Almighty and everlasting God, who governs all things in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Your people and grant us Your peace through all our days; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
I know a man who is absolutely unflappable. Chaos can be erupting around him, but he is always calm, always has a smile, always has an encouraging word. Please do not get the idea that this fellow has achieved some sort of wise enlightenment. Sometimes the chaos erupting around him is decidedly of his own foolish making. At the same time, he manages to keep his feet grounded in some simple truths.
We pray for peace in this prayer. There are lots of reasons for you to be anxious and troubled in this month of January. As you read this, we are ramping up into another election cycle for president. That alone is reason to be anxious, but there are also wars and climactic chaos to contend with. It seems the people whose whole lives are dedicated to telling me the world is ending have been working overtime. Anxiety might just be the realistic course of action!
My friend has a full measure of Christ’s peace. He is sure that God does govern all things, even when that is hard to see, like it is hard to see right now. He also believes that God mercifully hears his prayers and the prayers of all believers. Because this is true, he has Christ’s peace. Even when he is the immediate cause of some of the turmoil and chaos around him, even then, when it really is his fault, he knows that Christ’s love for him is not based on his getting life right.
You have so many things to be anxious about. Take a deep breath today. Remember that God is the Creator of this world and He loves this world, all of it, even the parts we think are irretrievably broken. He has made a solemn promise to you to hear your prayers with His gracious, loving, merciful attention. I cannot tell you how it will all turn out, but we know that He has you in mind. Together we will do our work, confident that He will make it work for His kingdom, even if we have erred. It is His kingdom. He will take care of it.