I’ve heard over and over that we are either entering into, in the midst of, or coming out of tribulations and troubles, and the Scriptures concur: When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: Isaiah 43:2-3a
Yes, we are going to go through hard times. God said, “When”, not “If”. So this being the case, there is a particular mindset needed as a child of God to accept it and let God’s perfect plan be worked out. It is one thing to say that, but another to live it. This is a huge struggle for me. Over and over again, I catch myself trying to sort & work things out according to my thoughts & ways, but they are not God’s thoughts or God’s ways:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
This does not mean we sit back and do nothing. We MUST seek the Lord and His will to make sure we are doing what He wants us to do. If I spent more time doing this then “working things out my way”, I’d be at peace more often than not, rather than the other way around.
The key to peace is not in the situation. It has always been – and always will be – in who we think on:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
When my thoughts are focused on the Lord, who He is and all that He has done and is doing for me, there is no brain power left to have a “pity party.”
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Proverbs 23:7a
This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23
My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Luke 1:46-47
In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. Psalms 94:19
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. Proverbs 16:3
Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. Isaiah 38:17
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 10:17
God may not change our situation, but He can change our hearts so we have His peace as we go through it.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (ie. cause them to stumble) Psalms 119:165
Sitting at my laptop with barely enough energy to type (from low blood sugar), I feel quite useless as the rest of the family buzzes around getting things done. Our youngest doll – Carolyn – piggy tails and all, was first doing a puzzle and chattering away, but now is helping Abigail and Melissa with the laundry, folding tea towels and such; Cynthia and Sarah took over from me making lunch; and Brianna is practicing guitar. It just seems the norm lately: doing a few hours work then having no energy for the rest of the day. It has been very frustrating. We start the school year on Monday; I resume sewing for customers the following week, and I honestly have no idea how I am going to get everything done like I did before.
Still, in the midst of all this frustration and seemingly impossible schedule, I have a peace knowing that my Saviour is my all sufficiency. He will get me through, as long as I remember to lean on Him. I know I cannot do all that needs done without Him, and it may mean re-organizing our squedule and/or eliminating some things, but I also know He is always faithful to help me.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 2 Corinthians 3:5
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
People, especially women (me included), tend to be fretful; as irritating as that can be to ourselves and others, it is part of our sinful nature. I am one of the first to say how easy it is to forget that God is in control of EVERYTHING, especially when things are not going the way I planned. (Hindsight is 20/20…)
Like Thomas after Christ’s ressurection, it is easy to have a “show me” faith, however; the Lord does not want us to be so.
The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. John 20:25
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. John 20:27-28
Our Lord is not the author of confusion or giver of fear:
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
The “Christmas Story” is another perfect example of this.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18
I can’t imagine what was going on in Mary’s mind at this point. At first, I thought that she might have know she was pregnant before the angel told her, but then in the parallel passage in Luke 1, there is no indication she knew before.
Isn’t that just like our Lord?
Consider the anguish of heart and mind that He spared her had she been far enough along to realize she was pregnant and had not been told the source. It was all in God’s perfect plan and timing.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: Ec 3:11a
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 2Th 2:6
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Galatians 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4:4-5
Recently, we found out that I am in peri-menopause, so my hormones and emotions are completely wacky. Fine one moment, crying the next, mad the next, irrational, etc. It has been difficult to say the least, especially for my family. When my emotions settle down, then comes the shame. It isn’t just the shame of what I said, or how I behaved, but knowing it didn’t have to be that way.
The world says this is normal; I just need to “get through this”, but I can’t find that in Scripture. For those who know the Scriptures, this would be one of those situations where we wish we didn’t know it so well (fleshly speaking) as the Lord doesn’t let us get away with as much.
However, unlike the world, God’s children are not alone in our daily battles. We have the precious Holy Spirit dwelling withing us who promised to guide us into all truth and never leave us alone. We have no excuse…..
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20
Even in those highly irrational moments, I could feel the Spirit of God trying to work, but I CHOSE not to let Him. I hadn’t wanted to admit it, but I made the choice to ignore that still small voice. (1Kings 19:12) That is what brought me the greatest shame. As much as I know my Bible, I convinced and deceived myself into thinking that God was not in control and could not be of me in that state. I made the choice and refused to yield. I need allow the Lord to bring His Word to rememberance, for yes, Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Yes, the Lord gives peace to His children:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. Psalms 29:11
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalms 119:165
“Offend” does not mean to insult, but rather “to cause to stumble”. IE, if I love God’s law, nothing shall cause me to stumble.
Do I have a real physical problem that is providing a ripe state for irrational behavior? – Yes.
Is God, through the Holy Spirit, able to give me the power to conquer those battles by making the right choice? YES! An emphatic “YES!”
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1Corinthians 10:13
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Heb 2:18
We are taking steps to rectify this hormonal imbalance, but it will certainly be easier for all concerned if I choose to “love God’s law” the next time my emotions get wacky. Like Mary and many others throughout the Scriptures, I need to hear the angel say:
“Fear not…” Luke 1:30
and yield the the Lord’s control:
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. Luke 1:38
Heâs my life, He’s my all;
Without Him I would fall.
Every day, every hour;
Jesus keeps me by His power.
Through the assurance of His Word.
I know all His promises are true.
By faith, I stand upon them,
And my God makes all things new.
Though my trials like raging storms blow,
Help to endure is always present from above.
Not a sigh nor a loss in my life here below.
Could ever dim the glory of my Saviour’s love.
Though clouds of sorrow seem to hide
His presence in the night,
There’s not a moment in my life
When His guiding hand is not in sight.
All for His glory He will perform,
What He has promised in me, to conform.
He who hath begun a good work in me,
Will perform it until my Saviour I shall see.
Then one day I will cross over,
When He opens that final door,
And He transforms this corruptible
To His perfect likeness forever more.
When I stand to give account,
âWill I come forth as gold?â? will be my test,
No more will I fight this robe of flesh
As in my Saviour I take my rest.
And with the saints in glory,
I stand with Him for eternal days.
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My Great Redeemer’s praise!
June 13, 2003
This poem, and others, are featured
in a poetry booklet put together
by Jerry Bouey.