Maintaining a sense of peace in a chaotic society requires several disciplines on the part of the believer. The foremost discipline is that of prayer. We should ask the Lord daily to help us in “redeeming the time” (Eph. 5:16), which means making the best use of our limited time. By appealing to God often, and regularly, by putting Him first in our lives, our fears and anxieties will subside, and peace will envelope our minds. Neglect of prayer brings automatic forfeiture of peace of mind.
The second discipline is reliance on strength from God to see us through. If some obligations become excessive due to factors beyond our control, only a total child-like trust in God will keep us from becoming discouraged, short-tempered or even spiritually exhausted. The Psalmist wrote: “I will go in the strength of the Lord God” (Psa. 71:16).
Third, the believer should always seek to do God’s will, not his own, in scheduling his time. If this principle is followed, then very likely many unnecessary and stress-producing activities will be eliminated. Many activities bring “no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:14), but only add to the frustrations resulting from being over committed. Also, in planning our schedules, we should establish reasonable goals for each day. Unrealistic expectations bring disappointment and undermine our peace of mind.
Isaiah had a good understanding of peace when he wrote: “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in a
peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places” (Isa. 32:17-18). Jeremiah wrote “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam.3:26). Another important factor in maintaining peace is to practice patience in all daily activities. We are to “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1), which indicates putting forth fervent effort while patiently waiting upon the Lord to bless our efforts.
Very likely many of us need to curtail or reduce the level of demands we have allowed to press upon our lives. Perhaps we are guilty of planning too much for many of our days, and then suffering from the fatigue and frustration that follow. Sometimes we are even too hurried to be kind to our loved ones or to notice the beauty of God’s Creation. Perhaps we all need to exercise more wisdom and discernment in deciding what we will do with our time and in learning to say “no” more often. Could it be that we some times may even take pride in our over-committed schedules? Are we boasting or complaining to others about how busy we are? These attitudes will only bring us grief.
As we seek to properly manage our time, let us all remember our high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14), and our sole purpose in being here on earth, which is to serve our God and prepare for eternity. Let us not be swept into the often pointless flow of activity that leaves the inner man empty, and which does nothing to reflect the light of Christ in this dark world. Rather, let us be about our Father’s business—and be laborers in prayer, in reading the Word, and in extending the virtues of Christ to all those around us. Let us eliminate unfruitful activity and embrace this everlasting scriptural truth: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psa. 46:10).