Author | Jamie
Joy. Peace that passes understanding. His yoke is easy. He leads me beside still waters. My God is an ever-present help in trouble.
These are really great Bible words. I’ve always thought it would be great to know what it felt like to experience any of them. I mean, isn’t this the stuff we claim is great about the Christian life? Not only do we get eternal life in a beautiful place without pain in the future, but we should also be reaping some benefit now, right? Maybe not a perfect life, but I should at least get to have some peace more often than not, right?
Then how come that doesn’t happen very much?
I guess I could be all spiritual and tell you that what I have is a deep peace in the midst of difficult circumstances. But really, if the peace is so deep that it doesn’t affect my outlook at all, then who really cares if it is there? I want a tangible peace. One that gives me strength to face the scariest of situations. Where is that?
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
It looks to me that peace comes (and hope and joy, too) as we grow in trust of our Heavenly Father. Let me tell you how that looks in my life right now.
Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” My natural way is to look at my situation and try to determine if God is actually doing that. I consider my experience and try to judge whether or not this verse is true. If my kids are misbehaving or I haven’t had a date night in awhile, then I conclude this verse doesn’t apply to my regular life. It must just mean spiritual needs or eternal life or something far away like that. It doesn’t apply to today.
That’s my natural way of looking at that verse, and it does not lead to peace or joy. The trust way is this: God says he will supply all my needs, so He must be doing that. I then choose (or try to choose – I’m still learning) not to worry about it. I let God know that I’m running a little dry, and then I watch expectantly for how He will take care of that need.
When I choose to believe that God’s promises are true – really true for today – then I am filled with peace as I wait on Him to deliver. I don’t have to wonder if He will deliver. He promises that He will. If He doesn’t deliver fast enough, then I may ask Him again, but this time I pose it thankfully. “Thank you God that You are already working to renew my energy. Help me to wait patiently for that.”
His timing is perfect, so I can believe (or learn to believe) that He will choose to fulfill His promises at a time that will have the greatest impact. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
He has real peace for us. In this life. Will you join me in learning to trust Him?
I’m with you on this, Jamie! Someone wise once told me to think of where lush growth happens in nature – in the valleys. Not on the mountain tops. So when things are going great and we are “on top of the world”, we may not see as much growth. When we are in valleys, slugging it through real world problems, God grows us more. Now I truly believe that God is going to give you and your family many “mountain top” experiences during this adventure – and knowing your relationship with our Savior, there will be growth even there. But there may also be times in the valley and I ask God to pour out His blessings on you during those times and give you eyes to see the growth He has for you there. Love you!! MOM
You bring a very practical clarity to a part of our faith this often so difficult!