I have also had a season of unexpected losses of friends and family members since September. So much grief in such a short time that it takes my breath away. And I consider myself strong in the tough times. This fall I learned there is "tough" and there is "almost unbearable"... but for God. My prayer is that 2012 brings me some green pasture time to rest and refresh.
I've spent a lot of time in John 14 trusting God for His peace in this period of life. Peace that is not dependent upon external circumstances. I wanted to share a lesson from the devotional I use for my daily quiet times. (It is "In Touch" and can be ordered/viewed online through In Touch Ministries.)
God gives His peace to every believer as a gift, our experience of it is related to our faith in the following truths:
- God is in control of everything. Without this assurance, the world is a scary place.
- He loves me and will see me through all circumstances, no matter how difficult or painful they may be.
- To have Christ's peace, I must yield my life to Him. When I hold onto my ways and plans, I'll experience turmoil.
- I have a limited perspective and understanding of my circumstances and God's purposes for allowing them. His goals for me are greater than my immediate comfort.
- The Lord promises to work all things out for my good. He is continually acting to conform me to Christ's image.
- I must live in sync with God, walking in the Spirit and promptly confessing and repenting of sin.
- Scripture is my foundation for peace. It increases my trust in the Lord's goodness, assures me that He keeps His promises and reminds me of His sovereignty over every situation.
In this world there are going to be trials. But fear not: He has overcome the world. That little baby we are celebrating? He is the reason we can overcome this world and its trials.
Amen and amen.