How to Find Peace and Purpose When the World Feels Like Chaos

Right now, the world feels like it’s in chaos. People are feeling deeply hurt. Much of our country is feeling deeply hurt and divided. There are riots in our cities. The pandemic has left many with loved ones who continue to be sick or who have died. Others have lost their jobs, businesses, and livelihood. How can you find peace and purpose when the world feels like chaos?

Fortunately, we serve a God who is good. Who loves us and wants us to have life. Not one of fear. Not one of chaos. But one of love.

Here are actions you can take to find peace and purpose when the world feels like its in chaos.

1. When You Feel Anxious, Name and Define Your Source

Right now, it’s not hard to find a source of anxiety. There are many different, hard things happening right now. It may be:

  • Loss of life
  • Racism or racial injustice
  • Riots and unrest
  • Loss of job
  • Loneliness
  • Depression and hopelessness
  • Fears for loved seniors and elderly
  • Economic struggles
  • So much more

While some may say it’s better to not focus on what’s bad around us and only what’s good, I believe God wants us to cry out to Him in our struggles and stress. David did. He detailed his anxiety.

If you don’t name the source, it’s much more difficult to deal with, pray about, and overcome the source of stress. Begin by naming it, and maybe writing it down in a journal.

2. Remember Who’s In Control

Next, remember who’s in control even when the world seems out of control. This is not the first time the world has felt chaotic. There’s been wars and death, slavery in our country and others, cities that are destroyed, rebuilt, and more.

In all those times, God was still in control. And now in this time, He’s still here, and still in control.

It’s up to us to turn to Him in our own hearts, our actions, and our lives. When we allow Him to control our individual lives, He can make a difference in the bigger world. But, it starts with each of us recognizing who’s in control, and allowing Him to take it.

3. Focus on God’s Promises and Commands in Scripture

Especially if you don’t know the extent of God’s love, His power, and control, read Scripture to find out. And if you’re already familiar, remind yourself with it daily. God has shown us the way to an abundant life…one of love, justice, and serving Him and each other. He says:

  • If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt 22:34-40)
  • The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:8-12)
  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:16-17)

God loves you and me. He loves all those we see around us, on the television, and in the news. He wants us all to turn to Him and learn to live in His love and within His commands, an abundant life.

4. Then, Turn Each Source of Anxiety Into Prayer

Look back at your list of anxiety. Now’s the time to pray over each of them. It’s not busywork or a waste of time. Prayer is a powerful tool. It:

  • Gives control to God with the acknowledgment that you don’t have control of those around your or your world
  • While it may not immediately change the situation, it will change your own heart toward it. It can help you align your heart with God’s. As you present your petitions to God, He can help you see the truth.
  • Third, it helps you focus on the truth and the present. When we worry, our minds run amuck with concocted fears that will likely never come to fruition. We literally “make up” more stress in our lives. This physically depletes our minds and our bodies.

Corrie Ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”

But prayer does the opposite. It fills your heart and mind with strength as you converse with the one who is in control.

5. Action Starts in Your Own Head

If your stress is regarding depression or sorrowful feelings about yourself, it’s vital that you take your thoughts and self-talk captive.  In 2nd Corinthians, Paul admonishes us to take captive every thought that stands against the knowledge of God.

This means that any thought that goes against the fact that God loves you, is in control, and has a plan for you, is garbage and must be taken captive and cast away.

Right now, and when you’re stressed in general, how do you talk to yourself? Do your thoughts and self-talk stand against God’s truth. Or, do they speak love to yourself and others?

Start in your own heart and head, then you can move forward in actions.

6. Take Action, Whether Physical or Prayerful on Behalf of Others

One of the best ways to overcome our own feelings of helplessness and sorrow is to help others.

If possible, try helping an elderly loved one or neighbor who still can’t participate in her normal activities due to fear of sickness. Shop for them or spend time with them if you are well and can keep a safe distance.

Think of those who have been affected by injustice in your own community and help if you can. These can be racial injustices, economic injustices, homelessness, girls and boys clubs, soup kitchens and food bank deliveries, and more. There is hardship around all of us; people can use our help.

Help, pray and give if you can to show those around you the love of God.

7. Practice Daily Gratitude

As discussed in 9 Habits to Decrease Cortisol, practicing gratitude can decrease cortisol and stress. In fact, practicing gratitude can have lasting effects on health, including supporting the immune function, lowering blood pressure, and leading to better sleep. Each of these in turn can help when you feel anxious.

You can keep a gratitude journal of just 3-5 gratitudes per day if you’d like. This can become your tangible path to joy. As you pray for your stress and express gratefulness for all else in your life, you will start to see the miracle of life again.

8. When Feeling Most Anxious, Practice Deep Breathing

Another miracle is God gave us bodies that can physically reduce our mental stress. There are many different ways to practice deep breathing to slow our internal chaos. One effective one is the 4-7-8 method. To use it:

  1. Place your tongue on the tissues behind your upper front teeth and keep it there throughout the exercise.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound (purse your lips).
  3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of 4.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of 7.
  5. Repeat a complete exhale through your mouth, again making a whooshing sound to the count of 8.
  6. This is one 4-7-8 breath. Inhale to a count of 4 and repeat the entire breathing method 4 times.

Deep breathing can actually physically calm your nervous system, allowing you to gather yourself and your thoughts and take control again.

Note that with this breathing technique, you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth.

9. Nourish Your Physical Body

This entire site is dedicated to helping people take care of their bodies, spirits, and minds.

Taking care of your body through exercise releases endorphins that help you feel good and fight stress.

Eating healthy foods improves mental health can reduce cortisol when you reduce sugars.

And hormone-balancing supplements can support mental health. In fact, a few are known specifically to help with stress. These include:

  • Ginseng
  • Ashwagandha
  • Magnesium
  • L-theanine
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
  • Chamomile

Together, a healthy diet, nourishing supplements, and exercise can produce both mental and physical benefits.

10. Spend Time and Enjoy Loved Ones Around You

Lastly, cultivate your own close relationships and social support. If you live alone or don’t have family close, it can be very tough. However, church is a great place to make new friends and find a support network.

Remember, it takes work to form and keep relationships. But, it’s absolutely worth it. And, it’s backed by science.

Research actually shows we actually release a natural stress-relieving chemical called oxytocin when spending time with loved ones (1). And laughter helps, too! Laughing relieves your stress response, relaxes muscles, improves your mood, and can even boost your immunity over time (2).

Bottom Line

Times have been especially tough for many lately. How can you find peace and purpose now? Start within, then look to God, and finally take action on behalf of others. You have a purpose in the world, even when it seems like chaos.


  1. Barbara Rivers says:

    Thank God for the word of God you gave today

  2. Rosemary Budlong says:

    Thank you so much doctor Colbert.
    Just what I needed this morning!

  3. Cindy K says:

    Such helpful and timely advice. Thank you!!!

  4. Nouhra Fatouh says:

    Dr.Ron ,
    I often read your beneficial books about diets, and lately I read an amazing book about deadly emotions.
    I pray and ask our Lord Jesus Christ to shower you with his mercy and love and to strengthen you, in order to keep you writing beneficial books to wake up the whole world and to give them motivation and clarity to stay healthy. You are one of kind. As well you are a very faithful Doctor.

    I am receiving daily email from you and I like to read them .
    My name is Nouhra Fatouh but they call me Norman because it is hard to pronounce it.

  5. Kay says:

    Thank you for that reminder. For us who believe we know these things but in the constant chaos it’s easy to get side-tracked. We have to recenter on the One who is in control and loves us with an everlasting love.

  6. Jan A bird says:

    Well said in a simple “how too” language in God’s Word by one of God’s faithful servants.
    You & Your wife are blessed & you are a blessing.
    Jan A Bird

  7. Shazada says:

    Great advice! Especially I love it verses from Bible how is great God”s promise to us.
    Thank you!

  8. Yes the answer is in God’s Word.
    Whatever you have a problem with God knows about it.
    Praise God for His unlimited LOVE.
    Beryl Chapman

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