June 19, 2012
Going out of Business Sale … Clearance Sale … Half Off Sale … Buy One Get One Free … Outlets! These are all signs that grab our attention. The reason? Opportunity is knocking. Here’s another, even richer opportunity that separates the successful spiritual investor from the person struggling to get by spiritually from paycheck-to-paycheck. The pivotal moment starts like this: In the middle of a pretty good day, something happens and your day gets messy … a deviation from your agenda pops up … an unplanned adversity … something a bit painful occurs.
You see, anyone can have peace when life is going OK, right on cue, following the agenda. Most people’s peace is dependent upon their external circumstances. You can see how precarious this is. Here’s the principle that allows the next level of abundant living to be achieved. The inner calm graciously offered by God need not be shaken by what is going on around you. What God offers to His children is radically different … peace when life gets messy or difficult … peace that comes from within, independent of circumstances.
The best thing to do when a messy day disrupts your peace is to stop what you are doing, take a “time-out” and ask for God’s assistance. Try turning to and trusting in God in the midst of a messy day. God loves you. He knows everything, including what you need in that very moment to grow and help you achieve your deepest desires. Since He is sovereign over the universe, He allowed the adversity/opportunity to happen for a specific purpose for your powerful development and fulfillment.
The disruption to your peace isn’t from God, it comes from within you … and not from anyone or anything else. The lack of peace, or even pain and discomfort comes from your misinterpretation of or lack of understanding of how God is using this event to show you, grow you, protect you, or prepare you to develop the mind of Christ.
Today, when facing a disruption in your agenda, try slowly whispering “Jesus.” Just His name alone is a strong tower. Believing in His love, sacrifice, and power will bring you security. So take a time-out when adversity strikes, and perform some self-examination. If you are having trouble applying the armor of God, trusting God’s promises and character, and believing Jesus’ work on the cross for you, the great opportunity God is dropping in your lap right now is to find what false belief you believe in more than God, Jesus, and the Holy Bible. With practice, prayerful digging will reveal where you really place your trust when adversity strikes. Adversity, or opportunity … it’s your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father, This day feels very “messy” to me. Many things feel out of control, but I am trying my best to trust You to provide exactly what I need. I confess that my inner calm is easily shaken by what is happening around me. My knee-jerk tendency is to restore order to my little world to ease my pain. And when I do this, I mistakenly look outward to other physical things … to substitutes. I know that Your peace is available to me, but today I am having trouble accessing it. Help me understand, Lord, that I am not in an emergency and help me give myself permission to slow down. Let this slower pace make it easier for me to stay focused on You and really learn what I am trusting more than You when I face adversity. I pray this in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13