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
Many years ago, I read a book called The Hiding Place. It’s a true story, told by a lady named Corrie ten Boom. She tells of the time her and her family were put into a concentration camp for hiding Jewish people during the Nazi Holocaust.
The main emphasis of the story, that left an indelible impression on me, was the faith exhibited by Corrie and her sister, Betsie. Even through the situation was dire, the family was separated, the camp was deplorable, and death surrounded them, there was an underlying strength of peace present in their hearts.
Corrie told of the many situations that would cause fear, concern, or frustration. There were many times they were hungry, cold or downtrodden, but her sister would always come back with her words of wisdom. Betsie taught her to always see the best in every circumstance and to reach out to others at all times. Betsie was an example of peace, even in the midst of turmoil. She had a rejoicing spirit and gave thanks through the whole ordeal, even until her death in Ravensbruck concentration camp at age 59.
Betsie and Corrie showed that it is possible to have peace, even when turmoil is encompassing us. Everything around them was horrible, yet the horribleness did not penetrate their hearts. What a lesson for all of us.
There may be times when we have multiple troubles that make life difficult; poor health, a rebellious teenager, loneliness, loss of a job, death of a loved one, or financial difficulties, yet in all these things we can still have a peaceful heart, if we are willing to pray without ceasing and give thanks. We don’t necessarily have to feel thanks, but we give thanks and yield our grateful hearts to Him, despite our circumstances. We place in God, the hope for His resolutions; working out all things for our good.
Chaos, unrest, crime, natural disasters, and persecution of Christians may surround us. We must remember, who we serve is greater than all. We must stay strong and give thanks. When we are busy giving thanks, He is busy giving us peace. We may still have turmoil, but the turmoil will not have us.
Dear Lord, Thank you for your peace that passes all understanding. In Christ’s Name, Amen
~ Jenny Calvert