Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

Reclaiming Peace

~~The election is over. The ballots are in and we have a new President-elect.
And what a surprise it was.
On election day, I was waiting for results to begin pouring in. I was filled with a mixture of excitement and fear, enthusiasm and dread. The election season was nothing like what I had hoped for.
As I drove to work thinking about the election, the words to a Chris Tomlin song penetrated my thoughts.
Jesus Messiah, name above all names
Blessed redeemer, Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners, the ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah, Lord of all
As the words wafted through my car, peace washed over me. An inexplicable peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding. Perfect peace that can only come from my Heavenly Father.
And I realized how much this election—this year—has robbed me of peace.
I want to stop where I am and reclaim my peace, the perfect peace that comes from God, offered freely to all of us who call on His name.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
I have been transfixed by everything going on in the world around me. I’ve watched the news, read all the stories, researched the candidates. Every time I open my phone, it’s there glaring at me, calling for my attention.
Add to the election the chaos in my personal life, and I have been tossed and turned by the tumultuous waters all year long. Every time I think I’m getting back on solid ground, another round of waves washes over me, causing me to go under yet again.
And so, starting now, I want to fix my thoughts on God. I want to ignore the circumstances crashing around me, the news clamoring for my attention. I want to focus fully and completely on my Father, the One who makes a way when there is none.
Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. Isaiah 26:4
Peace washes over me when I trust my Father, my Rock.
Who do I trust? The Father who is the giver of all good gifts. The Father who is my Jehovah Jireh, my Provider. The Father who is my Jehovah Rapha, my Healer. The Father who is perfect love, love that casts out fears. The Father who is my Refuge in the midst of the storm. The Father who sees all, hears all, knows all. The Father who loves me so much He was willing to give His only son for me.
When I stop and think about my Savior, His goodness and His grace. When I focus on His character. When I remember the depths of His love and grace that wash over me. I am reminded that He is trustworthy, that He has all things in control.
And I find His peace guarding my heart and mind.
But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them. Isaiah 26:7
Am I righteous? Am I striving to live God’s way? Then I can trust God has the way planned out. I can know that even when the path is rocky and dangerous, He is with me. He guides my every step, making the path straight. He does what is right.
I have no need to fear. I have no reason to surrender my peace to the circumstances around me. My God is good, and He does what is right.
Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify your name. Isaiah 26:8
Sometimes I say I trust God, but my actions betray me. I can say I trust God with the outcome of the election. I can say I trust Him with my daughter and her illness. I can say I trust Him in the midst of our grief.
But what do my actions show? Am I obeying His laws? Am I living His way? Am I following His commands? Am I loving Him and loving others? Is my heart’s desire truly to glorify His name?
If I actively trust Him, my actions will show it. And His peace will be evident in my life.
In the night I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek you. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right. Isaiah 26:9
Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night with you mind spinning and churning? Do you ever find yourself lying in bed, rehearsing the circumstances of the day? Do you ever spend a sleepless night wondering what direction you should go?
I know I do. I also know when I awake, I can grab my Bible and gain peace. As I read His love letter to me, my mind slows down and I begin to settle down. When I turn my mind to God and search for Him in the night, His peace washes over me.
And when I seek Him first thing in the morning, peace and calm washes over me. It sets the tone for my day, changes my perspective. My day goes much more smoothly when I make Him my priority.
Lord, you will grant us peace; all we have accomplished is really from you. O Lord our God, others have ruled us, but you alone are the one we worship. O Lord, you have made our nation great; yes, you have made us great. You have extended our borders, and we give you the glory! Isaiah 26:12-14
Let’s give credit where credit is due: we are here, we live, we breathe because of Him. He lives in us, through us. Without Him, we are nothing. We thrive because His favor rests on us. We survive because He fights for us.
He has given us a great nation, a nation where we have freedom to worship. He has poured out blessings on our nation for two hundred years. America is great because He has allowed us to be great.
Now it is time to worship. Now it is time to fall on our knees in honor of the One who gives us all things to enjoy. Now is the time to recognize His hand of sovereignty guiding our lives.
Now is the time to stand in awe of the God of this Universe, and reclaim the peace only He can give.

Father God, this entire year has been chaotic. My life has been tossed and overturned repeatedly by the circumstances of this life. My focus has turned from you as I struggle to get through each day. My heart aches for your perfect peace, the peace that only comes from a steadfast adherence to you and your ways. Help me turn my focus back to you, the One who makes my path straight. Help me show my trust in You, my rock and my refuge from the storms of this life. May I search for you at night and seek you in the morning. May I always remember your goodness and grace, your favor poured out upon me, and bow in worship.