How and why should we feel inner peace when the world around us is seemingly falling apart?
Before I answer that, let me digress.
It has been asked of us to put God before all else (including spouse, material things, and even our children), but why is that? The reason is, is that all things can be taken away from you, but not God. All things in your life, no matter how much you don't want it to be true, is transient, for change is a constant thing. Therefore, if you place your true inner happiness on anything that is transient, you are sure to lose it when the object of your love or attachment is removed in some regard. No matter how rich you are, no matter how healthy you are, no matter how young you are, all things come to and end. Not one cent that you collect and save now is to go with you when you die. But what is going to go with you is your current state of consciousness.
There is a nuance to the statement of "put God first" that most people don't understand. This does not mean "love nothing but God" for God is everything and everyone. The point of the above paragraph is that you should not love just one thing or just one person(s). If God says, "Love me before all others" and God is All That Is, what God is asking you to do is step out of Duality. God is only asking from you what God is already doing, and that is, loving all equally and seeing how we are all part of the same Divine spark.
In these times, chaos is going to increase. What we have and hold dear may be lost, whether that is a person, a job, or something we posses, and even our sense of security. There is a reason that God "taketh" just as he did with Job. We are not challenged in times of plenty. We are only challenged when our false illusions are threatened. Our current illusion is that "they" and "we" are different and separate. We have amassed unprecedented material goods and yet are still as unhappy as ever. This is why God taketh, so we can see the weakness of our path and understand how to capture true bliss, not transient happiness. The only reason we find this process repugnant is because we are seeing through the eyes of ego.
Chaos comes before change. Therefore expect some chaos. We prove nothing when we love the lovable. We grow not when times are easy. Our true spiritual selves (for better or worse) come out in crisis. And mostly, this is when we see Duality in people at its highest. If you question this, watch a hurricane Andrew special showing people toting shotguns around, beating each other up, and overall it looked like a demilitarized zone where even the police stayed clear of. Looting and human clashes are an amazing thing to arise when chaos emerges. Do we pull together? Sometimes, but generally when push comes to shove, it is every man for himself. I had a vision once of a huge earthquake to come. And I mean huge enough to rip apart a city. People were gunning each other down in the street so they could get a bit more of something that someone else had. This is the Duality we live in.
We are tested on many levels. Sometimes on a personal level, a community, country, or even on a world scale, as in the form of a natural disaster or World War.
You cannot avoid the mob mentality and the Duality that comes with it, but you can work on your own illusions.
I'll use an example of stepping out of Duality from a recent movie, The Matrix: There is an exchange of conversation in the movie between an enlightened young boy and a soon to be enlightened young man. The boy says, "Do not try to bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth." And Neo asks, "What truth?" and the boy replies, "There is no spoon."
Sometime later when Neo is faced with a "be the spoon" type challenge, he of course fails because he cannot yet be the spoon. He is not ready to see that all energy is connected and that Dualism is the illusion he is clinging to. But when he inevitably does come to this conclusion and becomes the spoon (during a peak chaos situation--near death), he steps out of Duality and succeeds at a miraculous level. Using that principle, Divine energy flows through us all, even a spoon, and we are all connected, God is saying, "Be the spoon" or more literally "Ye Are Gods" and that we are all connected. And when we realize this, and co-exist with each other in this fashion, we simply will be Spoontraders and then be capable of miracles... and yes... achieve inner peace in a non-peaceful world.