By Donna Hughey

So many people struggle with finding peace. Whether it’s simply just yearning for some alone time or as serious as an overwhelming circumstance, peace can sometimes be hard to find. Even for believers.

As people of faith, we know it’s God’s desire for us to live our lives with a “peace which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), but it can sometimes be difficult — especially when we’re burdened with confusion, chaos, or anxiety.

These kinds of feelings can bring us down and make us question God’s good plan for our lives. And make no mistake; understanding what God has in mind for us when we’re struggling is no small feat. But it’s imperative to continue leaning on God during these tough times — even when it seems that his comfort is out of reach.

It’s also important to remember we have an enemy and one of his goals is to rob us of God’s peace. And surprisingly, often times it’s us who allows the enemy to keep us in a state of confusion and anxiety. Once we begin to move away from godly thoughts and embrace thoughts of hopelessness and despair, we’ve unintentionally given the enemy more power over us, often without us even being aware.

Scripture teaches that we are to have a “renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2), which basically means we need to spend more time focusing on God’s word and his teachings rather than what the enemy tries to convince us of. God’s word is filled with comfort and hope, and can give us a strength we never knew we had; we just have to be willing to change our mind-set and tap into his amazing power.

Leaning on God, keeping the enemy at bay, and focusing on God’s word are all great tools for finding peace and comfort. But it doesn’t end there. God has equipped his followers with the most precious gift of all: prayer.

God freely invites each and every one of us to enter into his sacred presence and to pour out all of our worries, anxieties, and fears. All of our doubts, all of our confusion, and all of our hurts can be laid at his feet. It doesn’t matter if we’re overwhelmed by our circumstance and can’t find the words to say; the Holy Spirit speaks for us when we’re at a loss for words. Listen to this:

“...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Romans 8:26 NIV)

So remember, God promises to give us peace and contentment if we trust him (Philippians 4:6-7). And completely trusting God means turning our troubles over to him and worrying about them no more. Once we’re able to let go and instead be thankful to God in all circumstance, we can find the hope and peace that we long for.

Only then can we surround ourselves with the kind of peace that transcends all understanding.

Donna Hughey is an award-winning Christian author and columnist. She lives in Crescent City.