When the world’s troubles and sins overwhelm you, look to God for the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Winter in the Midwest can be bleak. Days go by without cloud or sun, and the vast bleached-blue sky sits on a landscape interrupted here and there only by winter’s naked trees. The glory days of summer gardens and full-bodied trees, thick grasses and vociferous flowerbeds are long gone.

For these vapid days, it serves the gardener to be blessed with a good memory of gardens past and to drink in the images in seed catalogs and garden websites. Seed companies feature hundreds of plants, yet barely scratch the surface of the estimated 400,000 flowering plant species known to botanists.

The endless color of nature’s floral show gives us a tiny glimpse of the Creator’s depth and breadth. His capability and provision are far greater than we could ever need or apprehend.

I like to think about God’s power—His unconditional love and ability to create this entire universe with His spoken word (Genesis 1:1–3), that He describes Himself as “Love” (1 John 4:16), and that He is absolute holiness (Revelation 4:8–11) and incapable of doing evil.

Knowing Him helps me handle troubling newscasts about horrific plane crashes, scary diseases and murders. I know women who say they can’t bear to even hear the headlines. But while we may not need to know the gritty, nasty details, we need to be aware of the state of the world in which we live and work. Relief comes as we realize that God’s desire is for us to draw near to Him.

He is “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9) and He knows each of us personally (Psalm 139:1–6). He is our comforter (2 Corinthians 1:3–4) and He is full of grace (Ephesians 1:5–8). God is in control of everything, even though it seems as if everything is in chaos. He is mighty and strong (Psalm 24:8) and He will take care of evil for righteousness̓ sake (Nahum 1:2–8). He will do this in a just and fair way (Psalm 75: 1–7).

Our God is bigger than our problems. He’s more powerful than the most frightening human being or circumstance. He is infinite; He has no beginning and no end (John 1:1); He is omnipotent—all-powerful, capable of speaking physical matter into being (Jeremiah 32:17–18,26, 27); and He is omnipresent—He is everywhere filling heaven and earth (Psalm 139:7–12).

Knowing that God is the one and only true God is important, especially now, when the flurry of news reports makes us feel that nothing is safe or secure. We know we live in a world where a battle rages­—evil versus good. The planet is groaning as these worlds collide. But truthfully, the battle is waged and won in our hearts and minds.

As believers in Jesus Christ, God gives us everything we need to live a joyful and peaceful life—even in the midst of a long, cold winter.

We need to fuel ourselves with optimism and faith. Where does faith come from? God. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” Romans 10:17 NKJV. Remember the gardener who seeks the bright promise of spring. Meditate on the things of God and you will reap the most beautiful spring and harvest of all.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Philippians 4:8 NKJV
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