In Search of Peace

Posted on September 20, 2015

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This post is primarily directed to my Christian readers.  Readers of other faiths or no faith may not find that it resonates with you as much (though it might), but I welcome your thoughts on it.

Why do we worship?  God is certainly deserving of our worship, but why worship?  Worship is pleasing to God, but He doesn’t need it from us to feel good about himself.  So why does it matter?  I would submit that worship is for our benefit rather than His.

First, I should probably define my term here.  Worship is talking to God about God.  We worship God for who He is.  What we know about Him are those attributes of himself that he has revealed to human beings.  When we praise Him for those attributes, we are worshipping.

How does this benefit us?  Worship is a path to peace.  I don’t just mean this as a religious cliché, but in a real practical “living my life” sense.  It occurs to me that a large percentage of the population lives with a level of anxiety.  This anxiety disrupts our sleep and robs us of our peace.  We try to organize our lives in such a way as to make the anxiety manageable.  And most of us do manage to keep the anxiety at a manageable level, but it is still there.  It still robs us of our peace.

My assertion here is that our peace can never come from how we manage our lives, it comes from the nature of God.  All of God’s attributes our infinite.  None of His attributes contradicts another.  Let me offer a few examples of some of the attributes of God and what they might mean for you.

Grace – The fact that God is gracious means that we receive unmerited favor.  It is the nature of grace that we do not need to and cannot earn it.  If you could earn it, it would not be grace.  Among the benefits to the Christian is that grace takes the pressure off of trying to be good enough.  You do not have to earn God’s favor, you already have it.  When we praise God for his grace, we remind ourselves of these facts.

Loving – You were fearfully and wonderfully made by God who loves you.  You were made in and for love.  There is nothing you can do to make God love you more.  And there is nothing you can do to make God love you less.  In human relationships, we try to come close, but we never quite achieve unconditional love.  Not so, with God.  You are the apple of his eye.  You can approach His throne with confidence.  No matter how many times you continue to turn away from Him, you can turn back to him and know he will receive you because He loves you.

Forgiveness – God is forgiving.  Whatever evil you have done was paid for at the cross.  If you have already repented of it, you can let it go because he has.

Sovereignty – If God is ruling and in charge, you don’t need to worry about the big picture or the end game.  He has this under control.

Omnipotent – If God is all powerful, then He has the ability to handle whatever comes.  Having infinite power means that nothing is difficult for Him.  He is not tired at the end of the day from all of His exertion.

Omniscience – God is all knowing.  Therefore, He is not unaware of anything, nor is He taken by surprise.  He is not even surprised by your repeated failings.  He is not saying, “Really?  You did that again?  I thought we were past that.”

You get the point here.  We can have peace because of who God is, but not because of who we are or what we do.

Here is an experiment for you.  When you wake up during the night with something weighing on your mind, try praying to God about what you know of God.  This is an act of worship.  You don’t even need to switch on the light or get out of bed.  Just start praying and see how long it takes you to get back to sleep.

Here is a list to help get you started.[1]  God is…

Gracious

Loving

Merciful

Forgiving

Faithful

Righteous

Holy

Immutable (Unchanging)

Omnipotent (All Powerful)

Omniscient (All Knowing)

Wise

Good

Kind

Just

Sovereign

Eternal

Perhaps this is what it looks like to follow Peter’s instruction to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  Try it out.

Reference

Tozer, A. W.  (1961). The knowledge of the holy. HarperCollins Publishers: New York.

[1] I had a little help from A.W. Tozer in making my list.

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Posted in: Anxiety, Self-care