In Peace We Trust

{The twelfth and final installment in the In ____We Trust Series}

Each and every topic in this series has convicted me. They’ve all added up.


Here’s what I’m finding as I wrap it up...

Every “thing” I trust in besides God, I trust in with one goal in my heart. Obtaining peace.

I want the easy way because I want things to occur peacefully. I rely more on relationships than the Lord because I crave the feeling of peace that comes with connection. My plans, my busy habit, my obsession with knowing anything and everything- these all are submitted to in my heart because of what I hope to get out of them: peace.

You too?

in peace

We want peace. We are desperate for peace.

As a people and as families, peace is the goal in everyday life. As churches, as a country, as a generation in this world, we do what we do to gain peace. It’s the banner we raise and aspire to.

We want to gain peace because we trust peace is the answer to all problems.

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This isn’t a new issue.

Jesus addressed it head-on: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34.)

People back then wanted peace to be the solution.

But the issue is even older. We read about it in Ezekiel 13:10:

“…They lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash.”

whitewash

The peace we seek is all too often just whitewash.

The kind of peace we seek offers no resolution, no redemption. It’s a cover up for the stuff we’re tired of looking at, the stuff we’re ashamed of.

Yet Scripture is clear.

There is real peace available to us, and it isn’t found in jobs, on Google, in knowing the outcome, or in avoiding the scary. We don’t gain real peace by doing more or planning things out perfectly. Peace isn’t something to be controlled or had.

Peace is someone we turn to.

As Ephesians 2:14 proclaims:

“He Himself is our peace.”

Oh, Lord. This is convicting. This changes things.

We’re tired. I hear it in the media, I hear it from everyone I know, I hear it from my own lips day after day.

We are tired of manufacturing our own forms of peace and seeking our own sources of peace.

Stacking our hopes and our sense of security upon these man-made sources of peace results in collapse. We end up hunched under them, holding them up by ourselves. Our versions of peace fail because they were never meant to hold our trust. They buckle under the weight, and so do we.

Pursuing peace instead of resting in the One who is our Peace is exhausting and disappointing.

peacehimself

Friends- if we aren’t trusting the one who has bridged all of sin to make peace between us and God to give us true peace in this life, what are we doing?

Trust is balanced precariously on belief: belief the one we trust in is trustworthy.

The only one worthy of this trust, the only one actually able to trade the troubles of this world and our lives for lasting peace, is Christ Himself.

We simply need to come before Him. To hand it all over.

We need to trust Christ that He is who He says is: OUR PEACE.

In your life, trust Him to be who He alone is. Amen?

Thanks to all who participated in this series as readers, comment-encouragers, and guest writers. I have been blessed, and I know many others have too.

What about you? How do you fill in the blank: In ______ I Trust?

This post may also be shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

In Jobs We Trust

{The ninth installment in the In ____We Trust Series}

Grateful to have Ashlee' Perry here today. A courageous writer and serious student of the Word, Ashlee humbly shares devotional posts and thought-provoking questions focused on Scriptural truth over at her blog, The Maze.

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No, I’m not talking about Steve Jobs here.

Our jobs are our primary source of income. With it, one is able to financially provide for the needs of one’s family, to buy necessities and pleasures of everyday life. Jobs are great, awesome, and the Bible specifically speaks and command us to work, because a laborer is worthy of his wages (1 Timothy 5:18) and if we don’t work, we won’t eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Working is a part of life, being commanded by God for us to do since the Creation and the Fall of mankind (Genesis 3: 17).

There’s nothing inherently wrong with work, but good things can also become our idols.

jobtrust

Since May 2015, I have been in search for a full-time job. Although I love writing, and would one day hope to become a full-time writer, at this point in life, I know that isn’t possible. Every day for eight or nine hours, I alternate between job hunting and applying for jobs, which takes up most of the day, and exercising for breaks. With this day to day pattern, and with the constant reminders of the need of income looming around me, it’s hard not to obsess and idolize having a job.

When working becomes an idol, we begin to neglect the things God has stewarded us, placing that thing above God.

When you think of stewardship, most Christians think along the lines of money, but actually that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Stewardship goes far beyond giving money to a charity that you like, or volunteering for a weekend with underprivileged children. Biblical stewardship is our acknowledgment of the various gifts and talents that God has graciously given to us, and using them in such a way to give Him all the glory. With our jobs and time we spend with our jobs, how well are we being a steward?

When things are out of order, and when we have our priorities out of balance, work can become an idol.

We become neglectful of the things God has stewarded to us, to the extent that it becomes a detriment to us and those around us. God gives each of us certain talents and abilities, and when they’re used for things other than to glorify Him, our works become useless. In the words of Solomon, he states:

“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:11

When God isn’t in the center of our business, our work, or our jobs, all those “good actions become completely futile. Stewardship without the presence of God is just good works.

Good Actions

By trusting in our jobs or talents over the One who gave us those skills, we’re in a sense demoting the power of God working in and through us. We’re creating for ourselves another “god” and placing it before the One True God. It’s easy to fall into this trap, whether it is with our jobs or personal life. We place our value and worth into those things, when actually, they can be swept away from us in any given moment. As Christians, our validity isn’t found in what we have or the job we possess. Our validity is found only in Christ.

Proverbs 16:3 gives strong words on what happens when our work is done to glorify God – our thoughts are established by Him. This isn’t saying that whatever we want, God will give it to us like a genie we make wishes to. I’m actually saying the opposite here – by submitting our will to God’s will, whatever He desires for us will be accomplished, for our good and for His glory. Our purpose isn’t defined by our job, title or position; it’s defined by our reverence and trust in God (Ecclesiastes 12: 13&14).

So, where does your trust lie?

Is your trust rested in the things that you possess and can obtain, namely your job, money, or resources, or does it rest in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross?

For the next few weeks, guests will be writing each Monday on something (or someone) we tend to trust in besides God. 

What about you? How do you fill in the blank: In ______ I Trust?

This post will also be shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

In {Google} We Trust

{The second installment in the In ____We Trust Series}

I like to stop by Christ on my way to Google. I wave hello, say “thanks” or “please.” Even “so glad you’re still here, I love you and trust you!” and then get along on my merry way to wherever I’m ultimately headed. It’s often to Google.

See, I like Google. I’m convinced there are no ends to the rabbit trails found to every answer I can conceivably ask it. There’s always something more to know, which, in my doubting heart, means there always a glimmer of hope that there is a way and it will work out….I just have to keep figuring it out.

If you want to know what I’m concerned about or doubting the Lord about, check my Google browsing history.

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At times you’ll find an absurd number of articles, web listings, and advertisements for first time homebuyers.

During other months, lengthy detailed research can be found about the health issues of loved ones and chronic problems that remain unsolved. The research extends to whole articles about big words I can’t pronounce.

I approach this in a Godly manner, of course. Because I pray first…

Do you know the prayer?

It’s that “I trust you, help me” prayer that comes before jumping off the narrow way of faith into the pit of forging my own way.

google we trust

I’ve got plenty of company there…that’s how Google ratings are determined, you know. The more people there are like me turning to Google for the answers the Lord isn’t giving as we want and when we want it, the more information there is on Google and the easier it is to find.

It seems that like me, many people believe that if we just check every rabbit hole, follow each trail to its end, and then tunnel a little deeper down on our own, the whole path will just open up. We’ll get where we’re going.

But oh, amidst all the sin of my doubt and my trust in Google, there’s another big issue:

Christ is not just the launching point, but the destination. And….the way.

When I trust Him with any one of these but not with all of them, I miss out. I do all this extra work and have all this added stress and anxiety. Because I’m trying to get to the one I trust, but not trusting Him to give me the information I need to get there.

My Google habit isn’t a sin. Being well-informed is even wise.

BUT, trusting in knowledge from Google instead of wholly in Christ leaves me with a head full of stuff and a heart full of…stuff. Not peace. Not hope. Not rest and joy in the Lord.

This is just another form of “leaning on my own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5.)

Google can mislead me. Information can change. All that I might learn in my seeking and searching online can fail me, betray me, disappoint me, and ultimately leave me hurt. God cannot and will not.

Before I whip my Google fingers out, I need to pray and ask if seeking information in that instance is a part of following Him. And I need to be willing to stop and listen.

If what I’m looking for isn’t information Google has, I need to look elsewhere. Namely, to Him.

If what I’m looking for is intended to placate me, fuel my doubts, or tempt me to sin, I need to go to Him who has all I need.

If I know that my Google search is just a tool God is using to teach me, inform me, and lead me…then I can click away.

Because when my Google search is something I trust the Lord with, I’m trusting the Lord…not a search engine.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be writing each Monday on something (or someone) I tend to trust in besides God. 

What about you? How do you fill in the blank: In ______ I Trust?

Writers and non-writers are welcome to submit guest posts. Contact me here by June 5th telling me what you trust in besides God and how He helps you trust Him more.

This post will also be shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

Word of the Week: Trust

Trust. For a little word, it sure is a big one.

Just a few of the things God demonstrates to us about trust…

  1. Trust Makes a Way and Keeps Us In It

Isaiah 26:3 states that:

“(God) will keep in perfect peace

those whose minds are steadfast,

because they trust in (Him).”

Trust that makes a way for a steadfast mind. Trust in God keeps us in God’s perfect peace.

  1. Trust is the Choice to Put That Which Is in MY realm into HIS realm.

trust def

  1. Trust is a Combination

To trust involves making a choice to:

  • Surrender “mine” to make it “His.”
  • Have faith in Him as my security.
  • Be confident in who He is.

A word to ponder and live!

This post will also be shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.