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15. When Peace Like a River ...

June 17, 2017

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And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, shall keep your hearts, your minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer in Chicago. He and his wife Anna had five children. In 1871, their young son’s life was taken by pneumonia, and later that same year, they lost much of their business in the Chicago fire. Despite their tragedies, they rebuilt. In 1873, Horatio sent his wife and four daughters on a boat to Europe, where he was going to meet them after finishing some pressing business. Four days into the voyage, their ship hit another ship. All four daughters were lost at sea and only Mrs. Spafford’s life was saved. Horatio got on a boat to meet her in Europe. Four days in his voyage, the captain of ship called to him to show him the very spot his daughters were lost at sea. It was at this moment where Horatio Spafford wrote the famous hymn, “It is Well with My Soul.” In the midst of his hurt and trial, he found a peace from God that was unlike any other. 

Have you ever felt like life was stacked against you? Maybe you are reading this waiting for the other shoe to drop. Anxiety is a real struggle. When anxiety is left unchecked, it keeps people from fully experiencing God, as well as impacts our minds and hearts. When we allow anxiety to have a place in our lives, our heart and attitude towards the promises of God changes. Philippians talks about a peace from God that surpasses all understanding.

There are situations that we go through that will require a peace that goes beyond our understanding. If we stuck to our own understanding, there is a great opportunity to be taken over by the storms of life. When we allow God’s peace to come into our hearts and minds, something powerful happens: anxiety stops. Peace can flow like a river. When peace is there, we have a different outlook and resolve. Even when we are looking at the place of our greatest loss, whatever our lot, even so, it is well with our soul.

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