Who among us doesn’t script for ourselves a life of relative ease and unending happiness? I’m certainly guilty. Yet the years never unfold according to our perfectly laid plans. From scary diagnoses to financial burdens to strained relationships, life has a way of throwing our days out of kilter.
“Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
Then all the people said ‘Amen’ and ‘Praise the LORD.’”
1 Chronicles 16:36 NIV
The night before the tests, I lay in bed, wondering if tomorrow would bring blessed relief or start a potentially long road of suffering. As I turned over the possibilities, words of the Doxology1 leaped unbidden to mind, followed immediately by the refrain to “It Is Well With My Soul.” Peace enveloped me. I fell into a restful sleep knowing no matter what verdict I heard the next day, all would be well. My physical body may not be, but my spirit would.
I doubt I would have felt the calm assurance 5 years ago that I did that night. The daily practice of praising God has settled my soul. It has reminded me of the steadfast love of my Father. When the unimaginable happens, instead of dwelling on the what-ifs, I’ve equipped myself to remember the promises and faithfulness of my unfathomable God. I let praise usher in lasting peace.
(This is an excerpt from my devotional: Everyday Praise: Walking in Greater Peace. You can get a copy of Everyday Praise here on Amazon.)
Take Heart in God’s Fullness
Jesus tells us to expect burdens: “…In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33b).
But then the Savior goes on to extol us to “take heart!”
Why? Because, He “have overcome the world” (vs. 33c)!
Such an amazing truth, yet take heart … have peace … in my day-to-day struggles?
And having joy and peace in the mundane and hard? How is that possible?
As Christians, we can be certain our trials will be redeemed eventually. Yet what do we do in the meantime, in the here and now?
Because even when I know the Lord—when I know His love, faithfulness, and might—unwanted circumstances have a way of winning the day. Those afflictions tend to mask the beauty of my ultimate salvation.
Not that long ago, I finally began to understand how to peel back that mask, how to lighten the dark glasses of unwanted circumstances. I learned how to see beauty in the midst of troubles.
You see, experiencing peace in a world that is anything but peaceful boils down to remembering and embracing the fullness of who God is and what He offers…. to be continued at billmcconnell.me
Reflections: In what areas of life do you struggle the most with finding peace?
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Yours in grace ≈