Is your heart troubled today?
It’s no secret that many are struggling. Just read the headlines. As the days get darker, our hearts can be weighed down with hurts and troubles.
My heart gets weighed down with hurts. It also gets weighed down with unexpected bills, broken appliances and extra items on my to-do list. If I have a good day, it seems as if trouble is waiting to pounce on me a mere 24 hours later. Do you know what I mean?
Jesus offers us peace in the middle of our troubles, just as he offered peace to his disciples on the night he was betrayed. But we must accept his peace, and today we’ll learn how to do that.
Troubles Are Certain
As Christians, we aren’t promised a problem-free life. In fact, Jesus told us to expect troubles, persecutions, relationship problems, and losses.
Since I have an idealistic outlook in my God-given personality, I tend to get worked up when unexpected problems arise. But if I adjust my expectations, I stop being surprised by every little trouble. I gain a measure of peace that way.
I also tell myself that God knows no surprises. He knew ahead of time that my van’s engine would need $3,200 in repairs this summer, even though I didn’t see it coming. When I got the bad news, I gained peace knowing that God had foreseen this trouble in my life—nothing happens outside his watch.
When you adjust your expectations to reasonable levels, expecting that troubles will come in this imperfect life, you won’t be so shocked and surprised when they arrive. Your faith can grow if you trust that God sees the problem AND the solution.
Don’t Let Troubles In
Let’s meditate on this key phrase together:
Do not LET your hearts be troubled. (emphasis mine)
Repeat this several times while considering this thought: We can let troubles in or let them out.
God doesn’t keep all problems from heading our way. But he gives us the free will to control whether we let the troubles in our hearts or put on the armor of faith to keep them out.
Back to my van example. The old me would have stressed, worried, cried and fretted about a $3,200 bill. I would have lost sleep and peace because I would have unknowingly given anxiety the green light to come into my heart.
Since God has grown my faith, I turned to him immediately when I heard the bad news, and he built a fence of protection around my heart because I trusted him for the solution.
Every time the trouble came back up (since the van was in the repair shop three different times), I kept turning to God instead of welcoming the problem into my heart. Through prayer, I took faith in God’s promises to provide, to never leave me, and to protect me.
I didn’t enjoy having this expensive problem. But for the first time in a long time, I didn’t let financial anxiety override my peace. I refused to LET the problem enter my most vulnerable place. I let God have control there, and his peace carried me through. He will do the same for you in your current trial, if you refuse to let your problems into your heart.
Replace Troubles with Peace
On my blog, I write about finding peace in God’s Word. We can’t experience the peace Jesus described without abiding in his Word.
Each morning for the past 16 years, I’ve met with God for about 10 minutes by reading his Word. Nothing else has granted me more peace, even though I’ve endured many difficult trials during that time.
The more I studied his Word, the more I learned to trust him. I learned about his strength, protection, majesty, all-sufficiency, and master plan, among other wonderful things. There is no better way to replace your troubles with peace than getting to know the God who loves you. The very best way to do that is to study his Word, one day at a time.
I encourage you to turn to God as soon as the next trouble arrives in your life. Do not let it in by trusting God to help you overcome it. Draw close to him in Bible study and prayer, meeting with him every day for a fresh anointing of his perfect peace. He will teach you how to quiet your troubled heart by trusting him more.
Lord Jesus, I praise you for offering perfect peace to me. I confess that I often allow problems into my heart rather than trusting you for solutions. Forgive me for my lack of trust in you. Today, I ask you to guard my heart with your perfect peace in my current troubles. Help me to meet with you daily so I can learn to trust you more. Amen.
Questions for reflection:
- What is the #1 trouble area in your life right now?
- In what ways are you consciously or subconsciously letting that trouble into your heart?
- What can you do differently today to choose peace instead of trouble?