Sufficient For You

There are a few TV shows that Travis and I like to watch together.  Most of the time, we have the TV off at night as we're busy, or playing with Ava, or just don't need any more noise, but thankfully we have a DVR that keeps up with what we want to watch later and affords us some "at home dates" a few nights a week.  Two of the shows we like are NCIS- Los Angeles and Lie To Me.  They are both hour long, "who did it?" kind of shows that involve some kind of crime or whatever and the search to solve it.  We think they're entertaining and are intrigued by the story lines, but we also like that in an hour everything has been wrapped up and figured out.  I'm sure there is some psychology behind that, but whatever, we just like it.

Anyway, the last few nights we've taken a little time before bed to catch up on some recent episodes that we've missed.  Both shows are always suspenseful and usually take some twist we didn't see coming, but for some reason this week was different.  We watched 2 episodes of Lie To Me and 1 episode of NCIS.  In each case they were incredibly dark and disturbing story lines.  Terrorist plots, children being kidnapped and hurt, and underground, drug-related crimes.  Perhaps I struggled with each of them because I DETEST anything with torture or children but I kept asking Travis, "Why is this so dark this week??  Why do they have to do these stories??"  He knows my torture thing (and has had to turn many things off until I leave the room over the years!)  but he said, "I think they are just trying to stay relevant and current with what is actually happening in the world.  Sadly, this is not unrealistic."  And I knew he was right.  In fact, during each scene that I hated, I sat there with a pillow in front of my face and told him, "This bothers me greatly because I can't stand that there are actually people like this in the world and there are scenes going down just like this, somewhere in the world." And those thoughts can keep me up at night if I let them....

Evil is part of our world, unfortunately, and in many ways it terrifies me because it makes me feel like at any moment, it could show up on my door step and harm me or someone I love.  I look at my precious Ava and I find myself wanting to beg the Lord to keep her from that kind of pain or hurt.  No child ever asks for or deserves what many adults do to them.  In fact, I can't keep thinking about that or I'll be in a puddle of tears/anxiety/anger in no time.  I'm so grateful that the Lord has such a high view of children and that He is protecting them and rescuing them, even when it seems like no else is.  Keeping His truth and the promises of HIS wrath and judgement in the forefront of our minds is the only way we can wrestle with the injustices of our day.

This morning I pulled out a devotional book that I haven't read for awhile and I was greatly blessed by the reminder of just what those promises say about WHO God is and WHAT HE has done for us.  This particular entry is based on the following verses and is included in italics.

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have peace.  In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  

Psalm 105:4
"Look to the Lord and HIS strength; seek HIS face always."

John 14:27
"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."

Trust Me in the midst of a messy day.  Your inner calm-your Peace in My Presence-need not be shaken by what is going on around you.  Though you live in this temporal world, your innermost being is rooted and grounded in eternity.  When you start to feel stressed, detach yourself from the disturbances around you.  Instead of desperately striving to maintain order and control in your little world, relax and remember that circumstances cannot touch My Peace.  

Seek My face and I will share My mind with you, opening your eyes to see things from My perspective.  Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not be afraid.  The Peace I give you is sufficient for you.

From the Book, "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young

In light of more bad news about the economy, natural disasters, politicians who can't be trusted, etc., etc., etc. it's so easy to let fear and stress creep right in and take over our thoughts.  But IF I believe God's Word to be TRUE (and I do) and IF He has proven faithful to me over the years (and He has) then I have to read those verses and BELIEVE them.  

HE gives peace.

We WILL face trouble.  It's part of living in a fallen world that has rejected Him.

HIS peace, HIS words, and HIS promises enable us to TAKE HEART.  Even amid the chaos.  Even when evil is present.  

HE has OVERCOME this world!!  The end is already written and HE remains victorious over it all.  This world and all that is in it, is only temporary.  We were created with souls that are eternal and one day we'll ALL leave this world behind for the eternity that WE have chosen.  Either WITH HIM or WITHOUT HIM.  You can choose, but when you do, it will be a choice between eternal life with Him or eternal separation from Him.  His Word guarantees and promises which choice will be better.  

HIS face is worth seeking.

HE is ABLE to be found.

HE has strength that we do not and He allows us to draw on HIS strength when we are lacking.  Which is always.  

HIS peace is unlike any other peace. 

This world gives NOTHING compared to what HE ALONE can give.  

He DOES NOT WANT US to be TROUBLED or AFRAID.  Those two things are NOT FROM HIM.  

He has made a way for us to experience life APART from fear and anxiety.  It's not an empty promise.

He left this world to go back to the Father but He WILL RETURN one day again, to get His people and to triumph ONCE AND FOR ALL over this world and ALL the evil that resides here.  JUDGEMENT is coming and one day EVERY KNEE WILL BOW and EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!!!  The choice to confess it freely is ours now, but regardless of what we choose, one day it will be forced on all.  

When He left this world, He did not leave us empty handed, without hope or help.  He gave us HIS WORD, HIS HOLY SPIRIT to guide us and HIS PEACE.  

Maybe you're like me and you needed to be reminded of WHO sits on the throne and what our response to that should be.  He is FOR US and NOT AGAINST us.  He delights to give His children good things and He longs for HIS peace to reign over our hearts and give us the confidence we need to face each day, trusting Him for its outcome.  It may seem as if this world is out of control and in many ways, it is.  But HE is NEVER beyond that control and He has a perfect plan in place for each one of us.  No circumstance can touch the peace He can give in it's place.  Thank you Lord!!  You are so worthy of our trust and our praise...Truly there is no one like YOU!!!  

YOU are sufficient for me...


Christine said...

Stephanie thanks for the reminder. Do you ever wonder how people deal with all these troubles, disasters, etc. without the Lord? Where is their peace and where do find protection?

Darla said...

I appreciate your post, Stephanie. I, too, am bothered by the reality of evil...especially as I think of bringing our little girl into the world. Sigh. I'm thankful for the Lord's if only I'll accept it from Him!