A practical way to live in God’s peace

Published 5:50 am Saturday, February 24, 2018

Every now and then I’m asked why I do not express my thoughts about political and social issues. Of course, I have personal opinions about all that is going on just like you, but do we really need more repetitive commentary especially when it comes to confirming how disturbing the world has become? How could I help anything by joining in with the crowd to criticize and argue about problems which are politically and socially divisive?

I’m not saying we are to avoid or hide from strife and confusion but rather to limit our intake of negativity in order to keep from being emotionally overwhelmed. Since I am not a political analyst, I intentionally refuse to become tangled up in meaningless merry-go-round dialogue. Instead of multiplying the sorrow about what we already know, we can choose to seek a refreshing word of hope that can inspire and bring encouragement and this is what I’m focused on. Spiritual peace is not something humans can give to each other but it’s a gift from God when an individual seeks His presence. He is the only one that can renew a mind and transform a soul.

It does not take a genius to correlate the world’s anxiety to the daily overload of shocking and discouraging information. Thanks to the ever-increasing wonders of technology, we have a constant access to an endless flow of darkness and strife. It seems many are subconsciously drawn to having their senses stimulated by a constant news-feed, even though a large majority of the content consists of devastation and suffering.

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With television crime dramas, violent action movies, vulgar music, pornography, vicious video games, and horror films being so popular, I honestly wonder if many people are becoming addicted to tragedy. Is this attraction to sinister and disturbing events, along with the fixation for real-life crisis situations, causing us to lose a healthy perspective of reality?

The gospel is called the good news for a life-changing reason and it’s vital to balance our intake of information in order to preserve our sanity and protect our spiritual peace. Let us remember that Jesus came to deliver us from evil and to give us victory over the darkness of sin. “Casting all your cares and anxiety upon Him; for He loves and cares for you” I Peter 5:7.

I heard a story the other day about a group of businessmen meeting for breakfast and were discussing the ground-breaking subject of how they all had slept the night before. They went around the table as each man relayed his comments.

The first man complained about tossing and turning all night and made half-joking remarks about listening to the news before bedtime and how the negative reports seemed to upset him and cause an uncomfortable amount of anxiety. He also mentioned that maybe the coffee he had consumed did not help.

The man across the table spoke up and with enthusiasm declared he had a wonderful night’s rest and was filled with energy and sincere anticipation to start the day. He added that he had used his go-to-sleep plan that had never failed to work perfectly. Of course, this interesting proclamation had everyone’s attention and they all wanted to hear about this secret. He said when he was a child, his father would gather the family together in the living room at bedtime to read the Bible and say a prayer. Afterward, he would go to his room and sleep with such an indescribable peace and contentment. He said it felt like the entire house was filled with a heavenly presence as a sense of safety and security would cover him like a blanket. However, when he left home and went out on his own, he fell away from spending time with God and developed the habit of going to bed distracted with the cares of the world.

He went on to say that recently he and his wife were facing some serious situations and mutually decided to re-establish Bible reading and prayer before bedtime. He said, they were both amazed at how their sleep had improved and his attitude has changed from being worried and nervous to become more happy, content and positive minded. Psalm 94:19 says, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”

Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky where he is a Christian minister and author. Ask for a free copy of his new CD, “Keeper of my soul,” at www.billyhollandministries.com.