I read a daily devotional today, which both encouraged and challenged me, and caused me to come to a fresh understanding about the way I should process the trials of life.
It started out by saying that ‘understanding will never bring you peace’. At first glance, I wanted to disagree with it, because I’ve always found it easier to cope with the difficulties I face when I understood why it happened or could make some sense of it. In my mind, understanding brought a measure of closure and control to something that felt out of control. I could fit it into a ‘box’ and move on. But, if truth be told, much of the difficulties I’ve had to face didn’t make sense at the time, and trying to figure it out only caused my mind to go around in circles. In fact, there usually was no good explanation for the trial I found myself in, and trying to think it through caused doubt and anxiety in my heart.
Philippians 4:6-5 says, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’. There is a peace which goes beyond our human understanding where we are able to have a peaceful mind and heart amidst the furious storms we’re facing. But this requires us to be confident in, and to lean on, the One who is above every circumstance. It requires us to trust Him, even though we don’t understand. This will only be possible if we have relationship with God, really know the nature of His character, and have learned to take Him at His Word.
Our own understanding will always be framed in the context of our past experiences, and by what we can see in the present. If we allow ourselves to get stuck in this limited understanding, the often-distorted perspective of what we think the future holds, and the lies that the enemy of our souls will speak to our minds, we’ll lose hope, and we’ll live defeated and fearful lives, and never grab a hold of our godly destiny.
True understanding is this: Setting our minds and hearts on the Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who’s all-knowing, making all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28), and surrendering to His ways that are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8).
‘You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You’ (Isaiah 26:3).
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You know all things. You know the end from the beginning and You always have good plans in mind for me. Forgive me for doubting that You’re good during the times when I couldn’t understand Your ways from my human perspective. I choose to surrender to Your perfect peace and Your ways that are higher than my own, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.