From the Navy Yard to Nairobi: Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos



If you have been paying attention to the news recently, you will know that the past two weeks have been filled with terrible, chaotic events.

In Colorado, what experts called a once-in-a-thousand-years flooding event caused by torrential rains swept away roads and bridges, isolated towns, killed people, destroyed 1,500 homes, and at one point, left 1,200 people unaccounted for.

Mexico also experienced terrible flooding, as both coasts of the country were hit simultaneously — in the east by Hurricane Ingrid, and in the west by Tropical Storm Manuel. The resort town of Acapulco was cut off by floodwaters; landslides blocked the main highway leading from the city; hotels had to ration out food and water; 40,000 tourists were trapped with no way to get home; and 55 people lost their lives in the disaster.

This week, Japan was also hit by a major typhoon which forced 400,000 people to evacuate their homes, left two people dead, and hundreds more injured.

And how can those of us in America, and particularly those in Washington D.C., forget how this past week began. Residents of the nation’s capital were just getting into the groove of their work-week when we heard the news that a gunman had opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard — which is supposed to be one of the most secure locations in the country — less than three miles from the White House and the Capitol. Sadly, that situation ended with 12 innocent people being killed and eight more wounded.

On Thursday, 13 people, including several children, were wounded in a drive-by shooting at a park in Chicago. Chicago continues to have the highest homicide rate of any city in the United States. This week alone, 5 people were killed and 23 people were injured.

And on Saturday, Muslim gunmen from an extremist group in Somalia opened fire at a popular mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Over a thousand people who were out shopping and enjoying their weekend fled the mall, but at last count, nearly 60 had been killed and over 170 were wounded.

Those are just the events that garnered major media coverage. There are countless other tragedies that happen every day that don’t receive the glare of the cameras and that don’t affect as many people, but are just as heartbreaking. For example, the five children who all died in a fire at a house in Ohio, or the fourteen-year-old Georgia girl who was kidnapped by robbers who decided to take her because her family didn’t have any money for them to steal.

When we look around at these calamities, these tragedies, that happen in the world, it is easy to see why people are worried, anxious, and afraid. It is easy to see why people are searching for peace and stability in the midst of these chaotic events. We ask, How can I be peaceful? How can I be joyful? How can I not fall into depression?

Well, Jesus Christ gave several promises to His disciples that speak to this very issue.

In John 16:33, Jesus says, “In the world, ye shall have tribulation (trials, problems, difficulties): but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

This world can’t give us peace. When it promises peace, it is giving us a fragile glass vase that will easily shatter at the first tremor of an earthquake. You can only have true peace in your heart, mind, soul, and spirit, if you look for it from someone who is far bigger and far greater than anything this world has to offer. That person is Jesus Christ. He gave His disciples peace. You can have that peace, even in the midst of the chaos of our world, if you make the decision to become His disciple today. When you make that decision, the Bible says, “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard and protect) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Would you like to have peace in this world, and then enjoy eternal peace in Heaven with God? If so, there are a few steps you must take.

First, recognize that your sins have separated you from God. Even though Adam and Eve were the first to sin, we must each take responsibility for our own actions. In honest repentance agree with God about your sinfulness and admit your need for forgiveness. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Second, realize that God loves you, and believe that the sinless Jesus Christ died for your sins–taking the punishment you deserve. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only thing that makes it possible for God to forgive us of our sins and allow us to live in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Third, accept Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and sin’s consequences by believing that he died, was buried, and rose again, and receiving Him into your life by faith. Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, you will begin a relationship with God that will last for eternity. You will be able to get on the straight and narrow road that will lead you to greater intimacy with God, and eventually to your eternal home in the New Heaven and the New Earth. If you want to begin this relationship right now, you can pray a short prayer right now to let God know that you have decided to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour so that you can spend eternity with him. Please repeat after me and mean it from your heart.

Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!