Finding Peace in the Midst of Pain
By John D. Barry, CEO of Jesus' Economy
There are moments in life that seem to lack all peace. Instead, they are only full of pain. How can we find peace in times such as these? Paul the apostle, who was deeply familiar with pain, had some thoughts on that.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you” (NIV).
The church at Thessalonica had endured incredible pain, as had Paul. From those who didn’t believe in Jesus, they had experienced persecution (2 Thessalonians 1:4; 3:1–2). Thus, Paul does not tritely offer these words about peace.
For Paul, peace was a real and enduring reality in his life, despite the pain. If only such was the case for all of us.Paul achieved this sense of peace from a deep understanding that Jesus would work through all things—no matter how dire they seemed (compare Philippians 4:13; Romans 8:28). Paul believed in a resurrected Lord who could bring resurrected life to even the most painful moments of death and despair.
I remember an intense moment of despair in my life, when I felt like I could no longer see the beauty of the moon or the stars. When I looked up and out, I felt nothing but pain. I questioned everything and was left paralyzed by indecision—despairing. I found my way out by praying through my pain. And when I couldn’t find words to pray, I prayed through the Psalms and the Book of Common Prayer.
And this was Paul’s solution. He went to prayer:
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 NRSV).
“Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18 NRSV).
It wasn’t that Paul didn’t feel pain or experience movements of anxiety or despair. It’s what Paul did with those moments. He prayed. He prayed. He prayed.
What is God asking you to bring to him in prayer today? How can peace in Jesus be your answer to even the most painful of moments? Drop me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
John D. Barry is the CEO of Jesus’ Economy, an innovative non-profit creating jobs and churches in the developing world. At JesusEconomy.org, people can shop fair trade and give directly to a cause they’re passionate about, such as bringing the gospel to unreached people groups. John is also the general editor of Faithlife Study Bible and the author or editor of 30 books.