Your one-stop online-hub for Calvary Chapel and the Calvary Global Network

Finding Joy & Peace in Difficult Times

by Angie Nelson

Finding Joy & Peace in Difficult Times

How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.
Selah
Psalm 84:1-4

In the midst of the difficult and stressful times in which we now live, the best and most secure place we can find ourselves is at God’s altar. Here in Psalm 84 we read that even the birds find comfort and refuge there. In God’s presence is fullness of joy! (Psalm 16:11) There is no strife, no fear, and no unhappiness there. Perfect peace dwells with God, for He is the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). When I am in His presence I find peace and joy.

As I read Psalm 84, I envision a bird nesting in the corner of God’s cross, as near to God’s heart as is possible for a bird. And God calls us to do the same; draw near to Him! Dwell in God’s presence. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

In the midst of the difficult and stressful times in which we now live, the best and most secure place we can find ourselves is at God’s altar.

We are called to know God. This is the greatest endeavor and the highest achievement of mankind—to know our Creator. We are made for this purpose: to walk with and know God intimately, as Adam and Eve did in the early days of creation. Because of sin, we don’t naturally walk with God anymore. We must respond to God as He seeks us out. Jesus taught that He is the Good Shepard looking for His stray sheep (Luke 15:4, John 10:11). He goes out of His way to find them. When we respond to God, and come to Him through the Way He has made—the cross of His beloved Son—we can know and walk with God again. Jesus gave everything to make this possible for us.

Draw near to God today. Build your nest in His cross. Give thanks to Him for all the love He poured out for you. Rest and take comfort in His presence. Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26) And in Luke 12 He adds, “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7)

Draw near to God in Christ. Dwell in His house, close to His heart. Those who do will, as verse four above says, “still be praising You.” Even in difficult times, those who abide in Him will have a continual source of joy and praise and peace.

Angie Nelson

Angie Nelson wrote this article. She is married to Pete Nelson who pastors One Love Church in Thousand Oaks, CA . Follow Angie on Twitter and Facebook.