Moods. Aren’t we guilty of allowing our circumstances to dictate our mood? A morning of accidentally burning our toast or of being cut-off while driving means a response of lightning, thunder, and hail. We start scowling, snapping at everyone, paying attention to every little fault. In our anger, we forget the meaning of self-control and kindness. If we don’t stop ourselves, then the mere bark of a dog sends our blood pressure shooting up the roof.
I know. One way or another, we’re guilty of allowing our emotions to get the best of us.
When something agitates us, the best thing to do is to stop. Breathe. Think. We don’t have to react immediately at every negative situation that confronts us. As God’s sons and daughters, we can learn to see Jesus as the Prince of Peace when things drive us mad. The Bible has this to say about peace: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Col.3:15).
I find this verse important, not just in preserving unity in our relationships (one body), but also in handling our emotions. Peace is something that CAN RULE in our hearts. If we say that Jesus is the Lord of our lives and our hearts, then He, the Prince of Peace, must sit enthroned. Peace must rule. The presence of Peace in our lives must be evident. Every angry, agitating circumstance, trigger, and event must submit to the lordship of Jesus.
It also helps to be thankful. Thankfulness allows our mind to shift its focus. When we find ourselves in the worst of moods, remembering to be thankful stops our angry rampage. Thankfulness allows us to see the good in situations. It allows for us to consider the bigger picture; to smile even in the midst of a storm.
Speaking of storm—remember when Jesus was in a boat with his disciples? The Bible describes the scene: “The furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion” (Mark 4:37). For Jesus to be sleeping during a storm points at how much calm and peace were in Him despite the circumstance.
We can be a people of peace, too. We may not literally find ourselves in a boat battered by crashing waves, but whenever there is a storm in our lives—whether a long storm or a short one caused by burned toast—Jesus’ peace can calm our hearts.
I love how Jesus calms the storm. “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:39)
These words are ours to keep.
It may take practice to switch off anger and panic buttons when reacting immediately to circumstances. But it is possible. We can be at peace because Jesus is in the boat. There is a promise for peace which God gives to us: You [God] will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
The God of Peace lives in us. Let us remember this when mood swings come, or when an angry situation pushes us to the limit of sanity. “Peace! Be still!” echoes in our Savior’s voice.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.