I’ve put conditions on receiving the peace of God. Before I would accept God’s peace I wanted to see His provision. I inadvertently placed my hope in knowing an answer instead of in trusting a Person.
In other words, I resisted living my faith.
This pattern began in college. At Christmas break of my senior year a sense of panic rose in me when I realized I didn’t know what to do after I graduated. I thought when I know the answer then I’ll have peace.
That February the Lord took hold of me and redirected my life. I knew without a doubt I was to join an international Christian ministry, Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru).
Having clarity dissolved my anxiety—for a while. Then a new worry popped up. Was I supposed to get married? If so, how would I find and recognize the right person?
I thought, when I know the answer then I’ll have peace.
A summer assignment landed me on a project in Estes Park, Colorado led by Larry Wilson. Before the summer was over I knew Larry was the one!
And yes, that knowledge brought me peace—and joy. But my when-then thinking had only just begun.
The Bible shows that even heroes of the faith felt vulnerable and afraid while they lived as strangers on this earth. They faced famines, infertility, and hostile neighbors. God appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to tell them not to be afraid because He was with them.
This encourages me, because as the years add up and the body slows down new worries pop up. That old bad habit of thinking when I see how God will provide then I won’t worry still haunts me.
God reassured the patriarchs with promises mostly about the future. They couldn’t measure their descendants or even lay claim to the land God promised. But God’s promise to bless them and their futures was enough. They trusted His character.
If the patriarchs had practiced when/then-thinking Abraham would never have left Ur. He certainly wouldn’t have offered Isaac. But he did all of this and more. And God commended him for his faith in Hebrews 11. And God blessed him—and the whole world—through Abraham.
The Lord offers us the same hope He gave the patriarchs.
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’ (Hebrews 13:5-6 NLT)
I’ve discovered a better form of when/then thinking. When I trust God then I have peace (Romans 15:13).
I’m clinging to that today because a crazy glitch has again shut down my computer. And I have an urgent need for it!
You, not circumstances are my peace. You, not anyone or anything else, are my security. You make no mistakes. I choose to trust in You.
Are you being taunted by fear? We leave fear not when we see but when we believe.For we live by believing and not by seeing. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT Click To Tweet
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