Many people express to me how concerned they are for this nation and their family’s future. I can empathize with their thoughts. Some days it seems hard to find rest in today’s world; rest as in peace of mind, with freedom from anxiety, worry and fear. Some would say we live in tumultuous times. At a minimum, much uncertainty surrounds us daily.

My Christian faith teaches that peace and rest can be found each day if our focus is on God rather than on the circumstances over which we have no control. I personally don’t win the battle for peace each day as I still sometimes find myself overwhelmed with circumstances just as others do. However, the truth is that even in the most difficult of times, God is there to help in our time of trouble.

We all face difficulties at one time or another. We may be without a job, good health, good relationships, or what we believe to be a hopeful future. My family is no different than yours; we, too, face challenges and difficulties. It would be nice if each day I awoke with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

Regrettably, when that doesn’t happen, it’s because I’ve overlooked what is eternal to focus on what is temporal. God’s word tells us our life is a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. For no other reason than that, we should seek to live above our circumstances, whether they are good or bad, to make the most of our lives. It is with that attitude “…we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (II Corinthians 4:18).”

In the worst of situations, there is always opportunity. Though our nation faces difficult times, opportunities abound if we will but let God guide and direct us. Our forefathers faced many great struggles for freedom – the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II and the fight for Civil Rights. Many times, the country was as split as it is today with no apparent hope for the future. By God’s grace our nation came through those times only to be stronger and of greater character.

God is still near us and is ready and willing to release both His grace and mercy upon us if we will but admit our need and call to Him for help. He has shown again and again how much He loves this nation and I have faith that we will again see His blessings rest upon it. II Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” As that has been true for my life, I believe it will also be true for our nation. We have hope for the future!

Now is not the time to live in fear, anxiety or worry. It is time to live by faith in an eternal hope that is greater than anything we can personally create or design in our own power. From that we can experience hope for the future and a rest for today that is life-giving rather than a hopelessness that is life-draining.

Peace and rest can be ours today. Scripture encourages us not to “…worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).”

It is my prayer that each of you reading this today finds peace and rest for your soul. God is faithful to deliver us in every circumstance, no matter how impossible it may seem. Be encouraged!