August 7, 2017

The Peace that Surpasses All Understanding

How do you stay calm in the midst of trials? Today’s devotional and my corresponding readings touched on that, and I thought it was especially timely with so many of my friends and family going through such difficult situations. My heart has been heavy for them. It’s one thing to have your own stuff. It’s quite another when you see it in the lives of others.

“Understanding will never bring you peace. That’s why I have instructed you to trust in Me, not in your own understanding. Human beings have a voracious appetite for trying to figure things out, in order to gain a sense of mastery over their lives. But the world presents you with an endless series of problems. As soon as you master one set, another pops up to challenge you. The relief you had anticipated is short-lived. Soon your mind is gearing up again; searching for understanding (mastery), instead of seeking Me (your Master).” (from Jesus Calling)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Romans 5:1-5

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Isaiah 26:3

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.”
Philippians 4:6-8

So whether it’s my own cancer, or my friend’s nephew’s brain cancer, or another friend’s sister’s newly found stage IV brain cancer, or my daughter’s school friend’s cancer, or another friend’s husband who is nearing the end, or others who haven’t even told anyone yet, or friends who have recently lost loved ones, or folks who are dealing with broken relationships, or difficult pasts, or aging parents…. The question “why” is naturally ever in our thoughts. But let us look to His Word and gaze on His Face. “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1

Growing up in church has given me many precious gifts…the knowledge of God’s Word and a heart and mind full of music and lyrics. Chemo brain has taken a great deal of my memory, but these songs are a part of the DNA that stuck with me! And for that I will be forever thankful.

“I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
And I don't borrow from the sunshine
'Cause the skies might turn to gray.
And I don't worry about the future,
'Cause I know what Jesus said,
And today I'm gonna walk right beside him
'Cause he's the one who knows what is ahead.

There are things about tomorrow
That I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

And each step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb.
And every burden is getting lighter
And all the clouds, they're silver lined.
And, I'll bet the sun it's always shining
There no tears will ever dim the eye
And the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains, they touch the sky.

There are many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.”

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