Monday, August 24, 2009

Peace in Trials

James 1:2-4 (The Message): Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Last week, this blog was about finding peace in the midst of trials. It does seem everyone is going through something these days. I have learned that I can have horrific circumstances and have perfect peace and contentment, knowing God is in control. There are other times when just the smallest thing causes extreme turmoil within me. Have you noticed that happening in your own life?

I believe the difference is whether or not I have left the entire situation in God's hands. There are times when I give things to him and take them back. Have you heard the story of the little girl who had a broken doll? She gave it to her dad to repair. Yet, she would not take her hands off of it. That's me sometimes. How can I expect God to take care of things if I don't leave it with Him.

When I truly let things go, I am able to walk in perfect peace, no matter how difficult the storm. Last week we talked about journaling. In times when I am having a hard time letting go, God knows it anyway, so getting it out on paper really does help me gain a better perspective.

Another thing I do is find scriptures that apply to my situation. I put them on 3x5 cards and put them in various places around my house so I can pray them often. Romans 10:17 tells me that faith comes by hearing the Word of God, so I must hear it so I can believe it.

Even though at times I have struggled with believing, by praying scriptures daily, eventually something happens. It's like scales fall off of my eyes, and I really believe what I'm praying.

Listening to worship music and singing words of praise to God, even when I don't feel like it also help me! There have been times when I had to force my mouth open, but when I did, it got a little easier with each note. As I sang sacrificially to God, His presence flooded me in a way I can't even describe, and supernatural peace was finally mine. I love Psalm 50:23. It says, "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."

It also helps to have a friend to share my burden with (Gal. 6:2) -- someone who will stand with me and encourage me. However, I'm not a fan of sharing all the details with everyone who comes along. I feel it just emphasizes the problem if I talk about it that much. I need to be dwelling on God's promises -- not my circumstances.

I know this is not an exhaustive list. Are there things you do that I have not listed that really helps you while going through trying times? I would love to read your comments.

2 comments:

  1. Create a list. Philippians 4:8-9 "Fix your thoughts on what is TRUE, and HONORABLE, and RIGHT, and PURE, and LOVELY, and ADMIRABLE. Think about things that are EXCELLENT and WORTHY of praise." When my husband started working long hours I started grumbling and complaining. Then I picked up Dr. Laura's book and she encouraged the reader to make a list of things the reader appreciates about her husband. I started out slowly but as I created my list, my heart changed. When I shared my list with my exhausted husband, he couldn't change the demands of his job but he looked forward to coming home every night.

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  2. Great word of advice! I love the list idea. It really does work wonders.

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