Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: The Promise of Peace

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety…The Lord gives strength to his people; The Lord blesses his people with peace...I will listen to what God the Lord has to say; he promises peace to his people, his saints – but let them not return to folly…Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each otherGreat peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble (Psalm 4:8; 29:11; 85:8,10; 119:165 NIV).

Since the pandemic began, I have made several trips to doctors’ offices and noted the questionnaires that you must fill out in a new office now include a multitude of questions about handling stress and inclination toward depression or suicide – so I was surprised to learn that, in America, the overall suicide rate has actually gone down during the pandemic.

It may seem counterintuitive — and not every scenario is comparable — but suicide rates tend to decline during times of large-scale public crisis. That can include anything from terrorist attacks and war to natural disasters. It isn’t yet fully understood why, but one leading explanation is that people inherently want to pull together during turbulent times…

Children were no longer at school with their bullies. Employees were no longer forced to work next to toxic coworkers. People who hated their jobs suddenly had a reason to stop working…Unable to go to work, people started spending more time at home, typically with…their support networks…

Craig Bryan (clinical psychologist who heads trauma and suicide programs at Ohio State University College of Medicine,
The Pandemic Didn’t Increase Suicide, That Shouldn’t Be A Surprise – STAT – Nov. 16,2021

It seems, however, that some experts believe the downturn is short-lived. “Based on prior disasters, suicide rates sometimes dip only to go back up again after the immediate crisis has passed.” – Deb Stone, a lead behavioral scientist at the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Of course, this is not the only time we have had to deal with issues of stress and circumstances beyond our control. History books are full of such times and the pandemic is not the only issue now causing great stress in America, but God tells us not to be anxious. Some antonyms of “anxious” include calm, relaxed, peaceful, quiet, tranquil. Trusting Him during times of turmoil is the only thing that will result in the peace that passes all understanding.

God ties peace to our reliance on Him and our obedience to Him. That makes perfect sense. Any Christian knows peace in your life is interrupted when you sin and ignore His guidance.

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