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.
Every stage of life greets us carrying its own fears. And our human nature looks for assurances in what we can see and measure instead of in the Lord.
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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How to Fight Fear and Discouragement
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Ann Musico says
Debbie this truly is a huge issue for most of us! We want to see the resolution so we can have peace but as with most things dealing with God – it’s the opposite! Faith demand we trust and rest in peace knowing He will not fail us. I have struggled with this very thing most of my life on and off so I’m definitely relating to what you share and I am praying that glitch is resolved quickly and with no loss to you.
Debbie Wilson says
Thank you, Ann. At the Apple store right now. Being one who values efficiency I’m always amazed at God‘s ways. I don’t understand why he would want me to spend what now it’s two days on this for a computer but I think it’s to teach me to trust him. And when I do, I have peace. Many blessings to you.
Valerie Murray says
I love that form of thinking. When I trust God then I can have peace. I think it would be a great statement to say out loud when I’m feeling unsettled and anxious. Thank you so much.
Debbie Wilson says
Valarie, I agree. It does help me to have declarations of faith when I’m feeling worried. Thanks so much for joining the discussion.
Marva | SunSparkleShine says
I can relate to the when-then thinking, Debbie but you’ve shown us a better way to approach peace and it all starts with trust.
I’m glad to have met you through Grace and Truth today. Blessings to you!
debbie wilson says
Thank you, Marva, for taking the time to read and comment. Many blessings to you as you trust God now!
Cheryl Gerou says
Thank you for a great reminder. Yes, trusting truly does bring peace! It is something to keep in mind at every turn in life. Unfortunately, knowing peace remains a struggle all too often. The Lord always has a better way! We must only look to Him and believe in His faithfulness! Sweet Blessings to you!
Debbie Wilson says
Cheryl, I too often struggle to let go and really trust. But when I do, how wonderful the peace of God is!