Devotion #72

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27 NIV

My husband and I know His peace. We know what it means to feel peace despite the chaos in front of us. We know what it means to find peace when we are wrongly accused and when the diagnosis comes. We know what it means to feel peace when our marriage struggles, when relationships break apart, and when a child is swept away by the evil of this world. We know what it means to feel peace as we watch our loved one leave this world, and when our baby was not allowed to enter. We know what it means to feel peace as our financial security crumbles and our home is taken away. We know His peace. There are have been so many days when we have literally stood in awe at how blessed we are to know the calm assurance that He is at work in the storms of life. But we didn’t start there. We had to learn how to capture His peace in a broken world.

We are told in this passage that Jesus gives us His peace, but as a people, we don’t know how to receive this precious gift. Accepting His peace is how we know His peace, so how do we accept it?

I learned many years ago that content people are the ones who have peace, so contentment became something I meditated on frequently. If we want to know His peace as we journey through this difficult life together in marriage, then we are going to need to learn what it means to be content.

Contentment is a state of satisfaction or happiness with your current situation. I once thought in order to be content with your life, everything needed to be in place. I believed contentment was linked to my plan working out—I will be content when I have this job, when we live in this neighborhood, when my husband stops working so much. But that’s not it at all. Contentment is simply an acceptance of our situation. It doesn’t mean things have to be the way I want them to be, it doesn’t mean I have to even like my situation, but it does mean I have to be satisfied with my circumstances—at least for now.

Contentment means despite the unjust accusations or difficult diagnosis, despite the broken relationships, prodigal son, or financial ruin, even despite the life being taken far too soon, I needed to be satisfied with what was in front of me. How can you be okay with all that tragedy happening? It’s not possible in our power. Contentment on our own is simply out of reach.

What is possible is a belief and a trust in a sovereign God—a God who is ruler over all things happening in my life. Coupled with that belief is the most important part of my understanding—I believe that my God is working all things for my good. ALL things. It doesn’t matter what He allows into my life, I know the ultimate outcome is for good. Romans 8:28 promises this truth to us, and when we cling to it, we become content with whatever He allows into our lives. He’s proven this over and over again to my husband and me in our trials. In each one of the heartbreaking circumstances I listed above, God showed up faithful to work our circumstances out perfectly for our good.

Content people know His peace. While we are far from perfect at being content, God is transforming our hearts to have a deep understanding of His goodness. We know that regardless of what is in front of us, He is sovereign over it all and He is working it out for good. This understanding allows us to accept whatever lies in front of us with satisfaction and even happiness—because we know though the road may be hard, He has goodness in it for us.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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