“Let not your hearts be troubled. Trust in God.” John 14:1
It’s just the way I am. I can’t help it. I’m a worrier by nature. I’m too old to change.
Do any of those phrases sound familiar to you? Do you find yourself excusing your tendency to worry or your lack of discipline? Unfortunately we have too often allowed ourselves the Privilege of Excuse to mask areas in our lives which need change or improvement. We do not hesitate to challenge our children when they use excuses to cover their poor performance in school or their disobedience, but we frequently are far more lenient with ourselves when it comes to matters between us and God.
Jesus speaks to his friends in the hour of their greatest need, when they are about to witness their beloved Savior being beaten and killed. How preposterous of him to say they have the ability to not be troubled. Don’t they have every “right” to be agitated (the primary meaning of the word troubled)? Their world is about to crumble in front of their eyes. Their future is bleak. The one they have trusted to give them hope and a future is about to be murdered.
When Jesus uses the words “let not,” he is telling us that we have the power of choice. We need not be victims of our personalities or human tendencies or backgrounds. The road to victory is rocky and uphill, but God gives us the pattern for that victory:
“Do not be anxious about everything, but in everything, 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.” (Philippians 4:6-8)
Precious Lord, I confess that it is much easier to make excuses for myself than to intentionally grow in faith. Help me face myself honestly, confess to you my lack of discipline, and then trust you to give me wisdom and strength to change.
Have you ever been so burdened by a problem that you say “I just don’t even know what to pray?” When the circumstances of life seem too big or complex to comprehend, shift your focus to who God is by praying God’s character.
For every circumstance I believe and proclaim…
God is sovereign. All authority and all power is His. Mathew 28:18.
Nothing takes Him by surprise. All circumstances serve Him. God knows the end from the beginning. Psalm 119:91, Isaiah 46:9-10.
His word is forever settled in heaven. Psalms 119:89.
God does all things for our good and His glory, to conform us to be like Jesus. Romans 8:28-29
The blood of Jesus covers all circumstances, people, places, and times. The One who did not spare His own Son will freely give us all His best. Romans 8:31-32.
God is for us and nothing can separate us from His love. That was settled on the cross. Romans 8:35-39.
God’s loving kindness never ceases. His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23.
God supplies all our needs by His riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19.
God knows and cares. The very hairs of our head are numbered. Mathew 10:30.
He is God of all comfort and Father of mercies. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
God is able to supply His abundant grace to us, so that in all things, at all times, we have all His sufficient grace we need for strength, encouragement, and hope. 2 Corinthians 9:8.
God is able to show His perfect power in our weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
We can know with certainty that He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him. 2 Timothy 1:12.
He is our strength, our shield, our strong tower, our refuge, our hope, our joy, our peace, our all. Psalm 18:1-3, Colossians 3:11b.
God renews our strength as we wait on Him. Isaiah 40:31.
God promises that He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is with us, a very present help. Hebrews 13:5-6, Psalm 46:1.
God never goes back on a promise. Joshua 21:45.
God has a heart that tears can touch and invites us to climb up in the Father’s lap and cry. Hebrews 4:15, Psalm 56:8.
God gives gladness instead of mourning and praise instead of fainting. Weeping endures for a night, but He gives joy that comes in the morning. Isaiah 61:3, Psalm 30:5.
God is enthroned on the praises of His children. Psalm 22:3.
When we lift God up continually in a sacrifice of praise, we glorify Him in this situation in the here-and-now. John 12:28a.
Father, glorify Yourself this hour. John 12:28