Boast In The Lord January 9th, 2023

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

One of the first times I ever experienced this “perfect peace” was as a teenager. I was sitting in the back of the church and had been going through a tough time.  A woman sitting next to me, who knew what had been going on, leaned over and very quietly started to sing, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”  
In that moment, I remember God’s peace washing over me…even though I was still sad, even though I still didn’t have the answers I thought I needed...His peace, all of a sudden, allowed me to breathe again.
God has brought that memory to mind many times since then. During small and big trials, he brings it to mind to gently remind me to look to Him, to remember who He is, to remember His promises.  It’s not about ignoring my problems to feel better, but shifting my focus on Jesus, who is able to give me His perspective, which more often than not, makes my problems “grow strangely dim”.  
But let’s be honest!  Gathering up the courage to face our trials, to surrender to the Lord and trust in Him, oftentimes is not easy!  Sometimes it’s easier to wallow and sit in our mess and try to justify our behavior or feelings. Or maybe we don’t go to the Lord because we think we can fix the situation on our own and feel like we don’t want to be a bother.  Or sometimes trusting God feels like a giant leap of faith that is too scary and too risky….because what if He doesn’t come through the way we think we need Him to?  The thought of getting let down and hurt more keeps us bound. 
But we have a God who loves us more deeply than we can ever imagine and wants to be intimately involved. He is gentle, patient, full of grace and mercy. Trials are not without purpose…each gives us an opportunity to mature, to deepen our faith and to get to know Jesus in a way we never did before.  He wants to mold us and shape us not only for our benefit, but for the others around us and ultimately for the glory of God.  
We also have a community of believers around us who can speak life and encouragement into our situation. If you are going through a situation by yourself, don’t…sometimes the first step toward a breakthrough is telling someone you trust and asking for prayer.

Lord, you want to…and are fully able to rescue us from whatever darkness we are in.  Help us to turn our eyes to you.  Bring us into your light where we will find your love, forgiveness, joy, hope and peace.  Show us your perspective, and guide us.  Even if our circumstances don’t change, show us that in you, deep down, we have all we truly need.  Help us be courageous to trust in you and as we do, keep us in your perfect peace. 

Katie Ressa

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