By Paris Renae
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 NLT
Time for a reset - so much we can't control. Evil does prevail at times. Was God looking the other way, asleep? Hardly.
We tend to lose focus. We think all outcomes, that aren't what we had hoped for, are personal. Like we're the superstar of the universe - what we think is best, must surely be what God has in mind as well.
So whatever our current disappointment, challenge, or loss is - sometimes it just helps to take a step back. Ask the big questions: if things never work out the way I desperately need them too, can I still trust God? If hard times come, can I still find joy?
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV
Answers to these questions must be: yes. Because any other answer means the God we say we believe in, isn't much of God after all. Life has a way of working on each one of us. The end result always was - and will be - getting us to the point where we proclaim, it is well with my soul - no matter what.
Personally, I don't care much for all the polishing it's taking to get me to let go of doubt or fear or worry. But I am grateful for it. Each day we grow closer to Jesus, is a day well-lived. We spend too much time trying to control a situation, worrying about an outcome, or stewing in anger over wrongs.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him… Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:5, 8 NIV
After a year of ups and downs and sideways, we need to step back and breathe. Let's do a reset, right now. Instead of focusing on setbacks and loss, or grief and pain, or even elections and consequences - we look up to our Help. Instead of our daily agenda, we ask Jesus: 'What is today's agenda?'
Easier said than done when we're sick, or a loved one passes, or a child is in trouble, or the bank account is empty - or the myriad of life's woes that chase us.
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 NIV
Trust more, doubt less. Loosen our grip and feel His hold. Truly believe He is closer than our skin, because His Holy Spirit is in us. Begin turning our focus away from our big problems to our big God. In the end we'll find He had it all under control. And the 'end' isn't reality - for those who know Jesus, it's an amazing beginning.
Father, You are our constant in an ever changing world. Thank You that we can trust in the fact that You are not caught off guard with the trials of our lives. You are holding our hand and Your Holy Spirit never leaves us. Help us live in trust and joy because Your great love will see us safely through. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For more encouragement, visit Paris at parisrenae.com.
© 2020 by Paris Renae. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Tuesday, 24 November 2020.