Where do we turn when our world seems to be spinning out of control? International conflict seems to be spiraling out of control. The leadership in our government, our states, and our larger cities are in chaos. Our culture disregards standards of morality, truth, and law. It feels like we are in a hurricane and all our foundations are being shaken.

But the middle of a hurricane has a calm ‘eye of the storm’. Regardless of how strong the winds of the storm are, the center is calm. That eye is like the peace that comes from being in a close relationship with the Almighty, the all-powerful God. He can be our peace regardless of what we are facing.

One way to keep our mind centered on the Lord is through giving thanks. Have you ever considered the personal benefits of giving thanks? Secular studies have found that expressing gratitude is associated with improved sleep, mood, and immunity. Gratitude can also decrease depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and risk of disease. Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can bring many benefits to our lives. It can increase our happiness, improve our physical health, give us a better mental well-being, higher self-esteem, and greater life satisfaction.

Besides those practical benefits, gratitude reminds us that everything we have is a gift. We came into the world with nothing. Everything we have is from the Lord who makes His rain fall on the just as well as the unjust. Our life, breath, food, clothing, homes, and friends all came from God. The other side of gratitude is obligation, which can lead us into a downward spiral where we feel we are deserving or entitled to what we have. Instead of feeling grateful to our Heavenly Provider, we can get caught up in the attitudes of selfishness, greed, bitterness, and depression.

The things going on in our world or our personal lives can steal our joy.

We can see the storm and become afraid. Instead, if we keep our minds and hearts centered on the Lord, we can have His peace regardless of the storm. Spending time with Jesus in His Word or in giving Him thanks is our protection from the chaos. In Him we can find joy because He says, “Peace, be still.” If we appreciate all the ways He meets our needs and provides for us, then we can rest in the eye of the storm. Jesus has blessed us abundantly and He will not ignore our needs now.

Consider these promises of scripture:

  • Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph!” Deuteronomy 33:29
  • But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3
  • I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.”Psalm 40:1-4
  • Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thank you, Jesus, for being our peace in the storm!

— Pr. Kevin