They must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer. (1 Peter 3:11–12)
My friend Rose was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021. While such news would understandably terrify most people, it did not terrify Rose. On the contrary, she exhibited such peaceful serenity and joyful calm that the medical experts initially believed her response was one of shock. But as the months went by and Rose received the unrelenting treatments without the slightest change to her state of mind, all could see that her peace was genuine—unexplainable, perhaps, but unquestionably real.
God’s peace is not passive. It does not occur accidentally. And it does not come by avoiding or ignoring negative circumstances. Rose claims that such peace requires a purposeful prayer life long before a crisis comes. Rose has spent years pursuing a close relationship with Jesus; he is her closest friend.
Since sickness, suffering, and death are a result of humanity’s sin and were not a part of God’s original design, Rose is confident that this is spiritual warfare—an attack from the devil, aimed at defeating her.
However, as John Chrysostom, a dynamic preacher who lived over sixteen hundred years ago, rhetorically asked: “Do you see how by the very means the devil tries to break the promise of God, the promise is increased?” Despite Satan’s attempts to shake Rose, her peace has only increased. What the devil meant for evil has become the very means of his defeat.
Seek God’s peace today; pursue it.
Laura Hurd is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church and holds a master’s degree from Wesley Seminary [IN]. She pastors with her husband, Jason, in rural Nebraska.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.