“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (The Message)
Everyone has experienced heartache of some kind in this life. If you haven’t…wait, you will. This life is full of heartaches, trials, pain…but it’s also filled with joy, peace, and love. The latter come from God. He isn’t the One responsible for the pain. He is responsible for the joy and peace that can occur despite or during the painful experiences. However, the joy and peace that God gives isn’t automatic. He wants His children to ask for it. He wants His children to come to Him and ask to be comforted, rescued, taken care of. When we humble ourselves and do that, He always delivers. Every single time.
Am I telling you it’s not okay to get mad at God when bad things happen? No. But I am asking you to think of God as your Father and to treat Him with the respect, or more, than you would give to your earthly parents. He’s strong – He can handle respectful anger. I remember distinctly getting angry at God after our miscarriage and asking Him why He let our baby die. While He didn’t answer the “why,” He did meet me in the anger and let me know He loved me.
I never understood the above Bible passage that talks about the peace that passes all understanding, a peace beyond comprehension, until I personally experienced difficulties. When I realized I had to give up control and give my circumstances over to God, it was then that I first experienced true peace. It’s a peace despite the situation, a peace that is deeper and more calming. It doesn’t leave no matter how hopeless things look around me. I find, too, that when things are at their worst, God is able to show off with His BEST. And I always give praise where it’s due – to Him.
The last aspect of our loving God is this: Part of Him giving good things out of pain takes work on our part. Our family has been walking through a painful journey for almost eight years now that began with a painful circumstance all its own. While I believe that one day the journey will have a happy ending, we don’t have an end in sight, yet. However, God has used both of our situations, in countless different ways, for us to encourage, sympathize, or walk alongside others while they are walking similar paths. The hope and encouragement He has offered us throughout the years give hope and encouragement to others. When we choose to share the blessings God has given us or share the hope that God will work in another’s situation, that pleases our Father. That is helping to bring good out of what Satan meant for evil.
Humanly speaking, when terrible things happen, we want someone to blame. And we need Someone to offer comfort. All I’m asking is that we realize the truth. Satan is the one to blame for the evil we experience in this world and God is waiting with open arms to offer us comfort…love….peace. We will be blessed if we remember which is which.
© Cheri Swalwell