God would send his Son to die in a storm on the sea? Why did you panic and doubt!” Then the Holy Spirit gentle reminds me of ALL the times I have questioned and doubted God’s ways just TODAY! What did Jesus do for his disciples at that moment though? With great authority he spoke peace over the winds and waters and it all obeyed. THAT! That is what I remember, what I hold to in this fallen world, that my God, THE one and only TRUE God, he has all power and authority! NOTHING will come against me in this life that he has not sifted through his hands. He will block what needs to be blocked and send me through stormy seas that will test my faith and grow me. In all of it, the good and the bad of life, I can trust in him, rest in his peace, and know he is driving the boat and the wind. Peace that passes the understandings of this world, I’ll take that!