Which set of three words would have more impact on your life?
“You have cancer.”
“God loves you.”
Could you fit all six words together? (Feel free to substitute any other trial of cause of suffering for ‘cancer’.) What happens if we refuse to reconcile the apparent paradoxes of life: good and evil, free will and the sovereignty of God, the presence of unwanted and painful circumstances with a great and loving God? Do we not miss out on life by only accepting that which easily pleases and satisfies us, that which we think we can handle on our own? Does avoiding the tensions and conflicts presented by real faith cause us to retreat to a ‘safe comfort zone?’ A place that seems safe but that in actuality leads us to a dangerously mediocre life?
The truth is, we all face trials in life. No matter what you believe or how fervently you live out your beliefs, there doesn’t appear to be a “Get out of suffering” card that is universally available. However, God does provide a “get out of being controlled by our circumstances” card. It has the words, “Trust me,” inscribed on one side of it and “I will give you peace,” on the other.
Trusting God in difficult situations creates a space between the painful circumstance and our response to it. In this space, we seek and find God just as he promised. (You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13) In this space we find refuge from the control our circumstances might otherwise have on us, dragging us down in self-pity, away from the joy God would have us experience. It is the space where we remember who we are in God’s sight and who he is. In this space we find his light shining into the depths of our sorrow, our pain, and our disappointment.
If we choose instead to trust ourselves to solve our own problems, we find it impossible to find this peaceful space. We strive and we pursue, but our efforts do not bring us peace. They do not make us victorious.
When three words, God loves me, become a reality to your everyday living, this space of peace, not your circumstances, determines your life. In this space you find freedom you’ll find nowhere else. Without the space, peace is ‘nowhere.’ With the space, peace is ‘now here.’ Ah the difference trusting God makes, by creating space for his peace in our lives!
Enjoy seeking God and responding to his amazing three words. Enter into his presence throughout the day and enjoy the space his peace creates.