Finding Peace Through the Psalms—By Meisha Johnson
Over the last few months, we’ve certainly seen what real fear and anxiety looks like. But the Bible tells us that fear is the opposite of faith. And we, of course, are called to have faith (not fear) in the face of even the greatest opposition and uncertainty. So then, if we reject fear in our daily lives…what is the alternative? The alternative is Peace.
Jesus came to give us a power that would allow us to live in peace always. He knew we would have trouble in this world (John 16:33) and that we would need a supernatural kind of peace to weather those challenges. Peace is the ability to remain calm, assured, and still in the midst of adversity. By reading and meditating on Scripture, we are guaranteed a peace that transcends all understanding (Phil 4:7): a peace that permeates mind, body, and soul. The Book of Psalms is the perfect place to turn to. It’s not only God-breathed, but reminds us of God’s presence with us and divine protection over us.
Here are three powerful verses to read over when you’re being gripped with anxiety, stress or fear. When these psalms are prayed with your whole heart and soul, slowly but surely you’ll begin to let go of the distress and tension you’re feeling. You’ll soon be able to take up that unwavering (and faithful!) attitude of peace Jesus came to give you.
1.) “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” –Psalm 4:8.
In times of great stress, it can be hard to rest – both physically and mentally. We are constantly on edge, afraid that if we let our guard down, something bad could happen. The good news is that even when we’re not looking, God is. He has us covered! He is our faithful Watchman, protecting us from danger. And because of that, we can rest and not worry — holding on to divine peace instead.
2.) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear [even] though the earth gives way; [even] though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea” –Psalm 46:1-2.
Here is a powerful picture of what it means to remain steady and courageous when all hope seems to be lost. God is not merely a life preserver with the ability to keep us afloat. He is a Strong Tower (Prov 18:10), a place where we can find shelter in troubled and desperate times. Nothing can shake Him. Even when the earth crumbles around us, we will still be safe under the watchful eye and careful right hand of the Lord Almighty.
3.) “Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol [hell], or let Your holy one see corruption” –Psalm 16:9-10.
How comforting it is to know that God will not abandon us in our time of need. Because of His presence, we don’t have to hide or cower in fear when disaster strikes. We can, contrary to worldly logic, be glad and rejoice (Ps 118:24). Yes, we can rejoice! We can go through life confidently and boldly (Eph 3:11-12) because we know that even in our darkest hour, “the LORD Himself goes before us…never to leave us nor forsake us” (Deut 31:8).
Peace is not something that comes easily or naturally. It is a lifestyle that takes devoted prayer and time to cultivate. But if we put in the work, ridding our minds of thoughts of despair and darkness (focusing on God’s Word instead), we will find our feelings of fear slowly melting away. Like the psalmists did, we can trust God with all our hardships — no matter how big or small. In today’s world, we could all use a lot less fear and a lot more peace. And that peace will be found only in the Truth and promises of God.
May God bless you for your faith.