Serenity, inner calm is an inner attitude, the ability, especially in difficult situations, to maintain composure or an unbiased attitude. It is the opposite of restlessness, excitement, nervousness and stress (source Wikipedia). It is often not easy to be or remain calm when we are faced with challenges and difficult situations. When things happen that we are not in control of, it is not easy to be calm. Nevertheless, we should practice serenity every day in the various situations and strive more and more for inner peace. Inner peace regardless of what happens around us. Serenity is good for our health, and the Bible even says that serenity extends our lives (see Proverbs 14:30).
What helps us to be calm? To be calm I need the confidence that my situation will turn out for the better. But what do I put my trust in? On my own strength, on having everything under control or maybe on other people? I need a foundation that I stand on, that gives me security and that I can rely on. Our own strength has its limits, it is impossible to have everything under control and we cannot rely on others either. There is only one that we can 100% rely on and trust in all of our circumstances. I mean the God of the Bible. If we build our house of life on Christ, if he is our foundation, nothing and no one will upset us so quickly.
“Even when the earth shakes and people are in turmoil, it is I who give support to their foundations” Psalm 75: 4
“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which has already been laid – Jesus Christ” 1 Corinthians 3:11
Faith in God helps me not to look at the circumstances but to focus my gaze on God. The certainty that God is there and that He has a good plan gives me serenity. He has everything under control, I don’t have to have everything under control myself. That’s why I can stay calm inside. God walks with me through challenges and difficulties. I can let myself fall into his hands. I can’t fall any deeper than in God’s hand. When I lose peace, I can keep reminding myself how great and mighty God is and that nothing is impossible for him. Don’t tell God how big your problem, but tell your problem how big is your god.
Serenity prayer (Reinhold Niebuhr): God give me the serenity to accept things that I can’t change, the courage to change things that I can change and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other. To live one day at a time to enjoy one moment at a time. To accept deprivation as a way to peace. To accept this sinful world as Jesus did and not in the way I would like them to be. To trust that you’ll do everything right if I give myself to your will, so that I may be pretty happy in this life and in the next forever overjoyed with you. Amen.
The word patience (also anciently: long-suffering) describes the ability to wait or to endure something. Those who are willing to live with unsatisfied longings and unfulfilled desires or consciously put them on hold prove to be patient. This ability is closely related to the ability to hope. Also patient is someone who endure difficulties, suffering or annoying situations with serenity and steadfastness.
Patience is a quality that each of us needs again and again in the various situations and circumstances of our lives. You need patience when you are waiting for something, patience in difficulties, patience with yourself and patience with those around you. Things don’t always happen as quickly as you expect them to. Many things just take time. Just as it is in nature, it is also with us humans.
“Patience is the ability to give something nice time to grow. I can’t yell at the seedling and blame it for not being a beautiful plant that refuses to reveal its full glory. Give it space, water it in the right amount from time to time and enjoy the small steps in which it thrives, in order to become what was put into it – its destiny. ” Jan Dobutowitsch
A plant’s God-given destiny is to flower. So I believe that God has a good plan for you and your life too. If you believe this, you have hope and hope is associated with patience.
“But patience deepens and strengthens our faith, and that in turn strengthens our hope. But this hope does not come to nothing. For the Holy Spirit has been given to us, and through him God has filled our hearts with his love. ”
Faith in God strengthens my patience. I believe that everything will happen in “its” time and I live in the trust that his good plan will come true in my life. This certainty gives me serenity and peace, even in waiting times and difficult situations.
“From knowing God comes self-control. Patience grows out of self-control and a life of faith in the glory of God out of patience. ”2. Peter 1,6
“But if we hope for something we have not yet seen, we must wait for it with patience and confidence.” Romans 8:25
It is not always easy to be patient. It may be that you have been praying for a cause for a long time, but nothing has changed. You shouldn’t lose courage and faith, but stay steadfast in prayer and place everything in God’s hands. You can rely on God who gives you patience. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that lives in you, since you invited Jesus into your heart (Galatians 5:22). If you have never invited Jesus into your heart, take a look at this page:
God ngives us patience with ourselves and with our fellow human beings.
“God, who gives this patience and encouragement, should help you to be one and to live in peace with one another. Treat one another as Christ exemplified. “Romans 15.5”
In all of you can be sure that God knows you and is with you in all situations that you have to face. He loves you and is happy about every little step you take and about your thriving and growing in faith.
“I know everything you do – I know your love, your faith, your service and your patience. And I see that you keep making progress in that. ”Revelation 2:19
“And through patience you will hold out to the end, for then your faith will reach full maturity and be perfect and you will lack nothing” James 1: 4
In our life we look at different circumstances, situations from our own perspective. Sometimes our views are bogged down, we are convinced of something, and our point of view is only one-way. But often we need a new perspective, something that helps us see things in a different light.
A few days ago we celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Jesus. This event was such a change of perspective. On that day darkness became light, defeat became victory, and death became life. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared and met several people. The encounter with the risen One revealed God’s perspective on what was happening to them.
There were Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, who stood crying by the empty tomb. They were full of sadness and fear. They thought Jesus was dead until they met him in a gardener.
We also read about the two disciples, Cleopas and his friend, who were on their way home from Jerusalem to Emmaus when they met Jesus in their disappointment and hopelessness. It was only when he broke bread with them that they recognized him.
In the same way he appeared to his 11 disciples, who left the tomb horrified and terrified (Mark 16.8). He showed himself to them in the midst of their desperation.
Thomas, one of the disciples, was in a perspective of doubt and disbelief. It was only when he laid his hands on Jesus’ wounds that he could believe.
Peter also had an encounter with Jesus. He had slandered Jesus three times and felt himself to be a failure. Despite his weakness, Jesus approached him and asked him the same question three times: “Simon Peter, do you love me?”
Saul also experienced a change of perspective on the way to Damascus. He was a bitter enemy and persecutor of the Christians, until suddenly a light shone around him and he heard the voice of Jesus, whom he was persecuting. It was a life changing event in his life. He became Paul, who with great zeal, preached the good news among the people and became a believer of Christians.
An encounter with Jesus transforms and gives a new perspective. Not only then, also today, Jesus wants to meet you and me, in our everyday life, in our circumstances and life situations. Jesus is risen, he lives. He loved us first and he always takes the first step towards us humans. He wants to be close to us, to meet us. He proves his love when he died on the cross for our sin. Through his sacrifice we are reconciled to God, and through his resurrection we have eternal life. God gives a new perspective. Sadness and disappointment become joy, where despair reigns hope arises. Doubt and unbelief have to fade away, new faith arises. In failure and weakness God brings new strength, hatred is conquered by love.
We can ask ourselves the following questions:
Where or in which area of my life do I experience disappointment or sadness, where do I need new joy?
Where I feel desperation, where do I need new hope?
Where am I stuck in doubt or unbelief and need new faith?
Where do I feel weak and in failure and need new strength?
Where do I need love that conquers all hatred?
Where did something in me die and need to be brought back to life?
Where do I see the end and need a new beginning?
No matter what it is and what we need, that’s exactly where Jesus wants to meet us and give us a new perspective, God’s perspective.
This new perspective, this love of God in our hearts turns night into day, brings light into every darkness, makes a new beginning out of every hopeless situation. An encounter with Jesus changes our hearts. By believing in him we become children of God and his spirit lives and works in us. Thereby we become bearers of his love and as children of light we can pass on his love and his light to our fellow human beings. We can tell about Jesus, pray for people, live charity so that many more people can meet Jesus.
Quotation: “But when Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven evil spirits” (Mark 16: 9); Another biblical passage in John 20: 11-18
Quote: “And they came to him and took hold of his feet and fell down before him.” (Matthew 28: 1-10)
Quote: “As they talked and discussed one another, Jesus approached himself and went with them.” (Luke 24: 13-35)
Quote: “The disciples were glad that they saw the Lord.” (John 20: 19-23)
Quote: “Because you have seen me, Thomas, that is why you believe.” (John 20: 24-29)
Quote: “When it was already morning, Jesus stood on the bank.” (John 21)
Quotation: “At last of all he was also seen by me as an untimely birth” (1 Corinthians 15: 1-8); Another biblical passage in Acts 9: 1-19
There are days when we feel full of power and strength. We are motivated to achieve our goals and we tackle everyday tasks with ease and joy and we succeed in everything. However, some days we are weak and powerless, tired and without motivation.
There can be several reasons for this, maybe our balance between activity and rest has become unbalanced, we lack sleep or we have an unhealthy diet. It can also be that certain circumstances make us tired and keep our thoughts busy.
In order to regain our strength, we can pay attention to a healthy lifestyle, eat healthily, get enough sleep, move regularly and pay attention to what thoughts we give space in us. We can ask ourselves:
Who or what gives me strength?
Where can I recharge my batteries?
What strength do I live from?
When I lack strength and power, it helps me keep reminding myself that God is my strength. By believing in Jesus, the Holy Spirit and thus also his power lives in me. I don’t have to cope with my tasks on my own, God gives me his strength. Even when I am weak, God is my strength
. “My grace is all you need! Because it is precisely when you are weak that my power works especially on you ”2 Corinthians 12: 9
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might” Ephesians 6:10
I can say: “God, you are my strength!”, “Jesus you are my strength!”
“But we carry this treasure in fragile clay vessels, as we are, so that it becomes clear that the supreme power comes from God and not from us” 2 Corinthians 4: 7
I can come to God and let Him strengthen me again and again. Spending quiet time with him, a walk with God to find peace again, communicating with him and reading the Bible, as well as praise and worship are my sources of strength and filling stations.
“But those who wait in the LORD get new strength, that they soar with wings like eagles, that they run and not get tired, that they walk and never tire. ”Isaiah 40:31
The sun doesn’t shine every day. Every now and then it can be windy, stormy and uncomfortable. The clouds cover the blue sky, it gets dark, cloudy and cold. Severe storms can also be dangerous and cause damage, e.g. B. floods, mudslides, hurricanes, lightning or hail.
In our life, too, we often go through stormy times. We experience difficult times, circumstances and crises that cloud our view. Situations that are uncomfortable and threatening for us. The current situation around Corona is also like a storm that mixes everything up, one wave after another hits us. Many people struggle with uncertainty, doubts, fears, worries or hopelessness.
However, we do not have to become the playball of the waves in our storms of life and be helpless at the mercy of them, there is a way to keep calm and peace in the midst of difficult circumstances. I found this calm in the storm through community, my relationship with God. There is also a story in the Bible about a storm in which Jesus was on a boat with his disciples:
Jesus stills the storm
“When evening came, Jesus said to his disciples,“ We want to go to the other side of the lake. Jesus was already in the boat. So the disciples released the crowd, got into the boat with him, and drove off. Several other boats went with them. But soon afterwards a violent storm arose and high waves pounded the boat until it was almost completely full of water. Meanwhile, Jesus was sleeping in the back of the boat with his head on a pillow. In their desperation they finally woke him up and shouted: “Teacher, don’t you mind that we perish?” Jesus woke up, threatened the wind and commanded the water: “Be silent!” Shut up! ‘Immediately the wind died down and there was a deep silence. And he asked the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? ”Fearful they said to each other:“ Who is this man that even wind and waves obey him? ”
If we take Jesus with us on our ship of life, if he is our captain, if we believe and trust in him, we must not be afraid. Jesus has everything under control and he can work miracles at any time. Wind and waves obey him. We will not go down with Jesus in the boat. We can fix our eyes on him, ask him for help, and let him help us. We can keep our peace because God is with us and leads and guides us through the storms. God is greater than any storm that threatens us. We can find our rest in God, be hopeful and confident. It is our foundation and gives us support. Jesus brings us to the safe shore. He is the anchor in need.
“To know what an anchor is, we need the storm” Quote from Corrie ten Boom
Storms also have their positive sides. They make us aware that we cannot do everything on our own and that we need a savior. When we get weak, God is our strength.
“My grace is all you need. My strength is shown in your weakness ”2 Corinthians 12: 9
The storms also make us grow in faith and in our relationship with God.
When my heart trusts in you and look at your love I find peace, I find peace can I defeat storm and waves In the midst of turbulent times Your presence will always be with me. Even in the greatest uncertainty with you is peace always. My troubled heart becomes still and comes to rest for the God who keeps my peace is you. (Ulrike Nägele)
“Anyone who listens to what I have said and acts accordingly is wise. You can compare him to a man who builds his house on rocky ground. If a downpour comes down, the water rises, and the storm rattles the house, it will still not collapse because it is built on rock. ”Matthew 7: 24-25
“If you are safe from God before the storm, he will also take care of you during the storm” quote from Dèborah Rosenkranz
What are miracles? Miracles are inexplicable phenomena and extraordinary events that astonish us. It can be a surprise, a happy turn in life, a cure, preservation or a natural wonder.
Whether we recognize and perceive miracles, depends on our point of view and above all on our faith. When we do not have faith, we take miracles as coincidences or luck, or we take for granted what is actually a miracle. We can live like nothing is a miracle or like everything is a miracle. Erich Kästner writes in a quote:
“Those who believe in miracles experience miracles”
When I look at the world and think about my life, everything is actually a miracle for me. Starting with the fact, that there is a huge galaxy with so many stars and planets, that there is the earth and life on it, to the miracle of man, who is made ingenious and unique. I think the lyrics of Alexa Feser’s song “Wunderfinder” are appropriate. She sings in the chorus:
“Are you a miracle child or blind to miracles? Tell me if you understand that we are a miracle. This world is getting more and more blind to miracles, if you can see them, you are a wonderfinder. “
If I keep my eyes open, I can discover miracles every day. For me miracles are signs of God’s presence and his actions. God shows himself in them and says to me “I am there”. Miracles happen, I just have to see them. Numerous miracles of God are reported in the Bible, in God’s Word:
Passage of the people of Israel through the Red Sea Exodus 16-22
Transformation of water into wine at the wedding in Cana John 2: 1-12
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” Hebrews 13: 8
Where our possibilities end, God’s possibilities begin. Our hopelessness is the starting point for God’s work. Faith is the key to experiencing miracles. God is supernatural and responds to our beliefs.
“All things are possible to him who believes” Mark 9:23
Therefore, let’s expect miracles and be thankful for miracles great and small that God does every day.
Every time the sun comes up a miracle happens
Every time I watch nature I see a miracle
Every time a child is born a miracle happens
Every time people reconcile, forgive one another, a miracle happens
Every time a prayer is answered a miracle happens
Every time we experience protection a miracle happens
Every time God gives us his peace, a miracle happens
Every time God frees us from worries and burdens, a miracle happens
Every time God opens new doors for us, shows us new possibilities, a miracle happens
Every time people understand God’s love and accept His grace, a miracle happens
It is God who works miracles, innumerable many, so great that we cannot understand them
The most well-known definition of health was described by the World Health Organization (WHO): “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of illness and ailments.”
At the same time, there are various other definitions of health. Here are a few examples:
• According to T. Parson (medical sociologist): “Health is a state of optimal performance of an individual, for the effective fulfillment of the roles and tasks for which it has been socialized (socialization = process of classification into society, adoption of norms and values).”
• Hurrelmann (1990) defines health as: “State of the objective and subjective state of being of a person, which is given when this person is in the physical, psychological and social areas of their development in accordance with their own possibilities and goals and the given external Living conditions. “
• “Health is a problem-solving and emotional regulation ability that maintains or restores a positive mental and physical condition – especially positive self-esteem – and a supportive network of social relationships.”
Health is very important and is the greatest good for many people. “The main thing is healthy”, “Stay healthy”, “Health is the most important thing” are statements that you hear often, for example when a child is born, at birthday parties or in the current corona crisis.
But is health really the main thing? Let’s say a group of people is sitting together and these statements are heard by someone who is not healthy. How will this person feel? The main thing is missing, so to speak. Then what is his life worth, what is the meaning of it? At that moment, the person affected will probably feel inferior.
In the Bible, in the Gospels, we read about many of the healings that Jesus did. We can read a story from the Gospel of Mark that showed me what it really is about in chapters 2.1-12:
Jesus heals a paralytic
A few days later, Jesus returned to Capernaum. The news of his arrival quickly spread across the city.  2 It wasn’t long before the house in which he lived was overcrowded with visitors, so that no one had more space, not even outside the door. And he announced God’s word to them. 3 There came four men carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t get through the crowd to Jesus, so they covered the roof over him. Then they let the patient down on his mat through the opening. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man: “My son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 But some scribes who sat there thought: 7 “How can he say such a thing? It’s blasphemy! Only God alone can forgive sins! ”8 Jesus knew what was going on in them and said,“ Why do you have such thoughts in your heart? 9 Is it easier to say to the paralyzed: Your sins are forgiven or stand up, take your mat and go? 10 I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority to forgive sins on earth. “And he turned to the paralyzed man and said to him: 11” Get up, take your mat and go home, because you are healed ! ”12 The man jumped up, picked up the mat, and made his way through the astonished crowd. Then they all praised God. “We have never seen anything like it!” They cried.
The man in the story was paralyzed and therefore limited, he was not capable, he couldn’t do many things. Was he missing the main thing? He was sick, but he had something that is more important. He had relationships. He had four friends, very good friends. He is not alone. They bring him to Jesus because they knew that only Jesus could heal. They overcome all obstacles and cannot be stopped by the crowd, they find a way to Jesus. They had a strong belief. Wonderful when you have friends like that.
What did Jesus do when he had the paralyzed in front of him? He saw the faith of the paralyzed friends. Jesus did not immediately cure the illness, the physical impairment of the paralyzed. The first thing Jesus did was to forgive his sin. Sin means separation from God, and thus forgiveness restored the relationship between God and the paralyzed. Much more important than illness or health is the question of being or not being healthy for Jesus. Reconciliation with God heals the paralytic again, even though his physical symptoms are still there. The fellowship with God is restored and there is nothing left to separate the paralyzed from God’s love. Not even illness or death. Sickness and death came into our world through sin, but Jesus died on the cross for human sin and we are healed through his wounds, even if there is still sickness and sin. Belief in his work of salvation frees us. Sickness and death can no longer harm us, we know that we will remain connected to God forever. For God, health is not the main thing, he wants healthy people who have a relationship with him. Knowing that you are loved unconditionally, that you recognize him, that you are saved makes a person’s life valuable and meaningful, whether healthy or sick.
In the end, Jesus frees the paralytic from his illness, he works a miracle and heals him. So he made him whole healthy. We can expect everything from Jesus, he has the power to forgive and heal sins. In any case, we experience salvation when we encounter Jesus, even when we encounter illness and suffering, his presence makes us salvation. We don’t have to be afraid of sickness, even if sickness hits us and we die in the worst case, we have the certainty that we will be in communion with God forever, what could be more important?
I would like to give you the life of Nick Vujicic from Australia as an example. He was born without arms and legs. He struggled with his identity until adolescence and wanted to commit suicide several times. An encounter with God changed everything and healed him. Not in the sense that he healed him physically, but the relationship with God means much more to him than health. Nick Vujicic says:
“A miracle revealed God’s strength in my weakness. Because it is more powerful to see a man with arms and legs smile than someone who has been miraculously healed. ”
“If God would give me the choice to be born without arms and legs to save even one soul, I would say: Do it!”
Nick Vujicic leads a deeply grateful, happy and meaningful life today and has become a blessing for many people through his lectures in which he tells of his life and about God.
In conclusion, I would like to summarize again: Not the main thing is healthy, but
The main thing is to be loved and to love The main thing is to be reconciled with God The main thing is being in a relationship with God The main thing is being safe
And importantly, when we know God, when we are reconciled with him and live in a relationship, when we are saved, do not let us forget our friends. Let us become like the friends of the paralyzed who lead their friend to Jesus. In our environment there are many people who do not know Jesus, who do not know the way to him, people who can no longer believe due to bad experiences or who think that they do not need God. But they also need healing and Jesus can heal them. We can pray for them, tell about Jesus and bring them to Jesus.
“Because before you were dead because of your guilt and because your old self determined you . But God made you alive with Christ. He has forgiven us all ”Colossians 2:13
“I am convinced that nothing can separate us from his love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor powers, neither our fears in the present nor our worries about the future , not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 And if we were high above the sky or if we were in the deepest depths of the ocean , nothing and nobody in all of creation can separate us from the love of God that appeared in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”Romans 8 , 38-39
“On his own body, he carried our sins up to the cross so that we are dead for sin and can live for justice. You have been healed through his wounds! ”1 Peter 2:24
“He will wipe away all her tears, and there will be no death, no grief, no crying, no pain. Because the first world with all its calamity has passed forever. ”“ Revelation 21: 4
There are crises in every life, which can be personal crises or also affect entire population groups. It is currently affecting the whole world through the corona virus. The economy, tourism and social life have come to a standstill in many countries. Our lives have changed a lot at the moment. We have to avoid social contacts to stop the virus from spreading. Meetings with friends, sports, festivals, theater, cinema, church services etc. are not possible. We can only leave the house if it is necessary, for work reasons, for shopping or for health reasons.
There is uncertainty among people, nobody knows how long the situation will last and how it will end up. What else will we have to do, will the health system be able to withstand, how will the economic situation develop?
However, this slowed time also gives you the chance to pause and reflect on what really matters in life. We can focus on the essentials, set new priorities, rethink. Now the values of our performance society no longer count – higher, faster, further -. Perfectionism and performance. Now counts helpfulness, cohesion, solidarity, renunciation of consideration, taking care of each other and encouraging each other.
“Let us take care of each other! We want to encourage each other to love each other and encourage each other to do good. ”Hebrews 10:24
In times like these we also become aware of how satisfied and grateful we can be for everything we have and we can also think about our consumer behavior. Now that most stores are closed and we can only buy what we really need, many things are no longer necessary. So we notice in what abundance we actually live and how little we actually need effectively.
“Be thankful in all things” 1. Thessalonians 5:18
Now that we can no longer visit our friends, cultivate a community, the services are no longer available, we recognize even more the value of good relationships and friendships that build us up and do us good.
“Friendship is a gift from God”
Now that all schools are closed and depending on the job some parents do not go to work, we have a lot of time to cultivate community in our families and to think of common activities at home.
With traffic at a standstill, we can already see an improvement in air values, nature can regenerate, in Venice people are happy about crystal-clear water in the canals due to the fact that no more ships are sailing. In Trieste dolphins swim to the shore.
We can also see this crisis as an opportunity to think about what ultimately really gives us stability in life. What are we building our foundation on, who or what gives us security? What remains when material things, wealth, finances, health etc. are lost. Who is our provider? All of these things are impermanent and have no hold.
“But we know that for those who love God, all things serve the best” Romans 8:28:
We can remember Almighty God, who created heaven and earth, for whom nothing is impossible, who is the same yesterday, today and forever. In all of our uncertainty and worries, we can trust him. It is at this time when our faith is being tested that we want to hold on to God and confess that He rules. We can use the time to pray, read and proclaim his word.
“My grace is all you need. My strength shows in your weakness ”2 Corinthians 12: 9
Finally, a suitable text that I found on the Internet (author unknown):
The world stands still and we suddenly all have the opportunity to rethink our lives, to discover new sides in oneself, to make difficult decisions and to deal with fears … Suddenly things become important that we have taken for granted long enough: We miss physical closeness to people, social contacts, the privilege to move freely, travel, carefree life, financial security and normality … Is there a reason why everything is turned upside down? Is it a cry for help from nature that needs a break from us? Have we lost the value of life? Just have to be reminded once again of the importance of our life? In this exceptional situation we get to know each other better and have the opportunity to become a little “better”, to set priorities differently, to treat our fellow human beings with respect and love and, at best, to put our own needs back …