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A Prayer for Peace During Hard Times
By Lysa Terkeurst
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
Have you ever been there? Have you ever had a big situation in your life where you just couldn’t process why God would allow this to happen? Maybe it's one of your young children having behavioral issues that seems crazy complicated and daunting. Or one of your older children having issues with addictions and devastating life choices. Or your husband being distant or possibly even destructive in making choices that are harming your marriage. Or another year of singleness that brings you wave after wave of grief, while watching others celebrating the gift of true love.
It’s so tempting to wallow in the "why."
Asking why is perfectly normal. Asking why isn’t unspiritual. However, if asking this question pushes us further from God rather than drawing us closer to Him, it is the wrong question.
If asking the why question doesn’t offer hope, what will? The what question. In other words: "Now that this is my reality, what am I supposed to do with it?"
Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
I like to call this verse, "Directions on Where to Park My Mind." Switching from the why to the what questions paves the road to parking our minds in a much better place. Is it always easy? No. But is it a way to find a perspective beyond situations where we feel God has allowed something in our lives we don’t understand and we absolutely don’t like? Yes, it is, and I pray this helps you today. Because even if our circumstances aren’t good, we can trust God’s purpose always is.
Dear Lord, I want to process everything I face in life through the filter of Your love. I know You love me. But sometimes it’s just hard to understand the circumstances that come my way. I find myself consumed with trying to figure things out rather than looking for Your perspective and trusting You. Thank You for this new way to look at things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from the Encouragement for Today devotional, “Why Did This Happen, God?,” written by Lysa Terkeurst. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.