(Digital Editor's Note: This article was published first in the March 2023 print edition of The Stand.)
Forty years ago, author Jack Countryman published his first devotional book, God’s Promises for Your Every Need. The book has sold over 12 million copies. But Countryman does not rest on that success. Since 1982, he has written more than 35 devotionals and published over 800 books by prominent authors such as Max Lucado, John Maxwell, Anne Graham Lotz, John MacArthur, and O.S. Hawkins.
In Countryman’s newest book, The Miracle of Peace, he encourages weary and anxious believers to rest in the peace that passes all understanding.
In a recent interview with The Stand, Countryman shared his heart concerning his writing, ministry, and how to find ultimate peace in Jesus’ presence.
The Stand: Why is devotional time necessary in the Christian walk?
Jack Countryman: Well, we all need a stimulus to get us in tune with the Lord. If we don’t have something like a devotional, we hardly let God enter our lives, and we’re always thinking of ourselves.
Devotional time is a time we can put aside to commune with the Lord and let Him speak to us. I think that is necessary if we want to grow in our faith and become all God has called us to be.
TS: What should readers look for when they choose a devotional?
JC: They need to look for a few things. Does it have Scripture? Secondly, does the devotional have words that open your heart and mind to what the author is trying to communicate? Do you change? And lastly, does the devotional affect you so much that it causes you to be more of what God wants you to be and less of what you want to be? I think all of these things are absolutely necessary for a great devotional.
TS: How has your faith deepened through writing devotionals?
JC: When you study God’s Word and prepare to do a writing, the words that you discover affect you. When I say, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, oh Lord my Strength and my Redeemer,” I change. I am becoming all that God has called me to be.
He has called me to be a witness for Him. How can I be a witness unless I take His Word and hide it in my heart?
TS: What do you want readers to know about this new book?
JC: The Miracle of Peace has 21 contributors who discuss when God gave them a sense of peace during difficult times in their lives. Two of them had cancer. One of them lost his wife in an automobile accident.
I share where God gave me a sense of peace when I had a difficult traffic situation and almost wrecked. In those moments, God gave us peace that wasn’t emotional or anxious and didn’t cause us to experience undue stress. What we found was a peace that passes all understanding.
TS: Is there anything else you’d like to say to readers of The Stand?
JC: God truly wants us to be at peace with Him, other people, and ourselves. We come to know the peace of God when we recognize our sins, receive His forgiveness, and name His Son Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
Then, we put God first in our lives. We let Him guide everything we say and do. We go to Him for guidance and trust the promises we find in His Word. I believe there’s no other path to finding peace with God.